Lower Dix Range – Macomb, S. Dix (Carson), E. Dix (Grace), & Hough

My last Adirondack hike of 2013 was a 5-peak traverse of the Dix range, which was my first solo hike. Catching Kathy up, we started our 2014 with a hike of the lower four peaks in the Dix range: Macomb, South Dix (Carson Peak), East Dix (Grace Peak), and Hough. To vary the hike for me, we decided to do them counter-clockwise, opposite from last year.

Infrared view of Dix Mountain from East Dix (Grace)
Infrared view of Dix Mountain from East Dix (Grace)

Ascending the Slide Brook herd path, then descending the Lillian Brook herd path is a pretty standard route, so I won’t go into the details and rather just give my impressions of the hike.

I honestly left this hike thinking that the Slide Brook and Lillian Brook herd paths were two of the best trails in the Adirondacks. They vary the terrain and direction enough that you don’t feel like you’re on an endless trail, and almost the entirety of both routes is soft underfoot and well-maintained. Kudos to the 46ers who developed and maintain these trails – you’ll appreciate the work even more once you dump back out on the rocky & wet Dix Mt. trail to head home.

Our hike up the Macomb Slide was fun, and one advantage to our 6:45 AM start was that we were still in Macomb Mountain’s shadow while on the open rock. Kathy was a bit nervous starting up the slide, but realized that leaning forward made the climb quick work.

Kathy ascending the Macomb Slide
Kathy ascending the Macomb Slide

Climbing the open rock from Macomb to South Dix (Carson) was enjoyable, the trail from South Dix to East Dix (Grace) was short and rewarded with huge vistas, and the path from South Dix to Hough was tight and probably the hardest of the day. The start of the Lillian Brook herd path descends steeply but a just about the right time (for your knees) moderates for the rest of the descent.

Ledge leading to Hough; the trail leads around to the left, but many just go over this
Ledge leading to Hough; the trail leads around to the left, but many just go straight over

We enjoyed stunning views from each of the summits, and the temperature stayed in the 70s, making this a perfect Adirondack hike. We hiked approximately 12.8 miles and 4350 vertical feet on the day. These four peaks were a repeat for me (keeping my 46er total at 26) but brought Kathy’s total up to 25.

2013: 4 high peaks (4 repeats) As of 7/31/13: 26 (out of 46) high peaks completed.

Our 2013 high peaks: Macomb, S. Dix, E. Dix & Hough; Tabletop; Cliff & Redfield; Marshall; Whiteface & Esther; Dix.

Edit: See: Our Path to 46.