Ampersand: Part of the Saranac 6er’s!

What is happenin’ Road Trip Warriors!? I recently climbed my fifth mountain out of the six Saranac 6ers challenge. This mountain has to be my favorite part of the 6ers thus far. The views are unbelievable, the summit is open rock, and you can see many of the High Peaks from this summit. I highly recommend this hike, especially if you’re looking to get away from the High Peaks region for a bit.

Summary of Ampersand Mountain

  • Difficulty: Moderate – Strenuous
  • Length: 5.4 miles round trip
  • Elevation: 3,353′ above sea level
  • Hiking Time: It took about an hour-and-a-half to reach the summit from the trailhead. We took occasional water breaks on the way to the summit as well. 
  • Elevation Gain: 1,775′
  • Photo Opportunities: The scenes from the summit of Ampersand are unbelievable. The summit is open rock with 360º views. You can see Whiteface, Ampersand Pond, the surrounding mountains and bodies of water. The summit provides more than enough room to explore so you can capture different angles, lighting, and landscapes.

Trailhead

The trailhead for Ampersand mountain is off of Route 3, between Saranac and Tupper Lake. If you are coming from Saranac, the parking lot will be on the right side of the road. The lot isn’t that big, and it fills up rather quickly. Many people parked on the side of the road. The trailhead is directly across the street from the parking lot.

Ampersand Trailhead Sign

First Half of the Hike Towards the Summit

The first 1.5 to 1.7 miles of this hike is relatively straight-forward. The trail is for the most part, relatively flat. You’ll cross some wooden bridges and make your way across a couple streams. The forest is beautiful and it is a calming environment. Just be careful to watch your footing as you cross the streams.

Second Half…

The second half (1 mile from the summit) is pretty tough. You’ll ascend around 1300′ during this span of the hike. Don’t push yourself too hard, and drink a lot of water. It seems to be unrelenting, but I can assure you that the views are worth it. It gets a little better once you near Ampersand’s summit. The summit is a bald rock offering 360º views  making it very cool to come out of the woods and up onto the rock.

Ampersand’s Summit

This was by far my favorite Saranac 6er out of the five that I’ve done. The scenes that Ampersand mountain offers compared to the others are utterly outmatched. You’re rewarded with commanding views of Ampersand Pond, Whiteface Mountain in the far distance, and the surrounding Adirondack Mountains.

Ampersand Pond

Above is Ampersand Pond. It is isolated, surrounded by the thick Adirondack forest. It is a really pretty sight to see from the summit of this Saranac 6er.

View of Whiteface from Ampersand

In the top right of the picture above, Whiteface Mountain towers above the surrounding region. You can observe the ski slopes going down mountain’s face.

Views from Ampersand Summit

Above is another vantage point that this mountain offers. As you can see, you’re able to observe many of the regions’ bodies of water. The Adirondacks are home to plenty of lakes, ponds, and streams.

Ampersand Summit Marker

Above is the summit marker that you can find on Ampersand’s bald peak. It isn’t too difficult to find. Just explore the summit for a bit and you’ll eventually come across it.

Getting Back to the Trailhead

Ampersand Mountain is an out-and-back trail. Thus, you just have to hike out the same way you hiked in.

Dog-Friendly

This Saranac 6er is dog-friendly. I saw a couple pups hiking along the trail with their owners. Its a great hike that I am sure they would enjoy! Just bring enough water for the both of you!

Fam-Friendly

This hike is moderate/difficult because of its length and ascent. It gets pretty steep during the last mile. I still believe most individuals could do this hike, just take your time and stay hydrated. 

Clothes Worn

  • Timberland Boots
  • Nike Compression Leggings
  • Athletic shorts
  • Athletic T-shirt
  • Bandana (great for keeping the sweat out of your eyes)
  • Hiking socks

Gear Brought

  • 3L of water
  • Almonds and peanut butter sandwiches
  • Extra hiking socks
  • Extra shirt and shorts
  • Knife
  • Paracord and two carabiners
  • Water-proof matches
  • LifeStraw (water filtration, costs about $20)
  • Trekking poles
  • First-Aid Kit
  • Garmin inReach (satellite device that has a GPS, can send texts, send SOS, and has many other helpful features)

RTW Note

Thanks for reading this post about Ampersand Mountain! I hope it was helpful/informative for those looking to become a Saranac 6er or are just looking for something away from the High Peaks Region. I definitely recommend it for new and experienced hikers alike! The views are unbelievable and the hike is a blast! Anyways, hit the like and follow buttons if you found this post helpful or enjoyed the photographs! Leave a comment if you want to reach out! Looking forward to sharing more!

-Ant

 

 

 

 

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