A Small Adirondack Mountain with Stunning Views

What up Road Trip Warriors!? I hiked Mount Jo with Luke Kelly, a great photographer that has offered me tons of insight into traveling and capturing landscapes through a lens. I highly recommend checking out his instagram @lukekellytravels. We had been trying to plan a hike for months and it finally came into fruition! Here is ALL you need to know about hiking Mount Jo!

Summary of Mount Jo Hike

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: Short trail 2.2 miles round trip; Long Trail 2.6 miles round trip
  • Elevation: 2,876′ above sea level
  • Hiking Time: 2 hours. It took about an hour up and an hour down. It could be done faster if needed.
  • Elevation Gain: Approximately 700′ according to lakeplacid.com 
  • Photo Opportunities: The summit of Mount Jo has a commanding view of Heart Lake and the surrounding High Peaks. You can capture some beautiful images of the Adirondacks here. From what I have seen online, the scenes from this mountain in Autumn are pretty unbelievable!

Adirondack Loj Parking

The trailhead for Mount Jo can be found at the Adirondack Loj. Follow Route 73 towards Lake Placid and Adirondack Loj Road will eventually be on your left.  Follow the road for about 3 miles and you will have reached the Loj. It costs $12 to park for the day. Don’t forget to sign in at the wooden structure at the trailhead! If nobody is posted to register your car for parking, there are envelopes and you can register yourself in. Fill out your vehicle info, put $12 in the envelope, and drop it in the mail slot. Snag the car pass to hang from your mirror and fill out the date you plan on departing so you don’t get a ticket!


The trailhead for Mount Jo can be found by walking out of the parking lots towards where you entered. To your right will be where you signed your car in. Take a left and follow the road towards Heart Lake. You’ll pass another wooden lodge that will be on your right. As you approach the beach you will see a sign that says “Mount Jo” with an arrow pointing to the right. It is well-marked so it should be relatively easy to follow.

The Trail

Shortly after entering the trail, you’ll come across the trail register. Make sure to sign yourself in along with the number of people in your group. Despite being a short, well-traveled hike, it is better to be safe than sorry!

About a quarter of a mile into the hike you will reach a junction. There will be a sign and you can take either the long or the short trail to the summit.


We decided to take the long trail to the summit and the short trail back down. The trail to the summit was well-packed and easy to follow. It is a highly trafficked trail so it would be difficult to lose your way while hiking. Unless there was recent heavy snow, all you should need are a pair of micro spikes. You can rent a pair from the Adirondack Loj if need be.

Mount Jo Summit!

As mentioned above, the summit of Mount Jo offers some astounding views of Heart Lake and the surrounding Adirondack wilderness for such a short trek. It was foggy when Luke and I hit the summit, but it cleared enough to see the lake and some of the mountains in the area!

Mount Jo Summit

Getting Back to the Trailhead

We decided to loop back down from the summit of Mount Jo using the short trail. It was considerably steeper than the long trail and a bit more icy. This made the descent a little more rigorous, but it was fun! Just make sure to watch your footing on the ice if you are hiking this in the winter!


Mount Jo is a dog-friendly hike. Bring the furry companions!!


This hike is SUPER family-friendly. It is short, not strenuous (especially the long trail), and offers stunning views from the summit. This is a great introductory hike for children or less experienced hikers. 

Clothes/Gear Worn

  • Timberland Hiking Boots
  • Nike Compression Leggings
  • Athletic shorts
  • Adidas Joggers
  • Underarmour long-sleeve
  • Athletic T-shirt
  • Athletic Long Sleeve Pullover
  • LL Bean mid-layer jacket
  • Winter Beanie
  • EMS Hiking socks (warmest pair they make)
  • Gloves (with hand warmers in them from Stewarts)
  • Gaiters 
  • Kahtoola microspikes

Gear/Food Brought

  • 2L of water
  • Peanut butter sandwich from Stewarts
  • Extra EMS hiking socks
  • LL Bean outer-shell jacket (switched into this on summit)
  • Bandana
  • Extra shirts, compression shorts, and underarmour
  • Wind/Rain Pants
  • Emergency tents and blankets
  • 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 checking out this post on Mount Jo in the Adirondacks! Like I mentioned above, it is a great hike for all experience levels. During the summer you could even cool down by hanging at Heart Lake! If you found this post helpful, enjoyed the photos, or just like reading about hikes, SMASH the subscribe button, like this post, and leave a comment!! I have more ADK High Peaks planned and will be sharing a lot more!! Keep adventuring Road Trip Warriors!


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