Dix and Hough

Admiring the lower Dixes, from Hough

Admiring the lower Dixes, from Hough

I had a really great day hiking Dix and Hough with some wonderful hiking buddies. We headed out from Elk Lake at 6:15 am yesterday morning, enjoying a pleasantly water- and mud-free Slide Brook trail to start off the day – my third time on this trail, and my first time experiencing it with dry feet.

We came pretty close to taking the Beckhorn trail up to Dix again. Part of me really wanted to re-do that trail and get to the top, after my unsuccessful attempt a few months back. In the end I decided that being so close to finishing the 46Β  I didn’t want to take the chance, so we continued on to the Hunter’s Pass trail. Hunter’s Pass approaches Dix from the north side of the mountain. It’s a little over a mile longer to the summit than taking the Beckhorn trail from Elk Lake, but there are fewer exposed scrambles on steep rock. In the end, all three of us were glad to have taken this path up. It’s the least-used trail in the range and has a feeling of stillness throughout, appearing a bit more rugged and wild. It was beautiful walking through the pass sandwiched by mountain and cliff. The long walk in was mostly flat with what seemed like more elevation loss than gain. The final climb up to the Dix summit was steep and relentless, offering a few rocky challenges for good measure. The clouds were blowing in and out when we finally arrived, but we had views off to the east and occasional glimpses in all other directions.

Going down over the Beckhorn, a rocky projection just below the summit, toward Hough had its occasional breathtaking moments. It was fun and the views were pretty incredible, even despite the fleeting clouds. In retrospect I wish I had walked over and looked down the Beckhorn trail from the top; I saw where the trail came up, but the Beckhorn is so exposed I opted to continue heading toward the left, toward the path to Hough. The beginning of the journey to Hough is more rugged than I had been picturing. There were some fun scrambles along the way, including the section requiring a crabwalk down between two rock walls. The sun came out while we were making our way to Hough, and by the time we arrived on the summit we were welcomed by bright skies and beautiful views. I was surprised at how lovely Hough’s summit was. I could have stayed there for hours, but we eventually got on our way.

Heading down from Hough was a bit scrambly, with one in particular being rather challenging – see photo below. It was tricky picking up the Lillian Brook herd path from Hough. You have to look for a path veering off to the right, which leads to a clearing. Once in the clearing if you look through another opening you can see the cairn marking the start of the path. If you miss this entrance you’ll do a bit of extra climbing before crossing it again.

The descent down Lillian Brook, steep at the top, became more and more gradual. It was a long walk out, but a pleasant one. Total mileage for this trip was in the neighborhood of 15, and it took us 11 hours and 45 minutes, which included at least 1 – 1.5 hours of breaks. I was happy to end a great day in the woods with a celebration back at the Adirondack Loj in honor of my friend’s 46th climb, on Skylight. Looking forward to hiking my final two peaks soon!

Dix Pond, from the Slide Brook trail

Dix Pond, from the Slide Brook trail

Slide Brook trail

Slide Brook trail

Heading into the pass

Heading into the pass

Hunter's Pass trail

Hunter’s Pass trail

Marveling at the cliffs off to the side of the pass

Marveling at the cliffs off to the side of the pass

More Hunter's Pass

More Hunter’s Pass

After a steep, rocky climb, getting closer to the ridge

After a steep, rocky climb, getting closer to the ridge

view from Dix summit

view from Dix summit

Another view from Dix

Another view from Dix

Next up: the Beckhorn

Next up: the Beckhorn

Crabwalk scramble

Crabwalk scramble

On the way to Hough

On the way to Hough

Arriving at the Hough summit, under blue skies

Arriving at the Hough summit, under blue skies

view from Hough, with Elk Lake in the distance

view from Hough, with Elk Lake in the distance

Summit pic from Hough, with Dix in the background

Summit pic from Hough, with Dix in the background

Coming down from Hough

Approaching the challenge coming down from Hough

Looking back up at the challenge coming down from Hough. There's a bypass around a portion of this, or if you're like one of my hiking buddies, you can go right down the front of it. :)

Looking back up at the challenge coming down from Hough.

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12 thoughts on “Dix and Hough

  1. Great TR of a great hike, Pru! I remember going down Hunters Pass trail back in 2011 and how very rocky it was. Glad to see you two peaks away from your finish!

  2. Awesome that you and Karen hiked this together. I know she said in one of the blogs she would do dix with you! Great pics as usual. Love the pic with the three of you! You go Hiker chics!!

      • Dix together had been waiting in the wings for over a year. Then, without any advance planning, it happened! Thank goodness- it was a great, though exhausting (does that make it great- I wonder?) hike. Thanks for schlepping me along, Pru- I’d wanted to hike Dix again for years

  3. Pru, great site and great trip reports. I will be doing Hough and Dix soon. I was thinking of going up the Lillian Brook Trail to Hough and over to Dix and then down the Hunter’s Pass Trail. Any thoughts?

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