Number nine of the Adirondacks High Peaks is Basin Mountain. The route to the top is marked by narrow ledges and steep climbs, but the summit boasts some of the finest views of any of the peaks.
This trail contains a piece of Adirondack history! Keep an eye out of a large bolt place in a rock near the East side of the summit. It was placed there by Verplanck Colvin during is 1876 survey of the Adirondacks. This peak was named by Colvin for the many basins that form on its slopes.
The trail crosses many sections of steep rock, large amounts of open ground, and has some areas that are very dangerous when wet or when covered in ice or snow. In winter cornices can form along the ridge. Some sections of the trail pass over exposed ridges and must be traversed with extreme caution as any fall would be fatal. However, this trail is considered one of the most spectacular in the area.
Because this trail can be tricky it is not recommended you do it with back packs. It’s better to take a different trail around this section and hike this as a day trip, or hike it from Haystack to Gothics with packs.
While the summit can be reached from my different trailheads, the shortest route is from The Gardens in Keene Valley. It is about 14 miles round trip. Remember that the parking lot at the Gardens fills up quickly, but there is a shuttle that runs in summer for overflow parking.
Take the Phelps Trail to the Interior Outpost. From there you can go straight to the East start of the trail via the Ore Bed Trail. You can also go around to the West by continuing on the Phelps trail. You can also walk these as a loop.
Another popular trailhead is at Adirondack Loj. Take the Van Hoevenberg Trail and then the cutoff for Haystack.
The South side of the summit is tree covered and doesn’t offer many views, however the West side is bare and offers stunning views of Gothics, Marcy, and Haystack.