Number 27 on the list of High Peaks, Big Slide is one of the best of the 46 Peaks. Of all the peaks this may turn out to be your favorite.
Many peaks offer lovely views along the route, however the views along the route to the summit of Big Slide are so spectacular that you’ll want to climb it again!
The most popular trail requires climbers to ascend three other summits (called the Three Brothers) before making it to Big Slide and is 4.0 miles one way. The trailhead is at the Garden Parking Area near the Ausable Inn. Overflow parking is available at Marcy Field, with a shuttle running to the trailhead.
The climb begins almost immediately from the parking lot toward a brook crossing. From there, there will be a steep climb to the summit of the 1st Brother, where you will find some very beautiful views. The first ledge you come to faces east where you’ll find a gorgeous view of Giant and Keene Valley.
After a short descent you will begin a second climb toward the summit of the 2nd Brother for even more better views! Along this path you’ll find many other ledges which afford many more beautiful views to the west. This portion of the trail is so beautiful that you may find you take more pictures here than you do at the summit!
Past the 2nd Brother you will descend into an open valley. From there you will come to a steady climb to the wooded summit of the 3rd Brother. You’ll get a closer view of the Great Range, and the woods will shade you from sun or cold.
After a descent there will be a moderate climb to an intersection. From here there are two routes to the summit of Big Slide. At this point the trail becomes especially steep as you get to the base of the summit. At the summit some astounding views can be seen to the North East. A better view on the North side of the Great Range is hard to find! There are beautiful views of the Great Range across Johns Brook Valley which are awe inspiring. You might find that it’s the perfect place for you to stop and have some lunch.
While the trail continues on to Yard Mountain, it is most common for people to stop at this summit and loop back. While you can return over the Brothers, it is also possible to take the split, continuing straight over a path which crosses Slide Mountain Brook several times. Turn left at Johns Brook Trail, and then left again at the Trail Register, where there is a short descent to the Garden parking area. This return path is 1.5 miles longer than the trail over the Brothers.
The route to Big Slide and the summit itself provide some of the most beautiful views in the park. While the view from the summit is not 180 degrees it does have some spectacular views, and the scenery along the route will keep you in such awe that you might not even realize how far you’ve gone on the hike. Just make sure you don’t walk off the mountain!