Commonly climbed with Nippletop due to its location on the same ridge, Dial Mountain is number 41 on the list of high peaks. It is considered one of the classic hikes in the area and boasts beautiful views from the summit, though they are somewhat limited to the west.
Depending on your route of approach you will either have to first summit Nippletop, or Noonmark and Bears Den. The primary route takes you over Nippletop. From this trail to Dial it is a 10 mile hike, round trip (including road walking).
Hikers must park at the designated parking lot for the Roaring Brook Trail. It is located off Rt. 73, 3 miles south of the High Peaks sign in Keene. From this lot, there is a 0.5 mile walk heading west along the gravel road, past the golf course, to Lake Road (and the trailhead). This trail is in the Adironadack Mountain Reserve. Hikers should be aware that there is no camping, hunting, or fishing, and no off trail travel. Dogs and other pets are absolutely prohibited. Hikers must fill out a trip ticket at the trailhead. If a ranger finds you without one, you may be fined and you will not be able to continue your hike.
This trail is especially nice in summer because it is quite shady. The foliage is also very pretty in late August and early September.
Once you’ve reached the trailhead at Lake Road Way. Continue on to the Gate House where you can register. A wooden gate lies just beyond, though which you will follow a dirt road for about 0.7 miles. The start of the trail begins on the left.
The climb will begin immediately off of this road and become increasingly steeper until you reach the shoulder of Noonmark. At this area you can see the evidence from a major forest fire that swept through the area several years ago. From here there will be a rapid descent, but you will begin climbing again quickly as you summit Bear Den Mountain. The summit is fully wooded. The descent from here is moderate, until you make your final climb to the summit of Dial Mountain.
If you turn around from here it is about 10 miles round trip. You can also continue and include Nippletop, which will make your trip about 16 miles round trip.
Dial is considered one of the classic hikes of the Adirondacks and shouldn’t be missed by any experienced hiker. Its views of the High Peaks region are unrivaled, and it is one of the more pleasant hikes in summer and fall.