Meet the 6ers
Saranac Lake is a place where the mountains and lakes of the Adirondacks converge to create some of the most jaw-dropping scenery anywhere, and there's no better place to see it all than from the top of one of the six mountains surrounding the village. The Saranac Lake 6er program was born in 2013 as a way to get people to experience the beauty of these summits. The hikes cover a range of difficulty, with Mount Baker, which is located right in the village, offering the easiest path. We recommend starting there, then working your way up the others. Many consider either Ampersand or McKenzie to be the most difficult - see for yourself and let us know what you think!
That little mountain peeking between the downtown buildings is Mount Baker. It’s a little less than a mile to the top, where a couple of ledges award expansive views of the High Peaks in the distance. There are some steep spots along the way (it is a mountain, after all), so novice hikers should bring lots of water and allow enough time to rest — or to “stop and enjoy the view” — along the way. Learn more
Distance: 0.9 mile one way
Elevation: 2,452 feet
Ascent: 884 feet
St. Regis Mountain
The only 6er with a fire tower on its summit, St. Regis is a long, fairly mellow hike that ends in 360-degree views of mountains and lakes. Make sure you don’t miss this awesome adventure! Learn more
Distance: 3.3 miles one way
Elevation: 2,874 feet
Ascent: 1,266 feet
The cliff-like scar that gives Scarface its name is in full view from Riverside Park, which is located right downtown on Lake Flower. This hike starts easy and crosses an interesting wetland before beginning an ascent up the mountain, where there’s a nice view just before the top. Learn more
Distance: 3.8 miles one way
Elevation: 3,088 feet
Ascent: 1,480 feet
Ampersand isn’t a particularly long trail, but it is steep. The climb is well worth it, though, as the mostly open summit offers a breathtaking vista of High Peaks and the Saranac lakes. Learn more
Distance: 2.7 miles one way
Elevation: 3,353 feet
Ascent: 1,775 feet
There are two Haystacks in the Adirondacks — one is a long, rugged, all-day climb to the third highest peak in the state. The other is one of the 6ers, and it’s a lot easier. The trail up our Haystack passes through a lovely forest before following a tumbling little mountain brook, which it crosses before climbing steeply to a wonderful summit view. Learn more
Distance: 3.3 miles one way
Elevation: 2,864 feet
Ascent: 1,240 feet
Ambitious hikers do Haystack and McKenzie in one day, since their trails follow the same route for a good portion of the journey. McKenzie is quite a bitter taller than its neighbor, so make sure you’re ready for the steep climb that comes soon after the trail splits. There are several views near the top — be sure to continue to the last one, where a stunning and expansive panorama of peaks awaits. Learn more
Distance: 5.3 miles one way
Elevation: 3,822 feet
Ascent: 2,221 feet
Don't Leave Home Unprepared
- Headlamp with extra batteries
- Rain gear or poncho
- Water purification tablets
- First-aid kit
- Fire-starting kit
- Emergency space blanket
- Whistle for signaling rescuers
Looking for more information about hiking safety? Check out the NYS DEC website.
Once a hiker has completed all six mountains, they are awarded a 6er patch and permission to ring the 6er bell in the Berkeley Green band shell. Register online to receive your official 6er patch and signed certificate of completion.
Take note, intrepid explorers!
Those who can complete the 6ers in 24 hours are awarded the highly coveted Ultra 6er patch. Winter versions of each challenge are also available.
Don't know where to begin? No problem!
Try tackling the 6ers in the following order:
- St. Regis