Wednesday, June 26, 2013
ADIRONDACKS - OWEN & COPPERAS PONDS and A DRIVE UP WHITEFACE MOUNTAIN: 6/21/13
For the last day of our quick getaway to the Adirondacks, we opted for a short, mellow hike to two beautiful ponds in the Sentinel Range Wilderness, followed by a drive up the Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway before heading home to New Hampshire.
We used the longer but easier approach to Copperas Pond from NY 86 NE of Lake Placid.
A scenic section of the trail followed along the outlet brook of Owen Pond.
Nice mellow walking after the previous day's rocky climb of Wright Peak.
Owen Pond, seen here from its outlet, is a typically beautiful Adirondack backcountry pond. A spur of Kilburn Mountain rises beyond the pond. It's said that there are 2,600 ponds and lakes in the Adirondacks. Wonder if anyone has been to them all?
The trail continues past a beaver pond.
After a short climb, we descended to the south shore of Copperas Pond, where we found a beautiful view of Whiteface Mountain. The cliffs of Wilmington Notch are seen in the foreground.
A closer look at Whiteface.
A towering red pine at the site of a former lean-to.
We continued along a spur trail to the rocky north shore.
Here we found a perfect sun-warmed sitting rock for lunch and a midday siesta, with a beautiful vista of trailless Kilburn Mountain across the water..
After a while I continued along the spur trail to the remaining Copperas Pond lean-to.
A strenuous shoreline bushwhack over boulders and ledges expanded the Sentinel Range view to include Stewart Mountain.
Back at the sitting rock, a double boot shot.
On the way back, a peek at Wilmington Notch.
Back at Owen Pond, we chatted briefly with a couple who was spending the afternoon relaxing here - he fishing, she reading. Easy summertime living in the 'daks.
After returning to the trailhead, we continued along NY 86 through scenic Wilmington Notch.
Next was a drive up Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway, a paved, well-graded road that climbs to 4600 ft., about 270 ft. in elevation below the summit. Esther Mountain is seen in the center of the photo.
There are two ways to get to the summit from the top of the road: an elevator (!) whose shaft was blasted through the bedrock, or a walkway that leads up the spectacular NW arete of the mountain. We chose the path, which offers some terrific views. (We did take the elevator down.)
This could be quite an interesting walk, minus the railings!
Looking south to the Great Range and the MacIntyre Range.
At one point you look straight down an old slide with Lake Placid in the distance.
An obliging fellow tourist took our photo at the top.
Whiteface has a weather observatory on its summit. The NW arete can be seen to the lower L.
Looking west to the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness.
Whiteface is one of the great viewspots in the Adirondacks.
A summit shot of Carol before heading home for New Hampshire. It was a short trip to the Adirondacks, but a sweet one.