The weather forecast looked cold but clear, and since it’s a relatively short drive we jumped in the car and headed out to… promptly get lost.
Okay, we didn’t really get lost, we just missed our turn for a few miles. If you ever do the hike up Pharaoh Mountain, look for the fork in the road where it switches to Adirondack Road. Don’t go that way! You want to veer left onto Crane! 🙂
We started late but it wasn’t a big hike, so we got to the lot around 8:30ish. We were the only ones there! We got our spikes on and jammed the handwarmers into our gloves, then signed in and off we went. The air was dang cold, and we walked the “road” for a couple of miles. The road was easy to follow as there were some truck tracks, but eventually it leads to Crane Pond where there’s no motorized vehicles allowed. At that register, we got turned around for awhile. We were looking for the red markers and finally found it. If you’re staring at the register at Crane, do a 180 and start walking. You’ll see a big rock and a fallen tree, and the path is right there. Sure, sure, it’s probably obvious to everyone else, but to us… yeah, no.
We hiked onward, and the sound of the trees thawing in the early morning sun was pretty dramatic. At times it was downright scaring the crap out of me, but we eventually got to the intersection and turned right toward the summit. We discussed doing the loop up and over, but decided to save it for summer. The Pharaoh Lake region is littered with trails and camping areas, so we know we’ll be back for a longer stay!
Pushing up to the summit, we started seeing more views open up. The snow was packed at the trail, so although we were carrying our snowshoes, we didn’t really need them. We summitted and took some photos, then explored the peak a little. A couple campsites looked like awesome summer stays, and we hung out in one for a bit while we plowed through some food.
The hike down was uneventful and quick. We passed a couple on the way up, and later on saw a man and his dog on the road. Getting back to the car, we took of our gear and made haste for a nice hot cup of coffee! It wasn’t a long day, but that’s our treat after we hike!
A beautiful, well-maintained trail that looks like a fun summer hike for everyone, the trail up Pharaoh Mountain is definitely one we’ll see again!