The High Peaks' Best Short Hike
Easily one of my favorite hikes in the Adirondacks, it’s no wonder why Mount Jo is so popular. Short but mighty, this is a hike that starts simple enough, increases in difficulty, and ends with stunning views of the high peaks range.
The Beard and I needed a good stretch of the stems after our 5-hour ride from Philadelphia, and there was no better hike than Mt. Jo to get our blood flowing before sunset. After dumping our groceries and extra clothes at our cute Airbnb, we booked it to our first hike of the trip.
We parked at the Adirondack Loj and found the trailhead just off the parking lot towards the campground - after asking a friendly older couple if we were going the right way (we weren’t, but we had plenty of light before sunset).
When I say this hike is mostly for everyone, I mean it. The elevation is steep but steady, and I’d recommend even healthy hikers take their time. But once at top, you may see toddlers running around the face of the mountain, accompanied by mothers with newborns strapped to their backs. Still, as with any hike, be careful with your footing. Bouldering is not uncommon in the high peaks.
At the top of Mt. Jo, you will be greeted with a stunning vista that offers a view of the more challenging mountains ahead. This turned out to be the only sunny hike of our trip, but even without that knowledge, we drank in the sunlight as if it would fuel us for the hike-less weeks beyond our time in the Adirondacks.
The simplicity of this hike is the core of its allure. The vista is a huge reward for relatively little work, leaving the trail feeling as visually fulfilling as the larger hikes without as much soreness for the next day.
Beginner/Advanced Beginner, 2-4 hours. Recommended for families with older children. Use caution during wet seasons.
Watch out for:
Your own footing. The High Peaks have these gorgeous open rock faces and boulders, so balance and pacing is key.