Saddleback & Basin
Basin: 4,827', 9th Highest Elevation in the Adirondacks; Saddleback: 4,515', 17th
Gothics as seen from Saddleback
Gothics as seen from Orebed Trail, on the eastern flank, just below the summit of Saddleback.

Saddleback and Basin represent some of the hardest hiking in the High Peaks, particularly the western flank of Saddleback, as you descend towards the Saddleback Basin col.  I departed from "the Garden" in Keene Valley, stopped in at Johns Brook Lodge to say hello, and proceeded up the Orebed trail towards the eastern side of Saddleback. I had become concerned by accounts I'd read of hiking these two mountains in this direction, and brought with me a 50' section of rope, just in case. The dogs stayed home, as I feared there would be multiple sections of trail they couldn't handle. As it turned out, I was right about the dogs, and wrong about the rope. There is quite a lot of scrambling, and some actual climbing on the Orebed, but if you're at least 5'8" tall (or hiking with a buddy), sure-footed and take your time, it may prove quite enjoyable. I took the Shorey Short Cut off the Orebed, up, over and down to the Phelps Trail which brought me back to JBL, and finally the Garden. The entire hike took 10 hours, and was 16.3 miles long. The views from both Saddleback and Basin are among the finest in the High Peaks. From Otter Chalet and Deep Woods Cabin, take Springfield Rd. south to Jay, 9N south into Keene, and 73 southeast through Keene Valley, turning right on Adirondack Street, just before the Cliff hanger Cafe, and follow the signs for hiker parking.

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Orebed Trail Ladders on way up Saddleback Basin from western summit of Saddleback

Orebed Trail ladders on the way up Saddleback, Basin seen from western summit of Saddleback.
The ProofShot, Basin behind meWestern flank of Saddleback climbing & scramblingJohns Brook Lodge dining hallJohns Brook Lodge dining hall
Windy day with Basin behind, west flank of Saddleback, and two shots of Johns Brook Lodge dining area.
 

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