Mount Marcy - Adirondacks, New York

Elevation 5344 feet / 1629 meters
GPS (WGS84) 44.06'45" N 073.55'26" W
USGS 7.5' x 7.5' Map Mount Marcy
High Ranking 1
First Recorded Ascent August 5, 1937
Ebenezer Emmons
History Named in 1837 in honor of Governor William Marcy
Alias Tahawus or Cloud-splitter

Mount Marcy is named after William L. Marcy, who held various local, state and federal government positions. During his tenure as Governor of New York (1833-1839), he authorized the geological survey that explored the Adirondack Area, including its highest peak known at that time as Tawahus.

Tawahus is an Indian name that means "the cloud splitter", however, the local Indians actually had no name for this mountain. The name Tawahus was given to the mountain by white settlers of the area.

The first recorded ascent of Mount Marcy was led by Professor Ebenezer Emmons, who along with his party reached the summit on August 5, 1837. Reaching the summit was hampered by the difficulties of traveling through virgin forests and thick scrub that surrounded Mount Marcy. Today there exists many well maintained trails, of which same offer access to the summit as a day hike.

Although the summit was reached in 1837, the first trail was not cut until 1861 by "Old Mountain" Phelps and other guides. This trail departed the Upper Ausable Lake and approached Mount Marcy from the current trail system through Panther Gorge, then followed South-East slides up Mount Marcy.

The trail was abandoned by 1873 in favor of a new trail that was cut by workers performing the Adirondack Survey led by Verplanck Colvin. This new trail closely follows the current trail from Elk Lake going along Marcy Brook toward four corners.

Hiking Trails

Approaching Mount Marcy can be accomplished from all directions, East, South, West and North. The most popular route leaves the Adirondack Loj following the Van Hoevenberg Trail. Many of the routes listed here can be accomplished as day hikes for climbers that are in fit condition.
Adirondack Loj
Van Hoevenberg Trail 7.4 miles Most popular route as a day hike
Van Hoevenberg, past Lake Arnold to Four Corners 8.95 miles Demanding route with plenty of scenery.
Garden Parking Lot in Keene Valley
Phelps Trail 9.1 miles. Popular route, especially if camping or staying at Johns Brook Lodge.
Great Range Trail 13.5 miles Very demanding route, limited camping on the trail.