Adirondack Mountains

Range TypeMountain range with well-recognized name
Highest PointMount Marcy (5344 ft/1629 m)
CountriesUnited States (93%), Canada (7%)
(numbers are approximate percentage of range area)
States/ProvincesNew York (92%), Québec (7%)
(numbers are approximate percentage of range area)
Area18,702 sq mi / 48,438 sq km
Area may include lowland areas
Extent182 mi / 293 km North-South
162 mi / 261 km East-West
Center Lat/Long44° 7' N; 74° 53' W
Map LinkMicrosoft Bing Map

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The Adirondacks are not part of the Appalachian Mountains, despite being just across Lake Champlain from the Green Mountains and just across the Mohawk River from the Catskills, both Appalachian ranges. Aside from the broad valleys that separate the Adirondacks from its neighbors, the geology of the range is very distinct--steep, rocky slabs of exposed bedrock and a more jumbled topography give the Adirondacks the same general wild, rugged character and feeling of the Canadian Shield territory to the north.

So, even though the U.S. Geological Survey's map of physiographic regions groups the Adirondacks in the "Appalachian Highlands Division", and the range lies well south of the rest of the Canadian Shield, classifying them as part of the Appalachian Mountains is just plain wrong. So this site places the triangle of land between the Saint Lawrence, the Mohawk, and Lake Champlain as a dangling outlier of the huge, geologically similar belt of the lowlands and hills stretching across Canada.

The Adirondacks, especially the High Peaks area, are perhaps the most consistently high, wild, and remote mountain area in the eastern United States. The White Mountains may be higher, some of Maine's peaks more remote, and both states's ranges more extensive, but only the Adirondacks combine a huge area of rugged mountians and remote wilderness. Trails here are generally steeper and more rugged than those in New England, and about half of the 50 highest peaks don't even have maintained trails. Some of the higher peaks are so far from roads that many hikers are not able to do them on dayhikes, a situation almost unheard of in the most Appalachian ranges.

Most of the Adirondacks remained an unexplored wilderness well into the mid-1800s, when huge parts of the Rockies had already been well-mapped.

Map of Adirondack Mountains
Click on red triangle icons for links to other ranges.

Note: Range borders shown on map are an approximation and are not authoritative.
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Other Ranges: To go to pages for other ranges either click on the map above, or on range names in the hierarchy snapshot below, which show the parent, siblings, and children of the Adirondack Mountains.
Canadian ShieldLevel 3 (Parent)
         Canadian Arctic ShoresLevel 4 (Sibling)
         North-Central Canadian ShieldLevel 4 (Sibling)
         Northern OntarioLevel 4 (Sibling)
         Northern QuebecLevel 4 (Sibling)
         Torngat MountainsLevel 4 (Sibling)
         Central and South LabradorLevel 4 (Sibling)
         Laurentian MountainsLevel 4 (Sibling)
         Adirondack MountainsLevel 4
                 Northwest AdirondacksLevel 5 (Child)
                 Northern AdirondacksLevel 5 (Child)
                 Adirondack High PeaksLevel 5 (Child)
                 Eastern AdirondacksLevel 5 (Child)
                 Tug HillLevel 5 (Child)
                 Southern AdirondacksLevel 5 (Child)

Major Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains

Ten Highest Peaks
RankPeak NameftmRange5
1.Mount Marcy53441629Adirondack High Peaks
2.Algonquin Peak51151559Adirondack High Peaks
3.Mount Haystack49611512Adirondack High Peaks
4.Mount Skylight49251501Adirondack High Peaks
5.Whiteface Mountain48651483Northern Adirondacks
6.Iroquois Peak48431476Adirondack High Peaks
7.Boundary Peak48291472Adirondack High Peaks
8.Basin Mountain48261471Adirondack High Peaks
9.Dix Mountain4823+1470+Adirondack High Peaks
10.Gothics47341443Adirondack High Peaks
Sub-peaks are excluded from this list. List may not be complete, since only summits in the PBC Database are included.
Child Range High Points
RankPeak NameftmRange5
1.Mount Marcy53441629Adirondack High Peaks
2.Whiteface Mountain48651483Northern Adirondacks
3.Giant Mountain46261410Eastern Adirondacks
4.Snowy Mountain38981188Southern Adirondacks
5.Mount Morris3133955Northwest Adirondacks
6.Gomer Hill2110+643+Tug Hill

Photos of Peaks in the Adirondack Mountains

Mount Marcy

Marcy is framed by trees in this view from Lake Tear of the Clouds, the highest lake source of the Hudson.
Algonquin Peak

The high dome of Algonquin from Boundary Peak.
Mount Haystack

Mount Haystack from Mount Marcy (1984-06-25).
Whiteface Mountain

A helicopter flies over the rime-ice encrusted summit building and walkway in this mid-February photo (1992-02-24).
Iroquois Peak
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Iroquois summit (far) and Boundary Peak from Algonquin (2014-08-10). Photo by Timothy Hutchings.
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Boundary Peak
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Iroquois summit (far) and Boundary Peak from Algonquin (2014-08-10). Photo by Timothy Hutchings.
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Basin Mountain
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Basin Mountain from Saddleback (2014-03-18). Photo by Timothy Hutchings.
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Dix Mountain
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Ridge leading to the Dix Mountain "Beckhorn" from Hough Peak (2012-07-05). Photo by Timothy Hutchings.
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Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Saddleback from Basin Mountain with Gothics in the immediate background (2014-08-30). Photo by Timothy Hutchings.
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Mount Colden
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Colden Slide from inside Avalanche Pass (2005-06). Photo by Mitch Bacharach.
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