Big Slide #27 4,240′
Big Slide via the Brothers is a fantastic day hike with many picturesque viewpoints along the way. The total elevation gain on this trail is about 2,800′ over the 8 miles round trip. As it is one of the easier High Peak trails, it is a great place to start for beginners, older hikers or families. Keep in mind though that this is a High Peak, and that means some challenging scrambles and climbs over open rock areas. The First Brother at 1.5 miles and the Second Brother at 1.8 miles provide great destinations for day hikes should the trail prove to be a little too much for your group.
The parking area for this trail has been dubbed “The Garden.” This is a popular starting area for several hikes and there is a 7$ parking fee that goes to support the ADK MTN Club (the fee may have changed). Parking is limited at The Garden, so be mindful of that when planning hikes for the busy season. Usually on summer weekends there is a shuttle from an additional parking area at Marcy Field just north of Keene Valley on RT 73. For more information on the shuttle and parking check out the ADK Club’s webpage here.
Taking a right from the parking lot, follow the blue markers up the hill to the trail split. Stay on the trail to Big Slide. After crossing Juliet Brook at 0.4 miles the trail begins gaining elevation up to the First Brother. After some steady uphill hiking you come to the first viewpoint at 0.8 miles with a fantastic side view of the Lower Great Range.
The trail weaves back into and out of the woods and meets some steeper rock scramble areas as it makes its way to the summit of the First Brother at 1.5 miles and 2,940’ (gaining 1,437’ from The Garden). The First Brother provides fantastic views of the area and is a great spot for a snack break! Leaving the First Brother the trail descends slightly, then comes to the rocky side of the Second Brother. After some steep climbing the trail reaches the summit of the Second Brother at 1.7 miles.
The trail rolls over the top of the Second Brother and descends slightly to a col, then climbs to the summit of the Third Brother at 2.7 miles. At 3,681’ on Third Brother you have gained 2,160’ from The Garden. The trail descends and crosses a couple streams before restarting it’s climb. At that point the trail gains elevation as it nears the next trail junction with the trail to Yard Mountain.
Take the trail to the right 0.3 miles to the summit of Big Slide! From here the trail gains the final elevation over open rock and steeper terrain with the aid of several ladders. The summit is marked by a small marker. Although it is not a bald summit, it does have a nice open view spot from which you can see the Great Range and other mountains.