1. A loop on AMR land starting from Rt. 73.
2. Ascent of Sawteeth.
Maps intersect as shown. Hike in on Lake Road in lower right corner of Map 1. Go to AMR for complete maps of Lake Road. Above Lake Road on west side of Ausable River is the East River Trail. It crosses to the east side on bridge shown.
Trip In A Nutshell:
This hike begins as an easy 4.2 mile hike along the Ausable Club's "Lake Road" across AMR land from the DEC parking lot on Rte. 73 near the Ausable Club to the start of the Scenic Trail near the Boathouse. (Visit a description of the Lake Road.) The ascent of Sawteeth via Scenic Trail is difficult and strenuous. It is steep to very steep. Trail condition is excellent. The descent is moderate via the Alfred E. Weld trail. Here the trail is excellent and not particularly steep. Return to the Ausable Club via the easy to moderate East River Trail.
Views Rating: OUTSTANDING
Sawteeth has two very different sorts of views depending on which side of the summit you happen to be on. On the SE or lake side of the peak there are excellent views of the Ausable Lakes and Colvin Range that persist from early in the ascent all the way up.
Once over the top you are presented with views of the Great Range less than a half mile to the north. These are outstanding, bordering on fantastic views that take in much of the Great Range with dramatic close-ups of the slides and anorthosite rock faces of Basin, Pyramid, and Gothics.
This is an excellent hike which provides access to some of the finest views in the Adirondacks. "Scenic Trail" which ascends Sawteeth is where the views are. The trail lives up to its name---no question! You have three routes to choose from to get to the Scenic trail from the DEC parking lot. We chose to take the fastest, easiest route, Lake Road, to travel in from the Gate at the Ausable Club to Scenic trail. We returned via the East River trail, which parallels Lake Road and is much more interesting, but slower than Lake Road. ERT affords views of the "canyons" (an extravagant exaggeration found in one guide book) through which the Ausable River runs. A number of falls and rapids can also be viewed. A third option, not covered here, is West River trail. Like the East River trail and Lake Road this trail parallels the Ausable River, but takes a more mountainous course that, offers negligible mountain views, but provides a terrific Middle Earth sort of elflike wonderland of mushrooms, ferns, and other plant "stuff" that a botanist can explain, but I can't. Take my word for it, the West River Trail is worthwhile!
The hike up Sawteeth via Scenic Trail is steep, but worth every drop of sweat. Periodically, during the climb, the trail conveniently detours to numbered overlooks that provide impressive views of the Colvin Range and the Ausable Lakes. Bring a camera. Even so, the real pay-off is just past the summit which you will reach only after considerable up and down hiking, traversing the "teeth" of Sawteeth. These are an interesting departure from the continuous upward slope of most mountains; surely there is no other mountain in the Adirondacks that provides quite the variety offered by Sawteeth.
The view from the summit of Sawteeth is highly rated many experienced hikers dating back into the 19th Century. This acclaim comes from its spectacular close-up view of the Great Range, particularly the awesome slides that have increased in number and length since Hurricane Floyd. I rate it one of the top three in the category of "bare rock views", taking into consideration the magnificent views of Mt. Colden offered by Algonquin Peak, and the the view of the Great Range from Mt. Colvin.
If you are fit, ready for a long day, and want to turn this into a loop recognized by some as the most scenic in the Adirondacks, then try the following variation on the above route.
Ascend Sawteeth via Scenic Trail as above, but continue up Pyramid, then Gothics. Some call this the most spectacular loop in the Adirondacks. Sawteeth, in particular, is spectacular.
The hike will gain in credibility if, when you intersect the Range Trail near Gothics' summit, you head as though for Saddleback, but only far enough to stand in the open atop Gothics' western slope for the view of the Upper Range.
From there retrace your steps, but remain on the Lower Range Trail which takes you over Armstrong and Upper Wolf Jaw into the saddle between Upper and Lower Wolf Jaws.
From the saddle descend to the Ausable Club.