Yard Mountain in the Adirondack Mountains, Hike Yard Mountain, Yard Mountain Trail Report and Maps. Because of an error in Measurement Yard and MacNaughton are not in the 46 High Peak List
1. Start on Klondike Pass Trail from Johns Brook Lodge
2. Connect to Yard Trail to summit
3. At Yard's summit either return the way you came or make the hike a loop by continuing from Yard to Big Slide
4. Down Big Slide Trail and back to JBL
Trip In A Nutshell:
Why Yard Mtn Is Not A Member of the High Peaks for 46'er Purposes:
You may ask why Yard Mtn is not a member of those peaks that must be climbed to attain Forty-Sixer status, since it is at 4008 feet elevation and since it meets other criteria, listed below, also imposed for the original selection of peaks. Yard didn't make the cut back then because of error in measurement due to inaccuracies in the tools available at the time. MacNaughton, also, was underestimated and meets requirements. It is right at 4000 feet elevation.
However, accurate measurement works both ways. Four peaks; Blake, Cliff, Nye, and Couchsachraga; do not meet the 4000 foot requirement.
So what are the criteria, besides an elevation of 4000 feet?
According to the Adirondack Mountain Club's Guide to Adirondack Trails, High Peaks Region, 12th Edition, Vol. 1, page 290: "The criteria for these original 46 peaks were that each peak be at least 0.75 mi. distant from the nearest higher summit, or that it rise at least 300 vertical feet on all sides."
That said, even those hikers aiming only for 46'er status really ought not miss Yard.
So you start this one at Johns Brook Lodge. Walk around back of the lodge to the start of the RED Klondike Pass Trail. Follow it about 1.2 miles to the start of the trail for Yard and Big Slide. Hike over good soft trail, through dark, but open, pine forest. The path climbs slowly through somber colors and occasional sunlit patches of rock or bush. It winds among massive stone outcroppings a few of which you will negotiate without undue problems. These are more akin to amusing puzzles than hindrances.
The path is seldom steep, but it is very different in mood and texture than the more often used trail that climbs Big Slide and then continues over to Yard where it becomes this trail. This is one of our favorite routes to anywhere, a departure from most Adirondack trails, but if you read all the pages at Adirondack Journey you'll find that I say that a lot. ...but I really, really mean it about Yard!
Usually we can find something to whine about when we get to this part of the page, but we found this trail a pleasure for the feet and the spirit. Due to the high tree story and spongy soil typical of coniferous forests, this walk gives the hiker the opportunity to see hundreds of yards all around and the trail is easy on the feet. One caution may be that there are rock formations that you must squeeze through. There might be an an agility factor here, but we think that anyone who wants to can find a work-around for these several situations.
All in all, we rate this hike to Yard's summit and back as moderate at most, and a real good time.