For this hike you'll only be on a trail for about half the distance. Starting from Upper Works Trailhead follow the old woods road being sure to make the left toward Indian Pass about 0.25 miles in. Follow the trail here toward Indian Pass. The trail is very easy to follow and is mostly on a flat with moderate small hills. One tricky section is crossing the bridge at 2 miles. There's usually a few feet of snow on it, making the hand rails knee to ankle high.
Once accross the bridge it is only 0.6 miles to the Wallface Lean-to, you're last look at civilization until you get back. Continue on the trail for approx. 0.3 miles to the second drainage (this is not the drainage seen on topo maps coming from Wallface Ponds). This is where you will leave the trail and start a very rewarding bushwhack. Following the stream you are in open woods and on a nice flat surface. However, that doesn't last long as you will be filtered into a steep gully, then to the base of a waterfall, only to be place back into another gully. The brook will then narrow as you work your way up it and eventually out of it. Once the brook ends you will find yourself on the steep slopes of South MacNaughton fighting deep snow at a near 45 degree slope.
On South MacNauhton you will be able to see the true summit 0.5 miles away to the North. South MacNaughton in winter is an almost bald summit with awesome views of the MacIntyres and other surrounding peaks. The remaining bushwhack to the true summit is much more gradual but the woods are thicker in spots. The true summit again is very open with the deep snow pack. The summit sign is very low, so you will have to look down for it.
From I-87 exit 29, head toward Newcomb on the Blue Ridge Road. Follow here to the intersection into the High Peaks Area also known as Tahawus. Continue on following signs to the High Peaks Wilderness. The road will dead end at the Upper Works Trailhead.
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Posted By: peak_bgr
- Wed Mar 05 19:58:31 UTC 2008
CommentThis could be done anytime of year. Also a great hike route up this 4000 footer, however without the snow, blowdown can be an issue. Spring also brings high water in the drainage, so if hiked in spring wait till snow melt and high water is at a minimum.