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Whiteface & Esther via the Observatory Parking Lot


Submitted By Michael Addario

The Mountains & Stats

11 miles with 1 feet of gain
  • Esther (4240 Feet, NY) globe Mountain
  • Whiteface (4867 Feet, NY) globe Mountain

People On The Trip

Trip Report

     Woke up Saturday morning and drove a lil' ways up to the trailhead at the observatory parking lot for Whiteface & Esther. We parked after the building at the start of the trail - it's not marked or anything, except for with a large orange cone. We left, with a little bit of downhill followed immediately at the base of Marble, very steep uphill. Straight up, not hard to follow at all. It was a quick 1000ft or so in 0.9miles. From the sign, it got a lil' less steep and we headed up towards Esther [another sign notes the junction to the right] Nice trails, just rocky. We went up and over Lookout Mountain almost immediately, too bad we didn't have ANY views since everything was fogged in, it was very windy, and we were just waiting for the rain to come pouring down. We kept going on over to Esther. Again, no views, we took our picture [Meghan finished her first half] and headed back and on towards Whiteface. We saw that Whiteface was still in the clouds, we were optimistic tho to see ANYTHING at the top. Within the next hour, we reached the summit within a hour or so after some rock hopping and enjoyed our time on the view-less summit. We took the elevator down after talking to the guy working it to check out the REAL castle! Who would've thunk that bringing some cash would've worked in our favor for some lunch other than a Cliff bar! We took the "scenic trail" back up to the summit to enjoy some trail mix and a cliff bar before heading back down, hoping to catch some views. In the hour that we were up there, not one cloud lifted enough to see anything below us. We started back down, saw an awesome catipillar, and before we knew it were already back to the car. We hit the car right before the rain really started coming down. Refreshing!

The Good and The Bad

The Good:

Straight up to the summit, taking the elevator down

The Bad:

Seeing another chair lift being built near the top, no views due to cloud coverage, loud Qubec people at the summit

The Drive

Rain on the way back home


  • none
  • Virdone's suggestion for starting at the Observatory
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