Completing “the Jaws” during the Colors

IMG_1082Two weeks ago, we hiked Upper Wolf Jaw and Armstrong (see here). It was time now to finish the Lower Great Range. Lower Wolf Jaw is actually the first High Peak along the Great Range Trail and has five distinct approaches to its summit.

The thirtieth highest peak in the Adirondacks, the first 4000er in the great range, or last depending which way you go, and the slightly lower and more dramatic of the Wolf Jaw pair. The peak or better the pair of peaks (Lower & Upper Wolf Jaw) were named in sometime in 1869-72 when Alexander Wyant, a well known artist of the time, painted the peaks and stated the deep col between the two suggested a great pair of Wolf Jaws.

We parked at the designated parking area near the Ausable Club in Saint Huberts and, once again, the parking lot was full. At the gate, we followed the trail on the right, to the Ausable River. Once on the opposite side of the river, we continued straight on the W.A. White Trail. This is a 5.1 mile hike to the summit.

The trail started out slowly over rolling hills before making a sharp turn west and climbing steeply toward the summit. As the trail moved moderately through interesting forest features and fall colors, we gained a few unexpected views before joining up with the Range Trail at 3.0 miles from our start. We went on straight and eventually over the lower “jaw” followed by a very steep scramble to the summit.

The views are pretty good even though the summit is mostly wooded. It is almost fully tree covered but there are a few spots where to find views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. We had lunch there, before going down (careful, it is steep and tends to be quite slippery in spots on the descent) to the Wedge Brook Trail. And then, it was back to the river trail, if only on the left bank, for a change).

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Overall, it was a 10-mile, 6-hour pleasant hike. Temperature in the 60’s all day, but there was some wind at the summit. And, who would not enjoy such colors? We have now hiked 18 of the 46ers!

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Colorful leaves on the ground, here…

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… and there…

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…even in the water!

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