Upper and Lower Wolfjaw mountains are among the Adirondack 46 High Peaks standing at 4,185 feet and 4,175 feet respectively. They rank 29th and 30th in New York’s list of highest peaks.
If these peaks were located anywhere else, the views from the top would draw huge crowds. Because they’re so close to other hikes with equally incredible views, like Noonmark, Gothics, and Indian Head and Fish Hawk Cliffs, the Wolfjaws see far fewer visitors than other hikes with an easier approach. With a minimum of a 6-mile one-way hike to reach the summit of Upper Wolfjaw, the hike is brutal no matter how you approach it.
Most people begin their hike at the St. Huberts Trailhead near the entrance to the Ausable Club. Follow the Ausable Club Road and Lake Road to the trail register. Turn right, following signs for Lower Wolfjaw. Once you’ve crossed the bridge over the East Branch of the Ausable River, the trail begins a steady ascent that doesn’t let up until you’ve reached the prominent ridge on the northeast shoulder of Lower Wolfjaw. An overlook reveals excellent views of Noonmark and the lower East Branch Ausable valley.
The trail descends steeply from the ridge and then climbs steeply back up a bedrock scramble before reaching the wooded summit. It’s marked by a small wooden sign, and a small overlook can be found to the side on top of a large rock. The views over Keene Valley are phenomenal.
The trail once again dives into another col, this time between Lower and Upper Wolfjaw. While the remaining climb is steep, it’s nothing compared to the final pitch on Lower Wolfjaw. The summit can be reached by following a short spur trail to the top of a rocky outcropping. The rest of the Great Range leads away to the southwest, with excellent views of the Dix Range and Giant Mountain to the south and east.
From the summit of Upper Wolfjaw, either continue along the Range Trail to the southwest to summit Armstrong before descending to the Lake Road or backtrack 0.9 mile to the col between the Wolfjaws and follow a 1.6-mile trail to the west shore of the East Branch of the Ausable. Proceed downstream until you reach the first bridge over the river and follow signs for the Lake Road. The trail register will be about 1.4 miles down the road.