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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sleeping Beauty/ Bumps Pond(Adirondacks)

Drove north to the east side of Lake George after work today to do some hiking in the Hogtown Road area.  Hogtown Road provides access to many different trails and today I would be climbing Sleeping Beauty Mountain from Dacy Clearing.  From here, the trail climbs to the open summit area of Sleeping Beauty in 1.7 miles.  Much of the trail is rocky and follows an old carriage trail upwards.
 The trail climbs steadily much of the way but is not exceedingly steep.
 Rocky trail.  Total elevation gain is 800 feet on the ascent.
 Once you arrive at the large, open, rocky clearing you are treated to sweeping views to the east, south and west over Lake George.  Here is a view from the first rock clearing looking southeast.
 Looking west at the clifftops and Lake George below.
 East views are incredible, stretching all the way into Vermont.
 The Green Mountains of Vermont rising in the east above the Champlain Valley.
 There are several rocky cliffs and clearings which provide unbelievable views and also provide different perspectives.
 This is truly a magical spot and makes you want to linger for as long as possible.  Here is a fire ring at a rocky clearing.
 A great look at the steep cliffs of Sleeping Beauty from a lower cliff.
 A panoramic view to the east.
 Panoramic view to the west.
 A closer look at Lake George allows you to see the Tongue Mountain Range jutting out into the Lake and Shelving Rock Mountain in the foreground.  Cat Mountain and many other distant Adirondack peaks rise further to the west.
 Looking down over the Lake George Wild Forest from the steep cliffs.
 Farmland in Fort Ann below West Mountain and the Pinnacle.
 Amazingly I had the area to myself for about a half hour before another couple and their dog showed up.
 Late afternoon sun shining bright from a shoulder of Sleeping Beauty.
 A raptor was flying above me and swooping down, riding the thermal drafts.
 Looking up at the rocky clifftop.  The warm summer breeze felt amazing.  I hung out for quite a while, soaking in the solitude. 
 Clearing skies over Lake George.
 While not the true summit of Sleeping Beauty, this is the location with the best views and is one of the most popular day hikes in the southern Adirondacks.
 A great spot to sit and relax.
 A small forest fire last year claimed some trees and scarred this area.
 Rolling peaks to the southwest.
 Montcalm Point and multiple islands.
 After hanging out at the summit for over a half hour I finally went back down the trail to the junction for Bumps Pond.  I still had enough fleeting sunlight to take my time exploring this trail. 
 It is quite an ascent to the pond as you climb up an old rocky road once again.
 Bumps Pond is a pretty, quiet pond with an elevation of 2020 feet.  This gives the pond its character, edged with marsh plants and rimmed with conifer.
 The late afternoon sun was just starting to set beyond a shoulder of Sleeping Beauty, creating a very pretty scene.
 A picturesque spot.
 One last look back at Bumps Pond.
Fishbrook Pond and its lean tos are just a bit further down the trail but it was getting late and I had to head back to the car. Would have loved to explore more but that will have to wait for another day.  Overall, hiked just under 5 miles RT and enjoyed it very much.

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