New York - Giant Mountain

giant-mountain-adirondacks

Distance: Without the accidental detour, 6 miles RT

Elevation: 4,626 ft

Dog-friendliness: Morton gives this one 2 stars. For dogs big dogs who hike very frequently and have built up their footpads to be thicker or small dogs whose owners are willing to carry them up rock scrambles.

High Peaks 46: #12 tallest on the list

giant-mountain-dog
giant-mountain-hike-map

As you can see in the map above, that little hook claw was the accidental detour we took on the trail. Once we figured out that we weren't on the blue trail anymore, we retraced our steps to see where we went wrong and then continued to the top. 

giant-mountain-trail

The trail was very steep and rocky. Morton's a big dog, but there were some spots where we really had to help him to jump up onto a large rock -- the handle on his pack came in handy a number of times. There was also a strange bridge made of 4 boards that Morton wasn't a huge fan of (below).

giant-mountain-bridge

But my goodness, the views! This was our first trip to the Adirondacks and we completely fell in love. It was quite a drive from Brooklyn (6 hours), but the scenery was so worth it!

giant-mountain-lookout

Early on in the hike, we got a great view of this lake. We thought -- Man, are we at the top already? This view is incredible! That thought process happened a number of times, and it became a joke between us to say Surely this is the top!

giant-mountain-view
giant-mountain-us
giant-mountain-morton

When we finally did make it to the top, we were completely taken back. We found a quiet spot a little ways from the top to sit and soak it all in.

giant-mountain-matt

Even Morton couldn't take his eyes off of the gorgeousness.

morton-view
giant-mountain-view-top

We had a quick snack (all of us), drank a lot of water, and took a 20 minute nap on the rocks before heading back down.

quest-bar-snack

Yup, we napped on top of a mountain.

giant-mountain-nap

On the way down, we noticed that Morton was having a hard time. I checked his feet and saw that he had some pretty bad blisters on his paws. We took out our first aid kit and wrapped one of his feet with a bandage. That helped him a lot, but he was also just really tired. 

We carried him down a lot of the way. People were passing us in waves on the way down. When we were really close to the car, he plopped himself down on the rocks. We all took another breather and then finished the hike.

tired-morton

We had planned to camp that night and hike more in the morning before heading back to Brooklyn, but ended up curtailing the trip to tend to our tired pup. We drove back home and let Morton take a nice 6 hour nap during the trip. When we got home, we cleaned him up and put Neosporin and more bandages on his feet. 

For the future, we are thinking about investing in some dog hiking boots. Apparently Morton wasn't the only dog who got blisters on that mountain this weekend. A family that passed us on the trail down said there was another dog dealing with worse blisters than Morton. If you have any tips for preventing blisters on dogs feet, I'm open ears!

What did you guys do this Memorial Day weekend?