Phelps & Table Top Mountain (#26 & #27)

Date of Hike: 6/8/11

South Meadow Truck Trail: 2.8 miles
Van Hovenburg Trail: 0.8 miles
Phelps Spur Trail: 2.4 miles
Van Hovenburg Trail: 1.2 miles
Table Top Herd Path: 1.2 miles
Van Hovenburg Trail: 2.0 miles
South Meadow Truck Trail: 2.8 miles
Total Miles: 13.2 miles (3,000 elevation gain)

Trip Report:
- After back to back long day hikes, soaring hot and humid temperatures predicted, and a two day backpacking trip through the Great Range with the Diaz brothers the next day I figured I'd play it safe with a short hike up the Van Hoe Trail to Phelps and Table Top mountain.
- As luck would have it as I was driving in to the main parking lot at the ADK Loj I saw the barricades for South Meadows Road had been removed which was great so I could park for free and take the truck trail to Marcy dam and hook up with the Van Hoe Trail.
- The truck trail was a nice welcome treat not having to deal with the rough and rugged trails for a couple of miles.  I stopped at Marcy Dam and took a break before I headed up the Van Hoe and Phelps Trails which were in decent shape with moderate grades all the way up to the summit of Phelps where I had a close up view of Table Top, Marcy, and the backside of Mount Colden which isn't nearly as impressive than the side which drops sharply into Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake.
- On the way to the herd path for Table Top I ran into some park employees on their way up Marcy with an Alpine Zone "Stay on Trail" sign.
- The herd path for Table Top was marked with a cairn and the trail was very easy to follow but it was back to rough, rugged, and muddy conditions up to the wooded summit.
- The hike back to Marcy Dam was quick but the temps were climbing and the bugs were starting to come out.  At the dam I sat with my legs hanging over the edge and had lunch and relaxed for a half hour or so before heading back to my car via the truck trail as the temps climbed to 90 degrees where I called it a day!

Pictures: Click here for all pictures

 Marcy Dam
 Table Top and Mount Marcy
from Phelps Mountain
Foot bridge over the Phelps Brook

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