Sleeping Beauty Mountain is a short, but steep 1.8 mile hike through varied and beautiful forests to a craggy mountaintop with views of Lake George and the mountain and ridges of Washington County.
Sleeping Beauty Mountain
1.8 miles (3.6 miles round-trip)
Fort Ann, Washington County
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Hike Up Sleeping Beauty Mountain
Sleeping Beauty Mountain is a 1.8-mile hike from the Dacy Clearing Road parking lot and trailhead. Sleeping Beauty is located ln public Forest Preserve in the Lake George Wild Forest area on the east side of Lake George in Washington County. This is a short, but rugged and steep hike over the well-worn and heavily eroded trail. At times, the gate at the entrance of Dacy Clearing Road is closed, and hikers need to park at the Hogtown Parking Area, which adds about 3 miles onto the hike’s length.
The trailhead is accessed from Route 149, between Queensbury and Fort Ann. Turn north on Buttermilk Falls Road, followed after several miles by a left turn onto Sly Pond Road. From there, the road turns into Shelving Rock Road, which leads to the Hogtown Trailhead to Sleeping Beauty and Dacy Clearing Road. There are also four campsites along the road between Hogtown and Dacy Clearing.
Sleeping Beauty Mountain Trail
The trail begins at Dacy Clearing parking lot. The trail starts out wide and very rocky, with large rocks acting as stepping stones through wet and muddy areas. After about three-quarters of a mile, the trail reaches a junction. Both trails lead the summit of Sleeping Beauty. The trail to the left goes by Bumps Pond, while the trail to the right passes below cliffs that are popular with rock climbers. The trail around Bump Pond is considerably longer.
Turning right, the trail soon passes over a small bridge in a grassy area, and then bears southeast. At this point, it begins to ascend steep sections. After a few switchbacks, the trail grows steep and heavily eroded with huge overlapping roots and open cliff faces. The surrounding forest changes from a northern hardwoods to a one dominated by conifers, especially hemlock and spruce.
The Summit of Sleeping Beauty Mountain
Near the summit, on the northeast side of the mountain, the trail connects with the Bumps Pond trail. Soon the trail reaches a major overlook area that has large spaces of open rock. This is technically a false summit but is nearly the height of the full mountain and it’s the place where the vast majority of people stop on this hike. The views are sweeping of Lake George and the mountains and ridges on the east side. The true summit is less than another half mile along the full loop but is fully under tree cover with no viewpoints.
Hikers can choose whether to turn back at this point and follow the same route down, or continue on in a loop to Bumps Pond. The trail around Bumps Pond add about two miles to the hike. The hike is overall of moderate difficulty, with some significant steep sections, although it is only a total of 3.6 miles from Dacy Clearing. If the road into Dacy Clearing is not open, the walk in the road would add a total of three miles, adding significantly to the overall hike and difficulty level, so be aware of the possibility that it could be closed at certain times of year. It is most often open in the summer, but early spring and fall the gate could be unpredictable.
Click here to download a map and trail directions for Sleeping Beauty Mountain.
When You Hike Make Sure to Practice “Leave No Trace” to be Prepared and to Protect the Forest Preserve
Please follow “carry in, carry out” rules for all trash and follow other Leave No Trace principles when hiking in the public Forest Preserve and other wild areas. The seven Leave No Trace principles are: 1) Plan ahead and prepare; 2) Stay on hiking trails and camp at designated areas; 3) Dispose of human waste and trash properly; 4) Leave what you find; 5) Minimize campfires; 6) Respect wildlife; 7) Respect other hikers.
Educated hikers do not damage the environment. Prepared hikers do not need search and rescue unless injured.
Winter Use: Sleeping Beauty Mountain is a popular mountain for snowshoeing in the winter, though snowplowing on the access roads is spotty.
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