Scenic and Destination Hikes Adirondack High Peaks
Length: 14.8 miles roundtrip
Elevation: 4840 ft. Elevation change: 2354 ft.
Gray Peak is the 7th highest peak in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondack Park, and is located in close proximity to Mount Marcy, the highest peak in New York State. It was named for Asa Gray, the most important American botanist of the 19th century born and raised in Sauquoit, NY, by Verplanck Colvin. 1
Gray Peak is the tallest of the trail-less High Peaks and has an act of putting on two totally different faces depending on the season. In summer, it is slightly treed with stunted growth, in winter the trees are buried and it resembles that of a bald summit. Gray sits right off the west shoulder of Mount Marcy, giving it outstanding views of its big sister. Gray Peak can be approached from several different directions, but the shortest approach is Adirondack Loj Road/Heart Lake, as shown here. 2
Use of the direct route between Mt. Marcy and Gray Peak is now discourage to help preserve the alpine vegetation.
There are great camping opportunities at Uphill and Feldspar lean-tos if you wanted to make a weekend of the hike. A day trip can be very taxing on the body and will consume your entire day. 2
It is Lake Tear of the Clouds that is the real interesting spot in the area. Not only is it a very beautiful lake affording great pictures of Marcy standing majestically in the background, there are also a number of First Nation pictoglyphs and cravings around the lake. Most noticeable and easiest to find is a large set of concentric rings next to the trail. There is some doubt whether these are a modern man made or of natural or First Nation origin.3