Allen Mountain

July 25, 2015

We started the day planning to climb the Dix Range, but when we arrived at the trailhead at 5:30am, it was packed. So we re-evaluated. We could have parked about two miles from the trailhead and walked the road, but we really just wanted to get right in the woods. So we drove to the Santanoni trailhead, which was also full. I suggested Allen in passing, and upon seeing that the Upper Works trailhead was also filling fast, we impulsively decided that it was the day for Allen.

There were only a couple other cars in the Allen lot, so we knew there wouldn’t be too many people on trail – and we were excited. We started hiking around 6:45 and moved pretty quickly as the first 5-6 miles are flat. There are a number of river crossings on this trail, including the Hudson and Opalescent Rivers. Most of the major crossings had bridges, but the bridge that used to be over the Opalescent was washed out at some point. You reach the Opalescent about 4 miles into the hike. There are trail markers suggesting a route across, but we searched to see if there was a better spot because the rocks were pretty wet and slippery. We decided to take our boots off and cross barefoot. Since this wasn’t our original plan we didn’t bring sandals (which I would suggest!). We used trekking poles to keep our balance, but both got soaked up to our waists. The bottom of my pack even got a little wet! And the water was freezing! We dried our feet, put our boots back on, and got on our way! I can say that the trail was pretty muddy due to the swampy land surrounding the trail. But I guess that’s something you just have to expect.

We reached where the trail started going up around 11. There were a few spots where I felt as if I wouldn’t be able to make it up the trail. One specific rock slab was quite intimidating. The pictures we took really don’t do the rock slab any justice.

2015-07-25 14.34.31 I just imagine that if the rock slab were soaking wet, it would be nearly impossible to climb up. We kind of skirted to the sides, grabbing trees to pull ourselves up, even though that’s probably not the best thing for the trail.

We reached the summit around 1:15 and there wasn’t anyone else there! We passed a number of people who were coming down while we were still climbing. It was a great feeling to make it to the top of Allen. I’ve heard a lot of people say that they hate Allen or that it’s one of the most challenging high peaks, so it felt good to make the summit! We took a decent break to eat and we also explored around the summit and got a nice view from a small look out just past the actual summit. Someone had placed an American flag at the summit which I thought was awesome.2015-07-26 10.36.51

We headed down around 2. We stopped on our way down at a waterfall to refill our bottles as we drank a majority of the water carried in. I had 4 liters in my pack at the beginning of the day. We re-filled 3 liters, ate more food, and kept moving. Crossing the Opalescent on the way out was a little easier. We crossed closer to where the marked trail suggested and the water only came up mid-calve. The sand felt amazing under my feet after being stuck in my boots all day! After putting our boots back on (regretfully – I had some major blisters), we moved very quickly from the Opalescent out to the car.

We stopped a couple times to try and look back at what we had just climbed since we could see it on the way in. But it’s always cooler on the way out to say “wow, I can’t believe we were on top of that!”2015-07-25 18.19.58And there it was in all its glory! We also stopped to get a couple of artsy photos while the sun was going down.

2015-07-25 19.10.05

We got back to the trailhead around 8pm – just as it was getting dark. We were the only car in the parking lot. We were glad to make it back to the car before dark, but it did take us 13 hours to complete the trip. I would definitely suggest doing Allen during the summer months when the days are longer! Overall, it was a great trip. Although it was such a long day, it was really cool to be in such a remote area. Lucky number 13/46

One comment

  1. Thanks for following my blog! Nice to see my friends and I aren’t the only ones who change plans after we arrive at a trailhead :p Good luck with your remaining peaks its a lot of fun!

    Liked by 1 person

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