Lake Placid and Whiteface Mountain go together like two peas in a pod. But I've got a secret for you - Whiteface Mountain isn't in Lake Placid! Whiteface is actually about 9 miles northeast of Lake Placid, in a little town called Wilmington. But, in the Adirondacks, everything is so spread out that 9 miles doesn't really matter!
Whiteface is one of the High Peaks. At 4,386 feet, it qualifies as one
of the 46'ers. What's different about Whiteface, though, is that it's
the only one of the Adirondack High Peaks that you can drive up. The Veteran's Memorial Highway takes you almost to the very top of the mountain.
The picture to the right shows what the Highway looks like as it winds
its way up Whiteface Mountain. At each hairpin turn you'll see some incredible
vistas spread out before you. In fact, sometimes it seems as if your
car is going to drive right off the road, because all you see is sky as
you look out your windshield!
But don't worry - they haven't lost anybody yet! (I think!)
If you'd like to drive to the top of Whiteface Mountain, you'll need to go to Wilmington, which as I said is 9 miles to the northeast of Lake Placid. At the bottom of the Memorial Highway is a toll house where you'll need to purchase tickets.
Then the road climbs 8 miles to the summit. The drive itself is really neat, because you can see the change in plant life as you go up in elevation.
The Veterans Memorial Highway isn't open all year round, so make sure to check if you plan on going in the fall or spring seasons. The cost per car changes each year too. Click here to check.
With your ticket in hand, your time on the mountain is unlimited, so it's well worth the cost for some unrivaled views of the Adirondacks that you can share with your whole family.
Once you drive to the top of Whiteface Mountain and park your vehicle, you'll find what can only be described as a castle. It's a really neat little building with restrooms and a small cafe where you can buy drinks, or get a light lunch.
This is what you'll see when you leave the castle! These steps make up
the trail to get the rest of the way to the actual official summit of
Whiteface. It's definitely a doable climb for most people, and there
are handrails all the way to the top.
Even though it's not a real hike, I'd still strongly recommend that you wear some sort of walking shoes. I can't tell you how many times I've seen women (and men!) in shoes that are totally unsuitable for walking around on rocks and uneven ground. High heels, flimsy flip-flops, you name it and I've seen it on top of Whiteface Mountain.
Or, if you don't want to or can't climb, you can always take the elevator! Elevator? Yes, elevator! At the parking area, there is a tunnel that leads deep into the mountain (don't worry, it's well-lit!) and to an elevator that will take you right up to the tip-top of Whiteface. It holds about 5 or 6 people at a time, and there's actually an elevator operator there! So you might have a little wait if there's a crowd of people.
So, however you choose you get there, this is what you'll see. This
tower sits right at the summit, and also functions as a weather station.
If you take the elevator up, you'll come up right inside this tower!
From the summit, you'll see breathtaking views of the Adirondacks, the Green Mountains of Vermont (if the weather is clear) and Lake Champlain. You can walk around on the rocks and just sit and take in the view.
You also might see folks walking up the hiking trail that leads to the top of the mountain, too. You'll see them making their way slowly up the side of the mountain. If you're trying to be become a member of the 46ers, you'll have to climb Whiteface - no cheating now!
This mountain has become a destination in itself, hosting events all year 'round. It's a winter ski destination unparalleled in the East, but there are also summertime events as well.
Whiteface Mountain has something to offer just about anyone.
Whiteface Mountain is an incredible place, no matter what the season! Have you had an amazing vacation there? Or maybe you were there for the 1980 Olympic Games! Perhaps you hiked up Whiteface and the experience stayed with you.
If you've got a Whiteface story to share, my visitors and I would love to hear it! Just fill out the form below and share it with the world!
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Rob and I are hoping to get married up there this summer!
Old clunker broke down at the top of Whiteface Mountain
In 1983, when I was 14, my parents took me and my sisters to Lake Placid. We drove up to Whiteface Mountain in our old clunker. At the VERY TOP of the …
THE LONG WINDING ROAD TO WHITEFACE
IN THE SUMMER OF 1946 MY TWIN SISTER AND I ATTENDED CAMP UNDERCLIFF. WE HAD A WONDERFUL TIME WITH MANY MEMORIES WHICH LINGER YET.
I STUDIED PIANO, …
An Awesome Whiteface Mountain Experience! Not rated yet
I have two dogs & we took the short but amazing trail from the autoroad up to the top of Whiteface. Some assists were needed but the handrails kept something …
July 1950. Not rated yet
Going through my old picture collection. Found this baby of Whiteface Mt. It's dated July 1950
Youngest Whiteface Climber? Not rated yet
June 20, 2008
My 7 year old daughter and I climbed from the path entrance on route 86, to the peak and back down again. Required about 7 hours total, …
Happy Childhood Memories Not rated yet
When I was a child, my parents used to take us to Vermont for vacation. One, very memorable year, we visited Whiteface Mountain. We did climb up the …
Hiking with my dog Not rated yet
I’ve been a faithful hiker for many years now – I started hiking back when I was a young child, going on walking holidays with my parents Betty and Chuck. …
My Youngest Climbs the Mountain Not rated yet
Few things will prepare you for the majesty and beauty of Whiteface Mountain. It really would be a shame to be in the Lake Placid area and not visit Whiteface …
My Whiteface Adventure Not rated yet
I always heard about people going to Whiteface mountain and enjoying it there but I had never been there.
Two months back me and my friends decided …