Tongue Mountain Range Loop

#17 of 249 trails in Adirondack Park
Tongue Mountain Range Loop is a 10.9 mile loop trail located near Bolton Landing, NY that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible from March until November.

10.9 miles 2644 feet Loop
hiking blowdown forest rocky views waterfall
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John Gormley

3 Completed1 Reviews

Four of us backpacked starting at 9AM from the Clay Meadows area to MontCalm pt, back going clockwise. The first stop was the lean-to for a snack and our first vista of Lake George.. [This would be an ideal place to spend a night for those willing to carry up enough water]. The trail continued over several rocky ups and downs and we arrived at French Point in time for a leisurely lunch. The views of the islands below were beautiful in full sun but a bit windy and seasonably cold so we took cover on the leeward side of the top. On the way down we saw remnants of a recent forest fire, scarring the ridge from a lightening strike or from a careless hiker. The remaining walk to Mont Calm was tough and the last decent felt extra long and hard since the destination seemed sooo close from above (it psyches you out a bit.) My buddy in the front swore he hear a bear rustling in the brush (which made me hyper-tense later in the evening while trying to sleep in my exposed hammock. Fortunately no bear came and we also kept all food highly in a lofty bear bag.
Montcalm is a perfect camp. There were a few fire rings and soft, level pine floor. No one else was there either day. The water was filtered from the lake and is tasty and obviously bountiful. An owl was screeching at us about 20 feet away and was loud and un-nerving as it reminded us we were in the wild. We made a small fire to cook some steaks, but the wind came up soon after and we soon tamped it down. The sunset and morning views were glorious. The hike back was along the lake and offered many choice views. The trail was very dry this season and not swampy. We ended up tired and a bit sore, but a highly recommended hike for anyone in decent enough shape to lug 30-40 pounds over about 14 miles in two days.

Pamela Morrison-Cavallo

1 Completed1 Reviews

We didn't do the whole loop. We parked on Rt 9 and went up the 5 mile trail, and rather than proceed to the water level we turned to end up on the 5th peak. It was a difficult hike up a rocky trail it also rained so I was worried about slipping. The peak was beautiful and I was glad I did it.

caitlyn burke

9 Completed8 Reviews

Andrew Estrella

5 Completed5 Reviews

This was my first overnight hike so I didn't know what to expect. I went for the loop clockwise. The first half was intense but provided some amazing views of lake George and surrounding peaks. The ups and down were rough but overall I feel it had a good flow. Every time I was getting near time for a break I reached a nice rest spot on the trail. So if your comfortable hiking this distance then I wouldn't get too bogged down on the difficulty. I recommend 4-6 liters of water. Montcalm pt was a great little spot for a quick swim!

Pierre Gerard

2 Completed2 Reviews

Mostly agreed with the last poster. Parked at Clay Meadow on a Sunday evening, started out with a light hike to Fifth Peak to watch the sun set (so beautiful) and set up in the lean-to. Got a late start in the morning, which was a mistake because 1) it was the end of summer, so it got up to maybe 80F, and 2) we'd made the unfortunate mistake of only bringing about 3-4 liters of water each, which caused us to run out around mile 10 of 14. The peaks were actually really beautiful and just about worth the effort despite the heat and "relentless ups and downs" that I had heard about before. The final five miles were actually mostly miserable, since not having water combined with a somewhat gloomy swamp area made it feel much much longer than it actually was (about 2-3 hours, since we were pretty exhausted from the rest of the hike). So, essentially, this hike is not for inexperienced.

Jennifer R.

overall great hike. the views from the top (first 9 miles) are amazing. there are many spots on the trail that offer beautiful views that look down at the south end of the lake. the last 5 miles wasn't anything like the beginning, walking low along the water. the whole trip is very strenuous and there are lots of mosquitos. we also came across 2 rattlesnakes. overall, it was a great, exhausting hike. if I could make one suggestion is to do it in the fall to avoid the bugs and the heat.

James Heath IV

12 Completed8 Reviews

Snowshoeing this mountain was insanely difficult, but it had more to do with the time of the year we went than the trail itself. Once there is a good thaw I recommend you be very careful even if it snows again. We had a very slippery walk back down because the whole trail was basically an ice slide with a little bit of snow over it.

Heather Rosman

28 Completed4 Reviews

Phenomenal. I started early in the morning, heading east on five mile point trail. It was beautiful, with light rain and fog. The waterfalls were beautiful. I wish I'd planned more time to lollygag around the. Then I headed toward Montcairn point; when I reached the first viewpoint I knew the ups and downs of the peaks were worth the huffing and puffing.
Look out for adorable little orange geckos. I saw a peregrine falcon and some very big centipedes. No snakes to be found! Even on the sunshine warm rocks. There are some odd little insects; they look somewhere between a grasshopper and a moth, rustle through the underbrush and make clicking noises that gave me a little jump at first.
Montcairn point wasn't marked and is easy to miss because the trail is windy as it turns northwesterly. Lots of rocky downhill. Wish I'd had poles to for the knees.
Amazing way to spend the day alone in the wilderness. Definitely going again. Hopefully on snowshoes :)

Darren Triller

1 Completed1 Reviews

Did the Clay Meadow to Montcalm Point to 5th Peak loop today (mid August). Took about 7 hours. We pressed the pace because we started a bit later than planned and didn't want to get caught out in diminished daylight..
It was a beautiful 75 degrees and low humidity. Views were spectacular, and we had a great trip. Saw only one small garter snake, but brought a long walking stick along and made lots of noise, especially along the rock slabs and trail near the exposed outlooks.
I agree with other posts that the trails are not particularly well marked (especially from the direction we went), and that the hike is not for the faint of heart. Ups and downs were pretty strenuous, especially if you are going to try and do it in a single day.

The views and the changes in scenery are among the best we've scene. Will definitely do again, starting early and taking more time on stops to relax. Definitely worth the trip.

Julia Dranov

1 Completed1 Reviews

This was my first backpacking trip and although it is a very strenuous trail when with packs, it was unbelievably great. On the first day my boyfriend and I started out at Clay Meadow and traversed the 5 peaks until we got to Montcalm Point, where we camped for the night. This took us about 7 hours with packs to complete, with a few rests in between. The views from the peaks are absolutely spectacular, but the ups and downs are truly brutal, with a few areas where you have to sort of sit and slide through some of the descents. We brought 6 huge bottles of water thinking that we had overpacked, but it turned out that we had brought just enough water for the two of us, and were even a bit dehydrated after the first day. The campsites at Montcalm Point are wonderful, with fire pits and ample space to pitch a tent right by the lake, where you can swim as other reviewers have said. The sunset from the lake is a serious sight to behold, and it was an amazing place to camp for the night.The second day we covered the 5.7 miles from Montcalm Point back to Clay Meadows, which was extremely wet and muddy and not very plesant despite some incredible waterfalls and lake views. Definitely make sure to bring a ton of bug spray because you will absolutely need it for this portion of the hike. The last thing I will mention here is that we did see a couple of rattlesnakes near the trail - and they did rattle at us to let us know that they were there. Overall this is nothing to be afraid of because they are not aggressive creatures; we made some noise when they rattled and tried to take a long route around them or wait for them to move away from the trail, but I think it is very important to watch where you're going and make sure you don't accidentally step on one.