March 28th, 2015 by Brendan Wiltse

Five Reasons to Check Out the Amazing Johns Brook Valley

The Johns Brook Valley is one of the most beautiful valleys in the Adirondacks. The central feature is Johns Brook, which is a good sized brook for the Adirondack High Peaks region. The mountains to the south and east comprise the Great Range. This side of the valley is rugged and steep with numerous trails leading to the mountains and summits above. The north-west side of the valley is comprised of gentler mountains and hills. Big Slide is the most prominent and offers outstanding views of the entire valley. Tucked in the valley below are beautiful waterfalls, great swimming holes, and wonderful places to explore.

1. Fall Foliage

The contrast between the colorful valley floor, high elevation spruce fir forest, and frost covered peaks is truly spectacular. There are lots of great places to view the colors of the Johns Brook Valley. The best views are from The Brothers and Big Slide. Peak colors generally occur about one week before Columbus Day weekend.

2. Easy Access To Peaks

The valley bottom offers numerous camping opportunities, letting you camp close to the peaks, making it easy to head up to an adjacent summit to view the stars. Big Slide and the Wolf Jaws are both about 2.5 miles from Johns Brook Lodge, and Gothics is only 3.1 miles. 

3. Johns Brook Lodge

Johns Brook Lodge is one of those not-so-hidden gems of the Adirondacks. Most people just walk right past the front porch, but its worth taking a step inside. The lodge makes for a great basecamp for exploring the valley and offers lots of wonderful amenities. It can be busy in the summer months, but the advantage is the crew cooks all your meals, including a trail lunch. The spring and fall caretaker seasons are definitely worth checking out. If you visit mid-week you might just be able to enjoy the place all to yourself. If you are looking for more privacy there are rustic camps located across the brook.

4. Beautiful Brooks

The peaks surrounding the valley are beautiful, but its worth spending a day exploring the valley floor. There are lots of great waterfalls, cascades, and swimming holes to check out. Bushnell Falls is in the heart of the valley and can be gorgeous after a heavy rain. If you like taking a dip in the refreshingly cold brook water, the Tenderfoot Pools offer the best swimming opportunities. Black Brook, behind JBL, is one of my favorite moss covered cascading streams in the area.

5. Slides

There is an abundance of easy to access slides in the Johns Brook Valley. If you haven't climbed a slide before the Bennies Root Canal slide up Lower Wolf Jaw is a great one to start with. For the more experience slide climber there are lots of great options throughout the valley.

The Adirondacks offer lots of awesome places to explore, so get out there and check them out!

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