Saturday, June 28, 2014

Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway | Lake George, NY | Adirondack Mountains

Pros: Great views, Easy Drive, Located close to Lake George
Cons: None really

Are you in Lake George on a clear day? Do you want to get a great view of the entire area? 

If you do, you should consider taking a drive up the Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway. The road travels up the mountain and ends on its summit where you can get some amazing views of Lake George and the surrounding Adirondack Mountains.

Well worth the small toll, this road is a great way to spend a few hours.

Where do I find the Prospect Mountain Highway? 

That Highway actually starts in Lake George, not that far from the hustle and bustle of the downtown area.

The Highway begins at the intersection of Route 9 and 9N where it then crosses over I87 (The Northway) and comes to a toll booth. From the toll booth the Highway makes its way up Prospect Mountain. There are a number of really good views on the way up.

My favorite on the entire road is one that gives you a liner view of the Lake George Valley. The lake fills the valley and the mountains climb up on either side. It’s especially pretty in the fall as the mountainsides are bursting with color. It's actually the view that shows up here on the review!

Driving Up 

Don’t expect the sometimes harrowing drive of the Mount Washington Auto Road here. The Prospect Mountain Highway is a well constructed, 2-lane, paved and generally gently graded road from its base all the way to the summit of Prospect Mountain. It’s a very easy drive, which shouldn't challenge anyone’s driving skills.

There are a number of parking areas along the road at the various viewpoints along the way. I’d suggest stopping at each one, even if you don’t get out of the car as they are all beautiful views and worth some of your time.

The entire road is just under 6 miles long so it won’t take that long to reach the summit, even if you are stopping and enjoying the views along the way. Depending on just how long you spend at each view, expect to spend about a half an hour to an hour traveling up the mountain.

Once you’ve made it to the top, there’s a large parking lot and extensive views. On a clear day its said you can see about 100 miles, which is well into Vermont to the east, the Adirondack mountains to your north and west and into southern New York and a bit of Massachusetts to your south and southeast.

I always make sure to pack a sandwich when I make the drive up Prospect Mountain. With good weather, it’s the perfect place to relax, take in the view, and enjoy a picnic.

The drive back down is via the same road where you have an opportunity to stop at a view point that you may have missed.


I really wouldn't bother driving up Prospect Mountain via the Highway unless it’s a nice day. The real attraction at Prospect Mountain is the view and with a lousy day, it isn’t really worth the toll to drive up the mountain.

Plan on at least 2-3 hours for a trip up and back down Prospect Mountain. You’ll spend most of that traveling up the mountain and then enjoying its summit. The trip down is usually quick as you’ve already seen everything on the way up.

The roadway is only open during the late spring, summer and early fall months and is only open to traffic during the day.

Final Thoughts 

If I’m vacationing in Lake George, I make sure that we get up Prospect Mountain sometime during the trip when we have a clear day. It takes a few hours and it’s a great way to show off the area to someone who’s never been there. Not only that, even if you’ve already seen it, the views always change and I always find the few hours rewarding.

My favorite time of the year to travel the Proposect Mountain Highway is in the fall. The foilage along the way is stunning and the views offer you a chance to see the gold, yellows and reds as they spread across the neighboring valley and mountain sides.

I’d recommend that anyone vacationing in the Lake George region take a few hours out of their day (on a clear day) to make this trip. You won’t be disappointed.

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