Most Popular Winter Trailhead
Upper Works to Uphill Brook Herd Path
Round Trip Distance
17.6 miles, ~20.0 miles with Redfield
Average Round-trip Time
10 to 12 Hours, 12 to 14 hours with Redfield
Winter Obstacles to be Aware Of
Do not attempt to cross Flowed Lands unless the conditions warrant. The herd path is tough to follow in areas if the route has not been broken out. The cliff scramble on the mountain can be very icy and a bit dangerous, take your time.
Cliff is most often climbed with Redfield for an extended day, but for some the second peak is just too much to chew. From Upper Works follow the trail to Flowed Lands and Lake Colden. The trail remains easy for the first 2-miles and then starts a steady climb toward Flowed Lands as it follows Calamity Brook and passes by Calamity Pond. Once at Flowed Lands depending on ice conditions it is common practice to hike over the Flowed Lands to access the trail near Lake Colden.
If you don’t like the idea of hiking over the frozen waters you can also opt to use the trail, which goes up and over several rolling hills, requiring additional elevation gain and loss.
The climb from the dam become steady after about 0.5 miles and starts to climb along the Opalescent River. At Uphill lean-to locate the herdpath which will be on your right. A rock cairn marks the spot.
Once at the herd path continue for about a 0.1 miles to another small cairn and take that right onto the path for Cliff. If you continue straight along the brook you will be heading up Redfield. The herd path from here is easy until you reach the base of the cliffs, which are very steep and much care is needed especially on the descent later under tired legs. Once on the ridge you will hike over a false summit and descend to the base of the true summit before an easy climb brings you to the true top.
Recommend bringing full crampons and an ice axe for the cliffs, even if not needed it’s better to have them.
Please refer to our basic list of winter gear recommendations for day trips, remember this list is only a recommendation, and you should take into consideration your experience, group size, length of trip, conditions, weather forecast, and any unforeseen incidences.