Whiteface Veteran's Memorial Highway
Taking the Whiteface Veteran's Memorial Highway to the top of 4,867-foot high Whiteface Mountain, New York's fifth-highest peak isn't your typical automotive experience. How many other roads do you know that lead you directly to the best seat in the house—the house being the Adirondack Park and the show being gorgeous views spanning hundreds of square miles of wild land reaching out to Vermont and Canada? Nowhere else is the beauty and vastness of the Adirondack Park so apparent and so easily accessible. The paved road rises over 2,300 feet in five miles from the Toll House. At the summit, a few things you don't often find atop a peak: a castle built from native stone, a restaurant and gift shop, an elevator carved deep inside the mountain top itself and a truly spectacular 360-degree, panoramic view of unparalleled beauty. A visit to the Adirondacks is not complete without a drive to the top. This activity and many others are FREE with your Olympic Sites Passport!
About Whiteface Veteran's Memorial Highway
Pre-dating the ski area by about 20 years, the road to the summit was dedicated by Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1929, and opened, in 1936, by the same Roosevelt, though this time with a different title: President. Natural wildflowers grow roadside, a living museum of forest ecology. Anorthosite bedrock boulders, over a billion years old, stand by. Along the way up are nine designated spots where you are encouraged to stop to enjoy the view and discover more about the mountain surroundings from the posted information signs.
The Toll House Area
An alpine-style gatehouse, constructed in 1934, and Lake Stevens, a small, pristine pond, give the Highway a picturesque start. Lake Stevens, named for 1932 Olympian bobsledder Hubert Stevens, is stocked annually to provide fishing opportunities, especially for children and visitors with disabilities, though its scenic beauty and picnic areas ought to be enjoyed by all. The Lake Stevens Tree Trail offers a self-guided, 10-minute walk around the pond. All 34 species of trees native to the northern Adirondacks (14 conifer and 20 hardwoods) can be found on this short nature trail.
The Whiteface Veteran's Memorial Highway is perhaps the easiest mountain toll road to drive in America. That said it does require a special level of care and awareness for all drivers in all vehicles. Please read and follow these tips. If a major problem occurs, pull off the road and notify a passing vehicle that you need assistance. Be as concise as possible about your location and problem. A staff member will render assistance.
As you make your way to the summit of Whiteface Mountain, stop to take in the spectacular scenery of the Castle Café, situated at the amazing elevation of 4,610 ft. while savoring the gourmet rustic cuisine our talented chefs have prepared for you.
Visit our Brookside Apparel stores where you can find outdoor gear for hiking, or souvenirs and gifts from the Olympic Venues that will provide lasting memories of your Adirondack vacation. Shopping at our Brookside Apparel stores is extremely convenient, as we are located at two locations. So, whether you are taking a drive up our historical Whiteface Veteran's Memorial Highway, or riding up the scenic Cloudsplitter Gondola you will be able to find all your apparel needs at the Whiteface Base Lodge or the Whiteface Castle.
- 2015 Dates
- Regular Season: Daily, June 20 - October 12 | 8:45 am - 5:30 pm
- Early Season: May 16, 17, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31, June 6, 7, 13, 14, | 8:45 am - 5:30 pm
- Facilities are handicapped accessible
- *Please note that all road bike traffic access will end 1/2 hour prior to that of regularly scheduled hours.
- Follow the signs and obey the speed limit. Excessive speed going up or down the mountain can cause safety problems and will disturb the experience for others.
- Watch your vehicle's warning lights and gauges. If problems like overheating are indicated, take action to avoid damage or accidents. Overheating can be addressed by pulling off the road at the next indicated parking area and allowing the engine to run until the light or gauge indicates that it is safe to move on. It helps to turn off the air conditioning and to turn on the heater. Do not open the radiator cap unless the engine has cooled considerably. Add fluid only if significant coolant has been lost.
- Never stop in the travel lanes. Whether for sightseeing, picture taking, or to address a mechanical problem, pull all the way off the road.
- Be aware of other vehicles on the road. If you are holding up a line of vehicles, pull over at the next indicated area and let them by. Do not tailgate or pass unless the vehicle in front of you pulls over and waves you on.
- Watch the road. The scenery is indeed awesome and distracting. If curiosity gets the best of the driver, pull over to view or switch drivers.
- Do not ride the brakes while descending. Use a lower than normal gear and let the engine do much of the braking. Pump the brakes if necessary and consider pulling off at a designated parking area to let brakes cool down. The distinct aroma of overheated brakes is a cue to pull over and wait. Never throw water on your wheels or brakes, even if they are smoking or smell.
- Remember, too, that even after passing through the toll house, there are another couple of miles of downgrade to negotiate.