Whiteface Mountain 4×4 Alpine Expedition, Wilmington, NY

If you were to ask me what one, once-in-a-lifetime thing you should do in Upstate New York, I would say, “Go to the Adirondacks.” If you were to ask me what you should do or see in the Adirondacks, I would say, “See Whiteface Mountain.” And if you were to ask me what there is to do on Whiteface Mountain, I would say, “Go on the 4×4 Alpine Expedition.” My sons and husband are STILL talking about it. It is an amazing experience. AMAZING.

Valley View 4x4

The activity is new — this year was its first season — and it’s the brainchild of a bunch of guys who work at Whiteface and help maintain it year-round. While trekking through the forests on their 4×4 vehicle, they asked themselves. “Wouldn’t it be great to take passengers on these rides?!” The answer is YES. It is great. This is perhaps one of the greatest things you can do on Whiteface Mountain in the summer/fall season.

The 4×4 Alpine Expedition is an hour-long tour through some of the most scenic areas of Whiteface Mountain. It begins at the Olympic Regional Development Authority headquarters, at the base of the mountain, on Route 86 in Wilmington, NY, just a few minutes north of Lake Placid. A guide takes a group of passengers up through some of the most rugged and breath-taking areas, including a secluded spot near the west branch of the lovely Ausable River, up through some of the most popular ski slopes, and through some forest trails winding their way around the base of the mountain. The experience is nothing short of exhilarating.

By West Ausable River

Whiteface View 4x4

Little Whiteface Ski Lifts

Our guide was Mike, who seemed to know everything about Whiteface! As he navigated the craggy roads and narrow trails, he relayed all sorts of facts and trivia about the mountain, the 1980 Olympics, and the current activities. We got up close and personal to the Adirondack’s most accessible mountain in a way that you couldn’t accomplish by hiking or skiing.

Mountain Bike Ramp

He showed us some of the most common nature trails in the area, taking a small hike to a lovely bridge in the forest.


He showed us the snow machines that chug out snow every season, and gave us a quick peek inside the snow pumping station.

Snow Machines

We stopped frequently to step out of the vehicle and take in the grandiose views. The air was so crisp, the mountains so verdant!

We made a quick video of our experience. It gives you an idea of the trails we went on and the scenery we viewed.

View from Whiteface Ski Slope

Whiteface Scars

Valley View

I HIGHLY recommend the 4×4 Alpine Expedition! It was a superb exerience. Here are a few things you should know:

  • The trips is open to anyone ages 5 years old and up. If you have boys, you MUST take them. They will love it!
  • Dress for the weather. Whiteface is usually a little cooler then the temperatures in the valley, so bring a jacket if you go in autumn. In the summer, wear bug spray.
  • Autumn is a great time to go because the trees are turning colors and it’s past “black fly season.”
  • Bring a camera!
  • Wear good, sturdy shoes appropriate for the weather and for walking through meadows and trails.
  • To ensure that you get a good day, call ahead and make a reservation. Saturday expeditions are timed but Sunday through Friday reservations are required. See contact information below for the phone number.
  • Currently, the season runs from mid-August to mid-October.
  • Maximum 5 passengers per tour.

No tour is exactly alike. Your guide will take you to select areas depending on your comfort level and your own desires. For example, Mike was willing to drive around Whiteface to find a big open area where I could get good photos. 🙂

It was an experience of a lifetime. Definitely give this a try!

Contact Information:
Whiteface Lake Placid 4×4 Alpine Expedition
Olympic Regional Development Authority
5021 Route 86, Wilmington, NY 12997
Phone: 518.946.2223 ext. 310

Just so you know, was given complementary tickets in exchange for a review and photos. All opinions are completely mine! This expedition rocks and I recommend it!

About the Author

I've been traveling throughout New York State since I got the travel bug after touring the Herkimer Home on a school field trip as a youngster. We've been blogging about our travels since 2006 and have visited over half of New York's 62 counties so far.

Comments (2)

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  1. Carole says:

    WOW! That looks like something we would LOVE!! We will definitely look into that next year – very, very cool!! Looks like you had the perfect day for it too. 🙂

  2. Rena says:

    Wow, looks awesome!! Too bad I am afraid of heights and bumpy rides LOL. They have something similar to this at Hidden Valley Outdoors in West Winfield, of course there is no mountain to ride up but there is a huge hill.
    Here is the link:

    I was too scared to go on it so I can’t give you any feedback. My stomach turns big time when I go fast in any vehicle and I can’t go on bumpy rides because of my back.

    Your pictures are awesome, Its like me almost being there without having to endure the ride! 🙂