The name of the 13th tallest peak in the Adirondacks resulted from a thirty-year battle between locals, who called the mountain Nippletop, and nonnative writers, who fought for the name Dial. Though Ebeneezer Emmons, who led the first known ascent of the mountain in 1837, referred to the peak as Dial, records could not prove which name came first. The battle ended in a compromise between Alfred B. Street, champion of the name Dial, and Old Mountain Phelps, a fierce advocate of Nippletop. If Street agreed to cease his attack against Nippletop, Phelps promised to name a neighboring mountain Dial- and thus, Nippletop became the official name.

The shape of its prominent summit, as viewed from the south, gives Nippletop its unique name. At 4,620 feet in elevation, Nippletop sits directly southwest of Dial Mountain, thus the two are often hiked in conjunction with one another. Located near Keene Valley, the peaks are usually accessed via the Adirondack Mountain Reserve, owned by the Ausable Mountain Club.