This 4,059-foot peak was named after Dr. Noah Porter by his friends and neighbors in Keene Valley. When Porter climbed the peak in 1875, the mountain was known as “West Mountain” in response to its relation to Keene Valley. Because there was no trail, Porter paid Ed Phelps to forge one, sparking the unopposed adoption of the name “Porter Mountain” throughout the village.
President of Yale University from 1871 to 1886, Porter first visited Keene Valley around 1872. With each excursion to the Adirondacks, he grew a deeper love for the region, where he also enjoyed embarking on long canoe trips. While Porter’s 1875 climb is the first recorded ascent of the mountain, the peak’s proximity to Keene Valley and the surrounding villages suggest the mountain may have been summited prior to this trip.