Standing at 4,515 feet in elevation, Saddleback was the smallest mountain named by Old Mountain Phelps and Perkins on that notorious day in 1857, along with Skylight, Basin, and Gothics. From Mount Marcy, the pair spotted a summit that resembled a large saddle. It is likely they named it “Saddle Mountain” since that’s how the mountain is referred to in its earliest book appearances. The peak first appears in print as “Saddleback” in a 1874 map of the Adirondacks and has been known by this name ever since.
Sitting directly between Basin and Gothics (high peaks number nine and ten), the seventeenth High Peak appears diminutive compared to its enormous neighbors. Newell Martin recorded the first known ascent of the mountain on August 5th, 1894. According to Ed Phelps, James J. Storrow and Orlando Beede climbed the peak between 1869 and 1871, when they also summitted Gothics and Basin, though the exact date of this venture is unknown. Saddleback Mountain is almost always climbed in conjunction with Basin, and is often combined with other peaks in the Great Range.