Ginneth O. on Mount Allen from Upper Works Trailhead
Long day, hiked 10:30 hours, great views along the trail. Started 7:00 am and summited 1:00 pm, used snowshoes and crampons. Great day, no winds, sunny and clear. Some part of trail were hard because of Thawing conditions.
An amazing hike and very challenging. It took us 12 hours. half the group did skylight, the other half didn't bring enough water to do it. we got stuck in a pop up thunder storm on the way up Marcy. definitely a hike I will never forget!
An amazing hike but pretty challenging. The loop incorporates some of the most impressive sights in the High Peaks. Plan on being out for a full day as its a long hike (it's more like 19 miles round trip) with a lot of climbing. It took my group about 12 hours. It was April when we did the hike so there was still a lot of snow. To do the loop, take the Avalanche Pass Trail past Marcy Dam and then go left on the trail to Lake Arnold. After Lake Arnold, the trail descends into a valley with many wet areas. At one place you walk across floating boards in a bog; this section might be troublesome after heavy rain. Past the Uphill Lean-To you go left and climb up to Lake Tear-of-the-Clouds. Gray Peak is trailless but the herd path is easy to follow. Just look for it on the other side of the stream right at the lake's outlet. It's steep but not too long. The spur trail for Skylight is much easier, and the views from the summit are spectacular. The ascent of Marcy from Four Corners is exhilarating and almost completely above treeline. From Marcy's summit we could see hundreds of miles in every direction. I was awed looking towards Mt. Haystack and seeing the really deep Panther Gorge that separates the two peaks. The descent on the Van Hoevenberg Trail was comparatively easier and was a respite after a hard, but rewarding day. Don't forget to visit Indian Falls on the way down, we didn't go see it but it's a really short detour where there's supposed to be a nice lookout.
Another couple and my wife and I reached trail head at about 7:30 am. It was lightly raining and the temps were around the low 40s. The rain stopped within the first hour. A cool hike until we reached Colvin's base. There the temps started going down and the wind really picked. Started getting light snow. Hike up to Colvin's peak was moderately difficult. Great views with about 1/4 inch of snow and blowing snow. Hiked down Colvin's backside and then back up Blake. Very slippery because of coating of snow. Got to top of Blake around 2:30. Seemed like a very long mile. Hike back to Colvin and then down. Reached base of Colvin and started using headlamps. Saw some campers off to sides of trail just outside of AMR lands. Reached Lake Road and snow was gone. Partly cloudy and almost full moon to guide us back. Got back to cars by 6:30pm. Good time, no one got hurt on slippery trail and didn't pass anyone.
Hike up panther brook is amazing
This was an easy trail until you reached the last 1.1 miles to Mount Colvin. This is where you gain your elevation and there's some rock scrambling to do. The views from Colvin's small summit were nice. The trail to Blake Peak was a tedious one that offered really no views from it's wooded summit. If you walked down the trail a little further you could see Upper Ausable Lake.
Hiked out and planned to stay the night near the peak, and then summit the next morning. If something doesn't go wrong, then it's not an adventure...My brand new tent came with no poles, which was easy enough to over come with some rope. The hard part to beat was - no rain fly! We camped about a mile from the peak and the weather was good until about 3:30 am. Rain and wind, three of us had to sleep underneath the tent. Worst trip, for me, so far.
The hike was good though. The trail is easy and nearly flat until you get to the base of the mountain. I'll be back!