Mount Colden via Avalanche Pass Trail

HARD 17 reviews
#36 of 175 trails in

Mount Colden via Avalanche Pass Trail is a 13.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Lake Placid, NY that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from October until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

13.4 miles 3217 feet Loop

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

forest

lake

river

views

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

muddy

old growth

rocky

scramble

snow

washed out

On this beautiful loop hike you will pass through Avalanche Pass and then ascend the steep Mt. Colden trail from the shores of Lake Colden. On top of this 4,715 foot peak (ADK #11) you will have great views of the MacIntyre Range and also southeast towards Mt. Marcy. This loop trail can be very strenuous and is often done in reverse. There are three options to the summit of Colden - the Lake Arnold trail (not as steep), the trap dyke (read CAREFULLY about this and know your limits before attempting as it can be dangerous) or the Mt. Colden trail which is what this trip log reports.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a very good hike. The trail was muddy in places from the rain the day before and there was ice as you got closer to the summit. The trail around Lake Arnold was wet and very muddy to trek through. The false summit as you come up from Lake Arnold had good views, but if you look you'll see the true summit which you still have to get to. I did this hike as an out and back instead of the loop. The trail was busy with people today, as I was surprised cause the weather was cold at the summit. You didn't need microspikes, just be a little cautious where you stepped. The summit was very windy today so I didn't stay up there that long. You can see the MacIntyre Range and Mount Marshal from the summit.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Great day hike. 'nuff said about the beauty of Avalanche Lake. Steep ascent from Lake Colden to summit is a great workout. If you are in shape you will revel in the workout. Amazed by the efforts of staff/volunteers to build the amazing staircases in the steepest sections. I counted 101 steps in one of them! Love the ADK.

backpacking
2 months ago

Possibly my favorite spot in the ADK Park.

2 months ago

Avalanche pass is breathtaking & a really fun hike. The climb up Mt Colden is no joke, but the reward of the amazing view from the summit makes it completely worth it!

hiking
3 months ago

The lakes make this one of the most beautiful ADK hikes. Not too difficult, just the one steep bit.

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

The trail is very difficult but very beautiful. Colden offers great views from the top but the best part is the hike around avalanche lake!

3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Honestly this loop is uncalled for. Just take the Lake Arnold trail in and out. The small trail up to colden from avalanche pass is absolute hell and very dangerous at some points. Took me an extra 2 or 3 hours when I could've enjoyed the hike a bit more. The view at the top is amazing just take the more trafficked trail.

5 months ago

hiking
1 year ago

Beautiful trail. Could be demanding for someone who's not in shape. The view is worth the effort.

1 year ago

hiking
1 year ago

Start off at Heart Lake just south of Lake Placid. This is a short 11 mile round trip trail that takes you past Marcy Dam and Lake Arnold. Its not really hard, just a nice and steady up hill battle. It took me 6.5 hours which I think is pretty fast. It was a little bit muddy and but the bugs were not that bad. There were a couple determined black flies but overall it wasn't bad.

hiking
2 years ago

This was my second hike ever... Went with my buddy and his kid. Very good hike, but boy was it tough. It could be that it was just my second hike and I wasn't use to the incline but I would suggest to be prepared for some intense climbing. Great reward awaits at the top tho :)

hiking
2 years ago

14.4 miles RT. We started out our day at the Loj around 7:30 with the idea we would do the Trap Dike if it was safe enough and if not we would continue on and enjoy the Loop trail. We had to skip the dike but we were so glad we did this loop - the fall colors and the fog against the massive rock walls along with a challenging yet fun hike was amazing. We did the typical loop backwards (Avalanche Lake to Lake Colden, up the Colden trail to the summit and down the Lake Arnold trail back to Marcy dam and then the Loj. This is a bit more challenging as you gain 2000' over 1.6 miles to the summit but it is a great trail with changing woods, exposed rock and scenery that words just cant describe - one of our favorite hikes so far. We logged ~14.5 miles and we were back at the trail head in 9 hours.