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Mt. Colden is the gift that doesn’t stop giving. It actually starts off pretty easy as far as high peak hiking is concerned. Do yourself a favor and ascend through avalanche lake/avalanche pass then come down through the loop. There are tons of ladders and quite a bit of scrambling up rock on the way up, but you’ll be glad you went up this way and not down as it is very very steep. We hiked it after the region experienced two straight days of rain so everything was wet and slippery. Even still it took us 10.5 hours round trip, and I imagine if it had been dry we could have done it in about 9. It is a fun trail though with all of the technical spots and quite beautiful on the way up. Avalanche lake was my favorite spot. We went through 4 liters of water each plus two gatorades. This was our second peak, Marcy being our first and the wife and I both agreed that it was easier and more fun than Marcy. Be prepared for the scramble at the end, there are some hand and foot holds to go off and it’s a short section but if exposure isn’t your thing maybe try to hit some other peaks first to get used to it

I completed this hike in July. I recommend starting early, at sunrise or even 30 minutes before to beat all the traffic. Lots of people make this hike during the summer and trail can become very crowded. The hike is a nice balance of flat terrain, forest, open hiking above the tree line, climbing, and even some rock scrambling. It’s hard on the feet and ankles as there are lots of rocks to maneuver on the trail. This is most difficult ~5500 elevation hike I’ve done, but the payoff at the peak was worth it. You get 360 panoramic views of the high peaks region..

hiking
21 hours ago

It was a tough climb, but we had awesome views most of the way up, we also added RPR. Check out my full write up with pictures and things to look out for.
http://www.eastcoasthiker.com/trails/giantandrockypeak/

Absolutely beautiful! Lots of scrambling! Lots of birch trees and ferns and moss.

Great hike! Three pretty easy miles to start off, then a mile up! It had great views on top! 3 down 43 to go!

Great hike.the views from the top are awesome.

Not as easy as the local reviews say it is! Definitely a challenge, but so worth it!

a family bucket list hike. we started from the loj at 6am and we’re back around 4:30pm. it was a LONG HARD day but so worth it! the views from the top are amazing!

we took three long breaks - at indian falls on the way up and back, and again at the summit. so we probably could have finished faster but the breaks really helped keep everyone from bonking.

the entire family is still sore today (wednesday) and we did the hike sunday!

Not short or easy but it’s gorgeous and worth the effort

Absolutely stunning views at the top, even with fog. Hiked it with another girl (we're both mid 20's) took us 8.5 hours total, with about a 45 minute stop at the top and minimal breaks. Definitely tough for the last mile and a half, but so worth it! also my Fitbit said it was closer to 18 miles.

lots of fun worth the work for the views

My son and I did Porter first, which was muddy in spots, but otherwise a really nice detour before going up Cascade. The views from Porter were better than expected. Cascade was spectacular! The rock scramble at the end was a good time. We stayed longer on Cascade, and had some food. The path from the trailhead is uphill from the start, with only a few very short level areas. It is also very rocky, and on the trek down this was a bit of a challenge. There were people of all ages and skill levels on the trial, and most people were very friendly and encouraging on the way up and down. The parking areas around the trailhead were packed by 10:00am, so get there early. We spent about 5 hrs on the trail, 4:19 minutes of actual hiking time. Two of my apps agreed on mileage, 7.1 for Cascade and Porter. Great hike and amazing views!

Loved this hike!!! We hiked on 8/12. We went up Lake Arnold Trail and down around Lake Colden/ Avalanche pass. I actually think this is the best way to do the hike (though as someone whose knees generally start hurting coming down- I get why people are recommending the reverse). There were a lot of steep slabs and some of the hikers we met commented on how it was hard for them coming up. The hike was ~16.2 miles to and from Adirondack Loj. We stopped for about an hour total between the summit and Lake Colden. Very beautiful. The water on Lake Colden perfectly reflected the sky. Took us 9 hours total. This was one of my favorite high peaks (I’ve done 24 now) mainly because of the incredible summit views and hiking along the Matilda’s.

Great, steep hike, fun rock scramble at cascade, porter was super muddy

Really awesome trail! I would say it is medium to difficult. If one has any back or knee issues I would not attempt this. The views at the top are amazing.

Decided to stay an extra day after doing 4 of the Saranac 6 to get a High Peak in. We got a later start than we would have like and had to park about a mile down the road from the LOJ. It was overall a great hike the water was refreshing and the top had some good views. The top can be a little confusing because there are a lot of trails right at the peak but nothing to crazy.

13/10 would do this hike again, though not with my dog again.

This hike was amazing. Definitely agree with previous reviewers to do this loop counter clockwise, I wouldn't have wanted to go down the mountain on the Lake Colden side. Not an easy hike by any means, but the views were absolutely beautiful.

That being said, I would STRONGLY advise against doing this hike with your dog, at least if you have a larger dog. There are a lot of ladders that are practically impossible for a dog to traverse on the path around Avalanche Lake, but those are doable. The worst one was at the top of Mount Colden, over 10' high with no way for a dog to travel around it. My advise would be to do an out and back on the Lake Arnold side of Mount Colden if you'd like to bring your dog.

Always a favorite. Great with my kids. We went early to beat the crowds and was worth it.

my 1st high peak, and what a hike it was! I wasn't quite ready for the last mile and a half of rock scrambling but I made it and it was well worth it! Breath taking veiws. Took me longer than most, 12 hours. I took many breaks, I think most people can probably conquer this trail as long as you're in good health and have good endurance! good luck!

All in all a beautiful hike. We stayed true to Cascade. If you are new to hiking ( like many we passed as we made our way down) preparation is key. It’s definitely a hike, not a stroll. Wear appropriate footwear! I’m incredibly proud of our 4.5 year old son who made it to the summit and back with no assistance. Took us 4 hours car to car, with a nice break at the top and a few on the way up. We cruised down with ease. Parking was not an issue for us as we arrived early enough. View at the top was beautiful.

Awesome view. Clear day. Tough climb down.

3.5 hrs To climb
3 hrs to comeback.
I had a very good pace.
So expect 8.5 to hike the top.

GREAT hike! We started at 6:30 am and we’re done just before 4. Bring more water than you think you’ll need. We had two 72 oz water backs plus three bottles and drank it all before we were finished. Stop by the creeks on the way down and soak tired feet. It’s a great way to rejuvenate! There’s a $10 parking fee at the LOJ too.

The hike up to Marcy Dam and then to the Phelps Trail cut-off is easy. The sign to Phelps at the cut-off reads 1.0 miles, but it is actually 1.2 miles. The 1.2 miles are a bit challenging, but nothing too difficult. At the top, there is a small trail to the right of a boulder that runs along the left side of the trail - take the trail (very short) for some very nice views.

Great great hike. Completed on 8/11. Pretty rocky on the way up (and down), but the views from Cascade are otherworldly and the rock scramble at the end is really fun. Lots and lots of people up there on a good weather Saturday. The trail to Porter was pretty muddy in places, but there are some nice, though less spectacular views at the top and along the way. Two of the 46 down!

Have not been up cascade in 10+ years so when I decided to make a trip up I made sure it was a Wednesday to avoid the crowds that clog up this trail on the weekends. Hit porter first so I could sit and enjoy myself longer on Cascade. View from Porter was pretty stellar. Took me about 20 mins to get to Porter from the trail junction and vice versa to get to cascade. Cascade summit is gorgeous with 360 degree views.

Start early and the crowds will be fine. Brought my beagle-basset and we had a blast.

This was so much fun all around.

Got to the parking at 7:30 AM on a perfect Friday morning. I recommend the early start. By 9:30 I had the spectacular summit to myself! Loved this mountain. Definitely challenging for that last half mile. More climbing than hiking particularly at the end. 2nd of the Saranac 6 for me.

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