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Saturday was a great day for a climb. Being older with knee and joint issues we were still able to do in 6 hours. The view from Cascade was well worth the pain.

Perfect day hike, almost completely up hill to the summit of Cascade Mountain. The hike up to the Summit of Porter Mountain was a little muddy, but was well worth it. The view from Cascade Mountain is more scenic, but too windy for a lunch break. My suggestion would be to summit Porter Mountain first, and enjoy a lunch break there before continuing on to summit Cascade Mountain.

this should be rated a moderate hike, not an easy one. It is a relatively steep uphill all the way, more so towards the top. But the terrain is beautiful and the views very nice. Most important thing to note is that the map shows it as a circular Trail. It is not. You go up to the Vista and back. There may be a circular trail but it isn't marked, so is the safer to Simply go back down the way you came up.

Amazing hike and amazing view and yes go counter clockwise as many recommended!

Easy to start off. Then goes into a rocky, consistent incline with several rock scrambles. About 3/4 of the way up you come to a steep, narrow cut out in the rocks, just big enough for one person to fit straight up. After that is another steep climb up rocks. To the left is a smooth rock and to the right is a space so narrow I had to take my pack pack off and go up sideways. If you are terrified of heights like myself I do not recommend this. I had to turn back because it was a straight drop to my right. There is a nice false summit a little before this part with beautiful views and plenty of places to sit and eat.

First off, the distance RT is much closer to 4.5 - 5 miles, the trail has some switchbacks that are a bit off the path on here. Second, the hike was fun. There was some scrambling, which was a a bit tricky, but myself and my father had no issues. I loved the rock scrambles, makes this hike a fun one, different than other scrambles I've done. Once you get up onto the exposed rock, the trail can be very tricky to follow. There are a few trail markers and some rock cairns, go slow and look for these. Have some sort of map just to be safe.

Great view at the top but it is pretty crowded, especially this time of year.

Have a new appreciation for the stress the high peaks are under after climbing this Labor Day weekend as part of my daughters 46r effort. High Peak stewards did a nice job of talking to people but they still trod on sensitive areas. Ryan on top very friendly and informative. Did a great job. Glad trail will be changed to alternate route to let this trail heal. 650 people in a day is just too many to make the climb enjoyable for anyone.

Definitely moderate plus. Quite a bit of scrambling is involved, but well worth it for the views. Very interesting terrain. We got off trail once or twice, but quickly recovered. Probably not recommended for young children. The distance to summit seems longer than the listed 3.3 miles. Otherwise an excellent gem of a hike!

Coming from a group of fit 30 yo, this was a great yet strenuous hike (and that's without the detour to Esther) Enjoy the the first flat part, as it gets pretty steep about 2k in. Trail is well maintained and beautiful. Views on top are very nice, but somewhat crowded and less of "lost in nature" vibe. Many people get there by car. Washrooms hard to find. Overall, great hike, would def recommend. Took us 7h including one hour lunch break. Have fun!

This was one of my first difficult hikes I've done. After having done hikes in places like Sedona, Zion, the Rockies, and Grand Canyon, this is still my favorite hike. Maybe I have fond memories of this being the first hike that me and my new fiancee went on together. But it's more that this hike is just charming.

We did this hike in the winter, during November. Scrambling up felt incredibly dangerous and exhilarating in ice and wet granite, but was actually a ton of fun. Coming down the other side was a breeze compared to up. The views are stunning, being above the clouds.

Do this hike. Just do it.

Great for a quick, less-than-half-day hike. The 'Easy' rating is most likely due to how short it is - the immediate and generally consistent steepness of the trail makes it a bit tough in the moment, but it really is over quite quickly. Excellent views of Saranac Lake and surrounding mountains, so it's great for just sitting at the top for a while if you're not in a hurry.

Great introduction to the high peaks. Not that difficult with just a couple of short steep climbs. Great view from the top which is a large bald open area. Lots of room to sit, eat a bite, and take it all in. Lots of people.. even a 5 year old girl who made it. 4-5 hours max time for anyone in decent shape. Round trip.

Nice but lots of rocks and very crowded. Many dogs, not always on leach. Parking full. No view as it was overcast. Would do other peaks now that it is done.

I found these to be pretty easy for being 46ers. The best views are from Cascade. There's some climbing over rocks, but it's not too bad. I wouldn't say that Porter isn't worth it as there is a bit of a view (though not as stunning as Cascade) and it's very close. Unfortunately they are closing this trail, and the garden parking lot one is already closed. There will be a new trail from the Mount Van Hoevenberg visitor center that is currently being built. I'm glad I got a chance to do this trail and climbed up Van Hoevenberg before they build that center as I'm sure it will become very crowded. It's difficult for a regular trail but not bad for ADK. This took us about 7 hours, we stopped to eat and the rain slowed us down a bit.

Nice views but a little bit blocked by the trees. I wouldn’t rate this as easy, more like moderate as it’s mostly up hill. Nice quiet summit. Well marked trail.

Difficult and rocky montagne ⛰, breathtaking view from the top , a lot of hikers !
Porter is so muddy and not really worth the trouble.

Great place to hike. No language could express the feeling when you come across the rugged trail and reach the summit. Absolutely stunning scene. Going back could be a challenge since too many pebbles. Trails are not flat at all so not recommended for elders and bad knees. But great hike anyway.

Parking at the trailhead is limited due to the popularity of this place. Rocky trail with a steady climb. Excellent view at Cascade Summit. Porter was extremely muddy and offered an ok view. Early AM start is suggested if you want to avoid the herds of people.

Very difficult and rocky trail. Also very busy, I must’ve seen 100 people plus dogs on the trail.. Terrific view on top but very windy the day I was there.
Porter was easier to hike though not a single marker to follow, I just followed the well worn trail. Summit was a good place for me to eat my lunch.

Started the trail from parking lot 1 at Loj info center. Start time 7:30am. The first three miles are pretty and simple. Next, headed towards avalanche pass/lake. Fun section of trail especially around the lake (ladders and bridges). I will note I have a fear of heights and none of this phased me. Ladders weren’t scary in that way. The day we went it had rained, so muddy/sloshy trails, and some boulders were slippery. No real danger was present, just be careful not to twist an ankle on rocks. The 1.5 mile ascent to Mt Colden was brutal. An unrelenting steep upward climb with tall ladders. Again, not a scary height thing, just a hell of an exhausting trek up. There was only one area right near the summit where I could not look down due to height and danger, but if I can make it up, anyone can. We actually passed through the peak, not realizing it was the top because it was a smaller area than expected, but as promised, the hardest climbs end in the best views. Started the decent via lake Arnold. Hiking down is hard on the knees, so I’d recommend trekking poles. It was a long hike back, where the initial easy parts of the trail now feel never ending. All in all, we did survive the 13.6miles. Arrived back at 5:00pm, so it was a 9.5hr round trip. Happy Hiking! :)

20 days ago

Fairly steady climb but not too long. Boulder-filled trail with rock scrambles near and on the summit. Great views off Cascade and not bad on Porter as well. Porter side trip took a half hour each way from the Cascades trail. Whole hike took 4 1/2 hours though I did not spend much time on the summit due to rain. Lots of hikers on this one.

hiked this on 8/24/18 and had a awesome day hiking. coming out of avalanche pass is just amazing a must hike and the new trail work is great hope they add some more its a sketchy first hop. Looking up the trap dike is pretty cool. the 1.6 miles up from the lake is a butt kicker the view's are worth all the work. we stayed an hour on the summit enjoying the day down the lake Arnold trail went on and on. back at the trailhead 6pm 12 hours, 14.2 miles, 3300 feet gained.

21 days ago

Ascent was hard almost right from the beginning, seemed much longer than 3.5 miles. We couldn’t find the rest of the trail after reaching Bear Mt summit, so had to retrace our steps and go out the way we came in. But the forest was beautiful and the payoff was well worth the effort. Great views of Whiteface ski trails.

Mount Colden is not a hike to be taken lightly, but though it's long, strenuous and exhausting, the payoffs are absolutely worth it.

The summit itself is beyond spectacular and includes views of numerous other High Peaks including Mount Marcy - but in addition to that, the hike offers numerous other benefits including the truly inspiring pass at Avalanche Lake. You also get the washed out former Marcy Dam, Lake Colden, a fair amount of bouldering, several ladders to help you through the steepest sections and varied other scenery as well as, at times, a whisper quiet forest.

But leave no doubt that you will be challenged. Principally on about a 1950ft. ascent in 1 1/2 miles from Lake Colden. A good chunk of which is sheer, flat rockface. And if you go after recent rains - as I did - it becomes somewhat precarious as those rocks are glazed over by running water. Bring hiking poles! Not only will they help (somewhat) on the ascent - but the trail has plenty of mud and standing water to navigate as well.

Lastly - Do the hike counter-clockwise (Up through Avalanche Pass and down the Lake Arnold side). If it has rained recently, and you have gone up the other way, the descent from the summit becomes miserable - and borderline dangerous - and multiple people I met on the way up were cursing (literally) the fact that the went up the Lake Arnold side.

All in all, this is a fantastic and highly recommended hike. I clocked it at about 15.5 miles from the Adirondack Lodge (not 12.8) and at just about 9 hours in total.

This was a great trail! We decided to start at ASRC. Marble Mountain is tough, but it’s over pretty quickly. Once you get past Marble Mountain, there is a constant incline until you get past the trail marker for Esther. We skipped Esther as we are not planning to be 46er’s. Another couple we spoke to said the trail for Esther was very muddy and the views were “just ok,” so glad we skipped it. After Esther, it levels off for a bit and then gets right back to it. The final push from the stone wall was a challenge, but the views from the summit made everything worth it! We started on a Saturday at 10am exactly, very little traffic on the trail until we got closer to the top around 12-1pm. The “early group” had started their descent around that time. The Summit, however, was cluttered with people who had driven up, taking up a lot of sitting room for the hikers who wanted to rest their feet. That’s my only grumble. Nevertheless, the views were absolutely stunning, even with the crowds. Challenging, yet incredibly rewarding! It took us 3 hrs to reach the summit from the parking lot (skipping Esther) and 2 hrs from the summit to our car. Poles would have definitely been helpful, but not necessary.

Great work out if pressed for time

great hike with excellent views at top. trail head book showed 100 hikers signed in during our hike. so popular hike.

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