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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

do not go up the gothics. it's better to go up pyramid and down the gothics. that said, amazing views and well worth the journey.

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful hike through the Gorge! A moderately difficult hike mainly due to slippery rocks, stairs, and tourists stopping to take pictures. The view of the rocks and waterfalls along the path were wonderful. I will definitely be back!

Hiked on 8/15/18. Conditions are great with a few muddy and slippery spots. I went up Beaver Meadow Falls and came down the way by the clubhouse at the lake. Didn’t spend a lot of time at the top because of a storm coming in but overall one of the best views. Definitely recommend. Took me 3 hours to reach the summit and I’m in fairly good shape. BRING WATER!!

DON'T TAKE THE INDIAN TRAIL... We started hiking gorge and from Jacob's ladder we headed back on Indian trail, the gorge trail as the name suggests is awesome but gets crowded but worth it. The Indian trail has maybe 1-2 viewing points and it doesn't have anything that makes us feel that we are at a glen... So just make sure you get back in the gorge itselff

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

Did this going up A.W. and down Beaver Meadow. Pyramid peak has incredible 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.

was it hard?!
yes it was one of the hardest trails I ever did but keep in mind I'm a heavy guy and amateur hiker.
would I ever do it again?! yes 100% in fact I'm planning to work hard to make full great range loop in the future.
it was an amazing experience!!!

Great trip!! View from Pyramid is amazing and the Gothics view is pretty stellar. Large chunk of the hike is along Lake Road. Sawteeth summit is a short distance from Pyramid...worth a trip as well

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.

This was so much fun all around.

A beautiful hike for all ages. Not to hard. Being able To see the narrows, waterfalls, bridges all in one hike. It does get crowded but was still very enjoyable.

Well worth it. The review below is very helpful, especially the note about the sign for the cliffs which is very easily missed for being so high.

backpacking
13 days ago

Hello everyone. Could you please recommend some nice spots closer to the summit for the tents (probably 2)? Planning a 2 day hike. Thanks

This is a very enjoyable hike. The first 1.5 miles is very easy, some rocks and mud here and there, but nothing terrible. Once you see the lake from the trail you are nearing the turn to the cliffs. There are a couple of side trails to campsites and the shore of the lake as well. Once you continue on you will cross a small snowmobile bridge, and shortly after you will see a second one, the turn to the cliffs is just before that second bridge on the right. It would be easy to miss the sign pointing to the cliffs as it higher than expected. The trail up to the cliffs is what you might expect from any Adirondack mountain trail. Nothing terrible, roots and rocks, and some soft muddy spots and blow downs. The trail up is not well marked, but is well worn and easy to follow. I saw three blue trail markers on the way up and down. Take a mental note of where you arrived on top, as nothing is marked and you could start to descend in a different spot. The location of the cliffs is obvious, and very nice. Overall a nice 4 mile hike. Gets the heat pumping.

Great day trip. We spent about 3 hours total hiking around. The climb to the cliffs was steeper than we expected but doable for me, my 12 year old daughter and our flat coated retriever. Tree roots make it for the most part, natural stairs so it’s easy to keep footing. Also hiked to Good Luck Lake. I’ll be going back. Only a few slightly muddy spots. Overall pretty dry.

This was not an easy hike, but absolutely worth it. Getting to Avalanche Lake was pretty easy going and it is so gorgeous. Even saw a couple of people scaling the rock face of Mt Colden! Got to the end of the trail and decided I wanted to go ahead and do Mt Colden. The climb on this side (south) was a lot of climbing straight rock face. Not horrible, but very precarious since there is water running down most of it and it is a steep angle for most of it... so much so that they have built stairs on a handful of sections. Towards the top of that climb, I could really feel the elevation starting to affect my breathing, had to take breaks more often, but otherwise fine.

The final scrabble near the top is straight rock face which, in parts, has no foliage on the down side of the mountain; one of the only climbs I have done where I was a bit worried about sliding off. No problems though. The view at the top... there are really no words... you just have to see it... pictures don’t even do it justice. It was clear when I got up there and you can see for miles in most directions.

Climb down was much less steep and followed a river bed for a good bit, making you rock jump (which is hard after you just climbed ~2000 feet). Lots of water on the way, so plenty of places to cool off and refill, including one waterfall with a good size pool under it just off the path (on the left just before the Lake Arnold Trail veers to the left, so keep your ears open as you can barely see it from the trail).

Always a beautiful trail. A few lookout points and pretty walks.

Absolutely beautiful! Can’t wait to go back

Very cool spot. Lots of traffic but great scenery. Lots of amphibians along the rock wall mixed in with all the ferns, moss and wildflowers. Overlooked due to the rushing water. Hiked all the way to the end than came back on the Indian trail crossed the mile bridge and continued to the end on the upper ridge trail.

It's a lovely trail, a rather steep climb, may need to use your hands to climb up some of the trail. It's located near a campsite, which will give you a moderate to high trafficked area, depending on time of day. Definitely worth my time, the views were beautiful. It took roughly 5 hours, with some breaks at the look out points. The hike can be longer than 5 hrs if you choose to go further through the trail. I'll post the pictures that I have.

There are easy, moderate and harder trails to choose from so I can bring my kids or do the more difficult on my own! Beautiful sites, amazing natural wonders!

Very impressed by the overlook and not to hard to access for beginners and intermediate hikers!

Awesome. Probably the most challenging hike I’ve done to date. It involves many instances of climbing over some large and loose boulders. I wouldn’t recommend unless you were in very good shape. We summited in a little under three hours (both of us are/were athletes in college.) The only lame part is the fact that you have to walk ~2 miles through a road and country club if you access it from the free parking zone.

Beautiful but poorly marked

beautiful! the stairs at the end are killer tho haha

Me and my dad did this loop in September 2017. The landscape is unique and combined with cascading 8 water falls makes the hike even more rewarding. We loved the hike and is fairly easy without much elevation gain. Plenty of opportunity for photo shoot. Parking is 8$ but under two hours, it is free as most of the roadside parking is just for 2 hours. So this hike is easily doable in 2 hours. Just a pro tip.

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