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Avalanche Lake and Wright Peak Loop Via Avalanche Pass Trail

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High Peaks Wilderness

Avalanche Lake and Wright Peak Loop Via Avalanche Pass Trail is a 11.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lake Placid, New York that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 11.4 mi Elevation gain 3,854 ft Route type Loop
Dog friendly Camping Hiking Nature trips Snowshoeing Bird watching Forest Lake River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Muddy Rocky Scramble Snow
Description
Waypoints (19)
Tips

Climb the MacIntyre Range in one day from Heart Lake over three 46er peaks including the 2nd highest in the state. Although a bit strenuous this loop climb up the MacIntyre Range is one of the most beautiful climbs in all the High Peaks (might be a tie with Rocky Peak & Giant). Travel past Marcy Dam to Avalanche Lake and ascend the range in that direction as the trail from Lake Colden up to the ridge is very steep and best climbed rather than descended. You will be amazed at the trail built around Avalanche Lake and really enjoy the waterfalls tumbling down the base of the climb up to the range which has spectacular views. Once up on the ridge you will be above the tree line with unobstructed views all around. On the way down you'll make a side trip to the summit of Wright and also have an option to check out a rocky nubble just below Wright for some last unique views.

Heart Lake Adirondack Loj Trailhead: From Exit 30 take Route 73 towards Lake Placid for 26.5 miles. Take a left onto Adirondack Loj Road and continue 5 miles to the Loj and the parking area. There is a $10 fee to park here for the day.

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Reviews (287)
Photos (2947)
Recordings (140)
Completed (1114)
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Paul Perry
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Hiking
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Jacob Bissaillon
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Hiking
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Ben Bewick
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Hiking
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Heather Heale
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Hiking

We completed this trail over Labor Day weekend. We started at the Loj and were able to get parking at 5:40 am. Our group of 4 and a 5lb dog made it up Algonquin and Iroquois but we were too gassed to make it up Wright as well. We descended via Wright allowing us to complete a loop rather than going out and back via Avalanche pass. Highly recommend taking the extra couple miles to do the avalanche it was really nice. The description says dogs can take this trail but it would be impossible if you cannot carry your dog at certain points. We each carried in 3 liters of water and iodine tabs. We each consumed about 5l of water and it wasn’t too hot. The trail gets really hard after avalanche lake and those two miles were brutal. The whole loop took us about 11 hours. Would have been at least another hour to hit Wright.

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Jacob Teves
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Dan McDonough
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Hiking

A beautiful but very strenuous hike from Adirondack Loj, up to Algonquin Peak, and back down to Avalanche Lake. Myself and my 12 year old daughter.

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Eric Miller
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Jason Bond
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TAS Skl
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HikingRocky

Amazing tough hike - well worth it!!

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Chris Miller
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BugsMuddyRockyScramble

I'll echo some of the other comments. Trail up from lake Colden to Algonquin is really steep and challenging. Can be difficult to follow at spots but following the stream up makes it a really good view and unique. Trail down Algonquin back to the Loj is probably the worst part due to all the rocks making it slow. Only did Algonquin. Took about 8.5 hours with probably an hour break. Would take at least 5L water. Wouldn't recommend to beginners.

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Olivia Dunkle
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Chrissy Petraitis
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Hiking

Great trail! We skipped Wright peak and did Algonquin and Iroquois. Absolutely amazing views from the top. From Iroquois, we headed down to Avalanche Lake. That path was gorgeous but be prepared for additional time. It took about two hours to do 2 miles do to the rocks and scrambles. It’s very steep. Avalanche Lake was one of my favorite spots with catwalks and ladders throughout the trail. Remember to bring enough water. We each drank about 5L each and had to get some from the creek (bring purifying tablets!). We did this is one day, took about 12 hours.

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Alex Silvergold
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BackpackingBugsMuddyOver grownRockyScrambleWashed out

Amazing hike with one caveat: the trail from Algonquin down to Colden is one of the most brutal trails I’ve ever been on. Unrelenting descent with not even a single sign of relief until the bottom. Avalanche pass is beautiful, but I don’t think I will ever be visiting via that route again.

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Joe Sanfratello
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HikingBugsMuddyRocky
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Springer Schwartz
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Hiking

On the trail at 6:45am, parking lot filling up. Avalanche Lake and then up to the ridge, excellent steep but solid trail, long stretches of rock face along a stream. Gained the ridge at 10:20, did Iroquis and then a long stop at Algonquin, the ranger there said they had about 60 people today. Back down at 3:20pm. The trail down Algonquin is quite annoying because the path is littered with rocks, on the mildly sloping or flat sections this feels like a species of sabotage. Maybe one day these will be removed, would improve the experience greatly. Bugs were not much of a problem. Very few people until the ridge.

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Robert Payst
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HikingBugsMuddyRockyScramble
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