Avalanche Lake and Wright Peak Loop Via Avalanche Pass Trail

HARD 228 reviews
#16 of 181 trails in

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.

Distance: 11.4 miles Elevation Gain: 3,854 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bird watching

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

scramble

snow

no shade

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.

hiking
muddy
scramble
2 days ago

A very interesting hike but the mileage is definitely going to be more than what is noted here. We went in the middle of September on a day with light drizzle which added plenty of fog to the hike. The rocks were slippery and the path was muddy but we managed to do this whole hike in 9 hours and 30 minutes, we are probably average hikers. We def took our time going around Avalanche Lake then up the peak which slowed us down a lot. The winds at both peaks had to be near 100 mphs and the fog limited our view on one peak to about 300 feet but it was worth it. If you manage to do this in one day make sure you have 10 hours, and and plan to soak your whole body in a nice bath the next day.

Took us around 12 hours of continuous hiking. We split it up into an overnight camping excursion. Tough hike, but amazing views! Walking the lower level is hot given lack of breeze but top of the mountain can get chilly.

hiking
26 days ago

Incredible views from Avalanche pass and Algoqui n

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing trail full of diversity and breathtaking views! Definitely worth the pain in my legs and the 7h45 put into it. Count more time than this as I was rushing through it. Pass by Avalanche lake first since going down Wright Mtn towards Avalanche lake is extremely hard with the crazy slope found near the top.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Very beautiful lake avalanche my favorites, the rise of algoquin by the lake is quite difficult. The muscles will heat up but very beautiful view it is worthwhile, the descent is quite difficult also with a lot of rocks and it can be quickly slippery. watch out for the ankles ⚠

hiking
2 months ago

1st off, all 3 views are unbelievable. The hike from Algonquin over Boundary up to Iroquois and back is much more difficult then most say. Also, the hike down Avalanche pass to the lake is long, steep and strenuous. If you're going to do the loop make sure you have enough daylight. All in all worth the effort.

hiking
bugs
rocky
2 months ago

This trail provides beautiful views of Colden and Avalanche Lake. I climbed up the Algonquin trail and descended via Avalanche Pass. The big boulders along the lake are challenging towards the end of a long day, but the ladders and walkways make them as easy as possible. The views of Mt Colden, Marcy Dam, and Avalanche Lake make the additional miles descending Algonquin worth it.

2 months ago

Missed Iroquois but Algonquin, Wright Peak and the side of Avalanche were amazing

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
washed out
3 months ago

This was quite a beautiful, scenic trail loop. At some points you are hiking along the lakeside, up rocks surrounding waterfalls, and many, many boulders. I was never bored, due to the scenery and trail terrain. The loop took us 12 hours to complete. The hiking ability in our group ranged from someone who is very adventurous and active, to someone who doesn't exercise consistently. We had quite a few breaks as we were only moving as fast as our slowest member. This was my first lengthy hike. Before this trail, I had done 3-4 hours hikes at most about 1-2 times a year. I am fit and run about 3-4 times/week. I found this trail challenging, but could handle it. We arrived at the Hoj parking lot at 7:30am and the lot was already full. We must've just missed a spot by 5-15 minutes. Definitely a well-trafficked trail. We were directed to turn around and park in a tiny lot right off of the road about 1 mile away on the right. In the beginning of your trek, it doesn't seem like a big deal to add 2 miles to the hiking. But when you return from this hike, you are very sad to pass the Hoj parking lot and realize you still have another mile to go to your car. The description notes that dogs are able to use this trail. I do not consider this loop dog friendly on some parts, depending on your dog. By the lake, there are ladders that humans can climb up easily. But we had a 70lb dog with us and needed two people in order to get our dog over the ladder areas and tall boulder areas. One person at the top and one person at the bottom was needed for a dog hand off. Some people easily carried their small dogs up the ladder. So consider that - it is dog friendly if you can carry your dog or your dog can jump very high. On one or two parts of the trail, we saw a ranger who warned people that your dog has to be on leash 100% of the time. People wrote about how rocky the path was. Until I experienced it, I would not have possibly understood the extent of rockiness on this trail. The trail was all rock and boulders all the time. I spent plenty of time trying to make sure I had secure footing with each step. In the beginning of the hike, you have a smooth dirt path to start you off. At the end of the hike, I had never been as grateful to see a dirt trail path, absent of rocks, in my life. Some parts of the trail were very muddy, so I was glad to have hiking boots that extended to just past my ankle. Trail was also largely bug free until about 5:30-6pm for us. The 360 degree view at the top was absolutely magnificent, with all the different mountains. There was plenty of space to sit and enjoy the view. The hike along the lake was gorgeous. Scaling flat boulders that surrounded waterfalls was also a very unique experience.

11 months ago

This hike starts out easy, and gets tougher right when you reach avalanche lake. It is lots of fun scrambling and hiking along waterfalls. It was too foggy at the top of Algonquin peak to see much, but I imagine on a clear day it’s breathtaking. Great views anyways, and highly recommended.

hiking
11 months ago

Absolutely beautiful hike

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Beautiful

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

My wife and I hike a fair amount in the Western US and didn’t really understand how difficult this hike was before embarking. It is clear from the distance of the loop, the vertical involved, and the steepness that a “hard” rating is well deserved. What we didn’t know was how slow we’d have to hike to negotiate the boulders and natural, ungroom condition of the “trail.” It was a challenge! The time on the trail with late August heat and humidity revealed our poor planning in water consumption. Our bad. The reason for a lower rating is colored by our experience and lack of planning but is more about the relatively few vistas for the effort. Others might rate this loop higher for the technical challenge.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Long and challenging but well worth it. Doing this loop gives a nice diversity of things to see as opposed to the shorter out and back to top Algonquin. Highly recommend

Monday, July 30, 2018

This hike kicked my butt. awesome hike. took 11 hrs cause I'm out of shape but working on it! great time!

hiking
Thursday, July 19, 2018

positive. Stones are too much to vomit. I walked in a clockwise direction and passed the lake super positive. When I went up the mountain, I was abused by a pile of stones. Down the mountain is also a stone tears. Can be in Strava check in my data “ Chenyufeng

hiking
Thursday, July 12, 2018

Glad I didn’t know how hard this loop would be before I naively took on the challenge...Ha! The scenic views are well worth every drop of sweat. I hiked from the Loj to Lake Colden thru Avalanche Pass and spent night in a lean to. Had a bear play soccer with my Bear Keg. Also saw beaver swimming in the lake. Next day I hiked up Boundary Pass and took a left at the top to be the first hiker of the day to enjoy Iroquois. Also a fantastic view of Wallface to the west. Hike up the pass was VERY difficult, but the views of Avalanche Pass & Great Range were amazing. I would not recommend hiking “down” the pass as it’s wet from the numerous waterfalls and quite slippery. After Iroquois I touched Algonquin and Wright on the way back to the Loj...knees screaming all the way. Day was clear and had views of Lake Champlain and mountains in Vermont. A hike I’ll never forget!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

love this hike.

hiking
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Impressive trail with amazing views.

Friday, May 18, 2018

hike was amazing micro spikes not needed, way more scenic and enjoyable then the regular in out loop. views from algonquin are breathtaking, and avalanche pass is gorgeous.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

it was a gorgeous hike and decently challenging just take your time on the way down I sprained my lcl going to quickly

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