Avalanche Lake and Wright Peak Loop Via Avalanche Pass Trail

HARD 227 reviews
#7 of 183 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
3854 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

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.

2 days ago

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.

1 month ago

Great view! Totally worth it.

2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

Difficult climb chose to do it the other day after a snowstorm. The hike was beautiful with the snow covered trees but unfortunately we had zero visibility at top but we still enjoyed the loop. Would like to revisit in the summer!

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this back in August. It was my second high peak hike, so it was a long, rough day. The way up was uneventful, but still relatively steep and difficult. Summits were rainy and foggy with no views. It started pouring on the way down, making the one major section of steep rock pretty dangerous.

Trail was heavily trafficked with very friendly people. Took us about 8 hrs total. Highly recommend trekking poles (we didn't have them), your knees will thank you later.

3 months ago

Great trail . Starts from the parking with a walk during about 1 mile . Then you start going up . Not too steep . After another 1mile then it get steep all the way up . Very windy up there but we had clear and very nice view on Marcy Colden , Gothic , all the way to Giant . Very nice trail . Worth trying .

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked Algonquin yesterday the weather was beautiful sitting at about 30 degrees Fahrenheit but windy especially above the tree line with winds upwards of 70+ miles an hour. Trail is packed down wore snowshoes for a little over half and switched to micro spikes which served well over the many sheets of ice towards the top. White out conditions above tree line made it hard to see the trail but followed rock cairns to the peak.

5 months ago

Awesome hike. Took approx 6h including lunch. Spikes were necessary almost from Loj. Almost easier this time of year because of spikes.

hiking
5 months ago

Decided to take a crack at the beast known as Algonquin today. Set out from Saratoga at 4:00am. Saw no other cars on my entire northward journey to the Loj. I took it as a sign that today wouldn't be incredibly busy. I was definetly right. Arrived at the Loj at 6:15ish. I always take my sweet ass time getting ready and never rush. Had my act together by 7:30 and was off, haha.

Started out on the Van Ho and immediately ran into an what im thinking was an endangered Spruce Grouse (still awaiting that confirmation though.) Bluebird day though to start even though heavy clouds were forecasted across all weather channels that I saw. Fast forward through about 2 uneventful miles and I ran into my first passer-by. He had hit the trail incredibly early for a sunrise Algonquin. We spoke briefly about how if I hurried I could still catch some views as the clouds predicted were rolling in as fast as ever. I took off, passed the Wright junction and began the part of the trail I had not seen as of yet. I've done Wright but have never gone past the junction.

I was anxious to see how steep things would actually become. I had crossed two low level hairy spots already and was sure there was more. Got to some steep light powdery snow stuff and trekked on up it. Probably the steepest thing I've hiked yet but the footing with the Hillsounds was so good that I wasn't even sweating it. The hike I had on Wright was notably easy for me and much to my surprise so was Algonquin. I got to the summit at around 10ish and was more than satisfied with such time. I never rush out there. I was definetly astounded at Algonquin's size. I felt as though I could fall off the earth at any moment.

By now clouds had engulfed the entire Algonquin cap and the only views to be had were those behind me to Wright and beyond. Those views however were spectacular and blue (for a few moments anyway.) I scurried carefully up to the top and instantly spotted the geodetic stamp. I took a quick pan and a few shots of the stamp. Clouds were thick and I became briefly frightened at where I was and how the hell I'd gotten there, haha.

To be quite honest as most of you know I'm new so I didn't really even know what was going to happen with all the cloud stuff. It was quite high, quite icy and it took me all of three seconds to realize Iroquois would be another trip. I couldn't see very far in front of me let alone out to Iroquois. I was and am content with that decision. So in my mind before this became some silly debacle the plan was to take an easy frickin' checkmark of the second highest peak in NY (YAY!) and get down quickly yet slowly but safely. I'd had plenty of time for pictures and reflection. It was a good day, just easy so the feeling of accomplishment was low, lol. Had the entire summit to myself while I was there. I figured that was something special in its own right.

Passed by a man and a woman on the way down and chatted for about a minute. Trucked back down carefully to the steep powdery snow and had some fun very cautiously sliding down. Started seeing lots of people by 11:00am. Passed maybe 20 along the entire route down and was back down at car by 12:30. I know that isn't considered "blazing" by any means but its pretty good for me. Actually it's really good for me. I usually clock a dismal 1mph so to be at almost 1.5mph is really exciting, lol.

Anyways, great day, wanted to write a report because it's been forever and I thought people might want to know exactly what it looks like out there as of late. Definetly bring spikes. I had the Grivels in the bag and they could've been used without overkill but was just fine with the Hillsounds. Literally two spots in my opinion could've warranted the Grivels. I knew they would blister my heels so I just proceeded cautiously. It's certainly wintery up there though. Don't skimp on the gear. You'll thank me later.

5 months ago

Did not complete the loop but i climbed wright and algonquin. Today was really windy on top, but the view was completely breathtaking.
I would recommend that hike 100%.
Took me 6h20 and i did mount wright twice.
First time was too cloudy.
Fun day! :)

hiking
6 months ago

Difficult climb for an inexperienced hiker, but the view was breath taking.

hiking
6 months ago

The only views we got at the top of all of the peaks were gray fog, we got rained on a bit and almost knocked over by the wind but the feeling of accomplishment was well worth it. We went at the perfect time of the year in which the fall foliage was breathtaking and I had to stop multiple times to just appreciate it. It looked as the forest was on fire.

6 months ago

très rocheux un beau défi. La vue à 360° wow

hiking
6 months ago

A great hike. Wright, Algonquin and Iroquois. Great views

6 months ago

I’m a 59 year old guy who is in decent shape...or so I thought!!! My intentions were to try and do three peaks all at once...Algonquin, Wright, and Iroquois. But man did I underestimate how STRENUOUS it would be! It was mostly rock paths and rock climbing...BE AWARE!!!!...when you get to the signs marking “Wright peak- .4 miles” pointing to the left...and “toilet” pointing to the right...there is another half broken sign between them on the same post pointing up to “Algonquin - .9 miles”... you can hardly see the “Algonquin “ sign...so stop and really read the signs!!!! I posted a pic of the sign...By mistake, I took Algonquin, but was so glad I did??? I was exhausted by the time I reached the summit, and realized I was too beat to do either of the other peaks that day. So at least I did the 2nd highest peak in New York State!!! The views were spectacular!!! FYI...it’s 2 days later and I AM SOOOO SORE!!!! Time to start planning my next peak!!!

7 months ago

Well worth the effort to get here. The top is like something out of Lord of the Rings. Not for beginners or those with weak knees; the descent will be hardest.

7 months ago

Amazing views the whole way. Summit was great. Avalanche Lake was gorgeous as well - a solid and challenging route for sure!

7 months ago

Nice hike and amazing views.

hiking
7 months ago

This was a nice loop hike that we did minus Wright peak. The Algonquin trail was steep going up but enjoyable. This was my second round for these peaks. There was a little snow still hanging around on the trail.

7 months ago

Added Iroquois to the W&A loop. Fun waves of bush trashing through narrow passageways alternating wide open exposed rock plateaus. A few fun scrambling problems to solve. Lake Colden ladders grant magnificent views. No bugs on a flat walk back to the car wishing for flip-flops. Six to three. Mostly daylight:)

hiking
8 months ago

Hard a semi understatement! The parking lots were full when we got there (yesterday around 1030) so we and others had an additional 2 miles added to the hike---get there early! We did Algonquin first starting around noon and debated adding Wright (as it was about 5pm). Which we did. That is just as hard as Algonquin! Straight up from the .04 sign. Longest .04 in my life! Definitely worth adding on..especially when you're almost there. We finally got out of the woods about 715 altho getting dark. Lots of people kids and dogs. Great to see! Bugs weren't even out! Definitely great and challenging!

8 months ago

It's a great hike the way the app Directs you is good. You have to be reasonable shape to do this loop. The decent to the car was a solid 4 hours and mentally draining as you are in a boulder field for 3/4 of the way down. It's beyond worth and I recommend it for any reasonably experienced hiker

hiking
8 months ago

GREAT HIKE! Avalanche Pass was cool, Avalanche Lake was very cool ! Large rocks to navigate but very doable. The ladders, planks & Hitch Up Matildas(walkways mounted on the cliffs a few feet above the lake) were fun. The scenery while hiking the lake was awesome ! The climb up to Algonquin was physically demanding but technically very doable. Most of the climb was rock and roots with beautiful waterfalls and excellent views of Colden & Marcy once you get high enough. The last 1/4 mi. of the climb was some pretty steep slabs of rock (but if one is ok with the slabs of rock...very doable). The 360 view from the peak was worth the effort. Not enough time or energy to include Wright. First hiking trip to the High Peaks region so only Big Slide to compare it to but I give it 5 stars.

backpacking
8 months ago

Did this in the pouring rain. Climbing Alogonquin first was one of the hardest hikes I've ever done, holding on roots to not slip down the rock face. The rest of the hike was not bad at all. Going by Avalanche Lake was absolutely BEAUTIFUL and so fun with the ladders. Enjoyed the day and took me a total of 10 hours. Dog was able to do it!

8 months ago

Great hike. Little bit of rain and water going down Algonquin towards colden lake. Took the dog but was not easy with the ladders and boulders at avalanche lake.

8 months ago

Was an awesome hike, we ran into a bit of rain which made the rocks slick on avalanche pass but it was totally worth it for the views.

hiking
8 months ago

Great views, a little scrambling, and very muddy on parts of old Marcy trail. You can loop using Avalanche Pass, but it's a 2k descent and not for bad knees.

8 months ago

I found the trail to be in excellent shape not much mud the view great, had lunch went over on Iroquois almost missed the trail right behind the sign walking through the bog was really cool Meet a young Englishman on the way to Summit we climb together met a German on top it was International Day on Iroquois. they left and went on their journey I had the top to my self for 25 minutes

hiking
8 months ago

Challenging terrain - beautiful views up too and at lake - took us 5 hours total trail running beginning and end

hiking
8 months ago

The first bit of the trail is easy, then comes the steep and endless rock- this will leave you huffing and puffing and surly Hating yourself for not working out more often.
The decent to boundary & Iroquois is a nice break and the climbs up aren't too terrible considering what you've just accomplished, plus there is NO way your coming back this far just to do Iroquois.
On the way back to the Loj stop and climb Wright! Approx .4miles with the second half uber steep and exposed at some point you will probably begin Hating your life, but hey! It's not that far.

All in all this hike is hard but enjoyable with some time to eat at the summit expect to be 8-9hrs the 360degree views are fantastic and 123million % worth it

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