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Avalanche Lake and Wright Peak Loop Via Avalanche Pass Trail

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(259)
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.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (259)
Photos (2168)
Recordings (103)
Completed (976)
Chrissy Petraitis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jul 10 2020
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.

Alex Silvergold
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jul 02 2020
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
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 29 2020
HikingBugsMuddyRocky
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Springer Schwartz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 25 2020
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.

Robert Payst
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 16 2020
HikingBugsMuddyRockyScramble
Brooke Weinert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 24 2020
HikingFeeIcyMuddySnow

We loved this trail and all it had to offer. Hiked 5/23 and still lots of post holing, slush and ice, micro spikes above 3000ft will make for a more pleasant trip! Will add- although avalanche pass says dog friendly, it’s more suited for smaller dogs that can be carried up ladders or dogs that are familiar going up & down ladders. We had our 90lb malamute with us and had to carry her up and down in some very sketchy crevasses. Luckily we made it safely and could enjoy the rest of the trail, but something to keep in mind!

Bernie Landa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat May 09 2020
HikingIcyRockyScrambleSnow

Completed in opposite direction suggested. Descending to Lake Coldin allowed more viewing of the surroundings as you approach Wright, Algonquin, and Iroquois on the ascent. Did all 3 peaks and loop and distance was 14.6 mi. Total time 8 hrs and are experienced and fit hikers. Snow and ice above 2500 ft and recommend spikes and poles for efficient travel.

Dre Jimenez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Apr 11 2020
HikingBridge outIcyMuddy
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Corey Shoemaker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 26 2019
Hiking

awesome hike. the trail around Avalanche Lake is very rocky, the new walkways are great though. decided to head up Algonquin. backside trail from avalanche pass is steep but a great hike. weather was perfect on top. a little snow hear and there and a little icy coming down the front for the first 500 ft of elevation but I didn't need to put on my spikes, just took it easy. altogether GPS said about 12 miles. great day!

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Ben Roth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Oct 21 2019
HikingIcyMuddyRockyScrambleSnowWashed out

Fairly strenuous loop that will take the better part of a day or maybe more! I'm in shape, but the hike up Algonquin was all rock and ice. I expected more of a trail, but you are literally wading through the sides of a waterfall the entire way up until you break tree line and enter the alpine zone. It was however, amazing. The loop through Avalanche pass was stunning and offered seriously cool terrain to scramble across. We had to rent trail spikes from the loj and I would highly recommend small gaiters to keep mud and water off your ankles and waterproof hiking boots. The ice was fairly treacherous at times as some of the ascent and the descent down Algonquin is sheer flat rock that's now wet and icy from snow melt. Be prepared to move slow and leave early to do the entire loop! The trail up Algonquin is confusing to follow if your looking for trail, just follow the water and look for signs of use/markers. We departed at 9am and made it back around 530pm. We only summited Algonquin and ignored Iroquois and Wright. The views entering Avalanche pass reminded me of Yosemite. Not nearly to scale, but some of the coolest views I've seen on the East Coast!

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