Avalanche Pass and Avalanche Lake Trail

HARD 25 reviews
#26 of 175 trails in

Avalanche Pass and Avalanche Lake Trail is a 10.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near North Elba, 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 but must be kept on leash.

10.1 miles
1450 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash




nature trips



cross country skiing





wild flowers





This is a wonderful hike into a beautiful cliff-lined alpine lake deep in the heart of the Adirondack High Peaks Region This is a wonderful hike from Adirondack Loj to Avalanche Lake in between Mt. Colden and Algonquin. You'll climb along ladders and bridges bolted directly to the cliff walls around the lake. The views up the slides and trapdike towards the top of Colden are incredible.

25 days ago

1 month ago

Did this hike on April 12th. Simply a gorgeous, amazing, breathtaking hike. If you hike in April, be prepared for a mostly snowy/icy trail with several muddy spots. We started at Adirondack Loj, and they required snowshoes at 18 bucks a pop to do the Avalanche Lake trail. They were definitely needed! I would imagine into May, you'd have little snow left. Took 2.5 hours to get to the Lake, spent an hour there, and only took about 1.75 hours to walk back, although we are fast walkers! Once you come out of the woods through the pass and onto the lake, you will stop in awe at how magnificent it looks. Will definitely drive up here in the summer to do this hike again!

2 months ago

4 months ago

Really great hike to do if you don't want to climb up a mountain, though pretty popular. Didn't go on the lake as the ice wasn't thick enough, so took the trail on its west shore to get to the other end. The trail is pretty rugged along the lake; lots of boulders, ladders, catwalks and the "hitch-up-matildas". If you're taking the trail instead of going on the lake when visiting in the winter, be careful as there's a lot of places to slip and fall and there's holes that can be covered in deep snow.

4 months ago

I enjoyed snowshoeing this trail. The trail was packed down except for certain parts of "Misery Mile". The snowshoeing on Avalanche Lake was nice and certain sections had snow drifts across the ice. The view of the Trap Dike was nice from the lake.

4 months ago

This was a nice trail to do. The usual route up to Marcy Dam was pretty much cut out, but when I went onto the Avalanche Pass trail, the trail was cut out but not packed down. The very last mile is where you gain your elevation and I had to cut the trail due to the snow drifts that was happening. I didn't make it all the way to the lake, but I made it pass the Avalanche Pass Slide and down into the "shoot" before I turned back around. This trail crossed over several skiing trails, and I met a lot of cross country skiers heading towards the lake. I want to do this trail in the summer.

9 months ago

9 months ago

11 months ago

Beautiful trail. First trail I completed in the Adirondacks and it stole my heart. Took some time to swim in the lake. Very cold in early June but well worth it. Not a terribly difficult hike but worth it!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

cross country skiing
Thursday, September 03, 2015

One of the most iconic hikes in the High Peaks and a must-do cross-country ski tour.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015


Monday, August 03, 2015

This is rated hard, but as far as ADK trails go it is not hard. Absolutely beautiful though. Hope to climb the trap dike to Colden someday.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Went through from an overnight at Marcy Dam on our way to Algonquin. A great area, the bridges and ladders only add to the fun in this area. Will definitely be going back again.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Hiked in for an overnight in early June with a 16 month old and a 9 year old. Made it just past Marcy dam. Awesome trail, friendly people, mutant hungry black flies and mosquitos. Too much for the kids so we humped it outta there and spent the night at the Comfort Inn Plattsburgh. Definitely going back when the flies aren't so hungry. Bug dope didn't help.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Monday, September 09, 2013

This trail is difficult, steep, and utterly amazing. So rewarding. Breathtaking sights. The avalanche debris, Mt. Colden, the lake--all are incredibly beautiful and awestriking. Worth it.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Amazing hike.