Mount Colden via Avalanche Pass Trail

HARD 33 reviews
#32 of 177 trails in

Mount Colden via Avalanche Pass Trail is a 13.4 mile lightly 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 best used from October until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
13.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3211 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

forest

lake

river

views

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

muddy

old growth

rocky

scramble

snow

washed out

On this beautiful loop hike you will pass through Avalanche Pass and then ascend the steep Mt. Colden trail from the shores of Lake Colden. On top of this 4,715 foot peak (ADK #11) you will have great views of the MacIntyre Range and also southeast towards Mt. Marcy. This loop trail can be very strenuous and is often done in reverse. There are three options to the summit of Colden - the Lake Arnold trail (not as steep), the trap dyke (read CAREFULLY about this and know your limits before attempting as it can be dangerous) or the Mt. Colden trail which is what this trip log reports.

hiking
6 days ago

Great trail with great views and features. I would rate it as moderate difficulty level, but it definitely gives you the taste of the region (it get's a lot more strenuous near the great peaks) . If you are planning on camping near the lake, plan on arriving earlier as it's a pretty busy spot. Also, make sure you bring a bear canister that up to Adirondacks club's standards (it's free to swap your canister for the approved one, or rent one out for 40$/week if you don't have one). Bears are pretty active by the lake. We saw 3 during our 2 days stay.

hiking
16 days ago

What an awesome mountain. Excellent views looking west at the entire Macintyre range and east at Marcy and the upper great range. It was an absolutely perfect day when I had gone out (which may be positively effecting my review here a little). Finished the hike in 6 hours 10 minutes (that includes a 30 min summit stop). Hiked as an out-and-back past Lake Arnold.

*Note: if ascending via Lake Arnold trail, there is a false summit. With low hanging clouds I could easily see this being mistaken as colden's peak. Also there is no marker for the actual summit. When you get to the top of the expansive summit you will see a sign that says "Please place your rocks here." There is a tiny trail just behind it- follow it and you'll come to a boulder surrounded by trees. On top of the boulder is a hole with "Peak" scraped in the rock next to it (I've attached an image).

hiking
22 days ago

Great hike! Definitely recommended! Rather easy as well.

hiking
29 days ago

loved it!

hiking
29 days ago

Awesome hike, great views, amazing lakes

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

This is a really beautiful hike with stunning views at the top, and a few challenging scrambles. We hiked it counter clockwise, as the west side is steep with slippery climbs and wanted to avoid coming down that.

2 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

This was a very good hike. The trail was muddy in places from the rain the day before and there was ice as you got closer to the summit. The trail around Lake Arnold was wet and very muddy to trek through. The false summit as you come up from Lake Arnold had good views, but if you look you'll see the true summit which you still have to get to. I did this hike as an out and back instead of the loop. The trail was busy with people today, as I was surprised cause the weather was cold at the summit. You didn't need microspikes, just be a little cautious where you stepped. The summit was very windy today so I didn't stay up there that long. You can see the MacIntyre Range and Mount Marshal from the summit.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Great day hike. 'nuff said about the beauty of Avalanche Lake. Steep ascent from Lake Colden to summit is a great workout. If you are in shape you will revel in the workout. Amazed by the efforts of staff/volunteers to build the amazing staircases in the steepest sections. I counted 101 steps in one of them! Love the ADK.

backpacking
10 months ago

Possibly my favorite spot in the ADK Park.

11 months ago

Avalanche pass is breathtaking & a really fun hike. The climb up Mt Colden is no joke, but the reward of the amazing view from the summit makes it completely worth it!

hiking
11 months ago

The lakes make this one of the most beautiful ADK hikes. Not too difficult, just the one steep bit.

11 months ago

Sunday, August 14, 2016

hiking
Saturday, August 13, 2016

The trail is very difficult but very beautiful. Colden offers great views from the top but the best part is the hike around avalanche lake!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

hiking
Saturday, August 06, 2016

Honestly this loop is uncalled for. Just take the Lake Arnold trail in and out. The small trail up to colden from avalanche pass is absolute hell and very dangerous at some points. Took me an extra 2 or 3 hours when I could've enjoyed the hike a bit more. The view at the top is amazing just take the more trafficked trail.