Mount Colden via Avalanche Pass Trail

HARD 46 reviews
#6 of 42 trails in

Mount Colden via Avalanche Pass Trail is a 20.6 kilometer 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 but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
20.6 km
ELEVATION GAIN
933 m
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

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.

6 days ago

Best hike ive been on, beautiful and really challenging.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this loop last week. Crossing-over Avalanche Lake saved a lot of time. Very nice hike with nice viewpoints.

5 months ago

Strenuous, but rewarding.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful trail into Colden that goes through Avalanche Pass and Avalanche Lake! The ascent is pretty steep but it’s made easier by many ladders and staircase steps that have recently been constructed. Great views of Marcy, Algonquin, Iroquois, and Wright peaks.

7 months ago

I really enjoyed this loop, however, this trail is *NOT DOG FRIENDLY*. I had my 55 lb pooch with me and I chose to carry him up and down ladders rather than turn around. This is definitely a very muddy hike, I would not recommend it immediately following heavy rain and I imagine the bugs are killer during the Summer months. The views are fantastic from the summit and once you break tree line. Took me about 6.5 hours with plenty of stops for pictures and a lunch.

hiking
8 months ago

A long hike for sure with plenty of scrambles, but if you don't mind the horrific amounts of biting flies and deep mud, Colden offers excellent views of Marcy, Algonquin, Wright, and Iroquois. And the path around Avalanche lake makes you feel like you're on a playground with all the ladders, bridges and rock jumping. Well worth the trip.

hiking
8 months ago

No quick way to get to Colden so its a longer hike but to be honest, compared to other high peaks, the overall grades are not that steep. Due to all the rain this season, the terrain is pretty muddy, especially around Lake Arnold. Views at the summit are impressive, Marcy and the Great Range to the SE and the McIntyre Range to the NW.

8 months ago

Great trail to Avalanche Pass then a great climb up into Colden. Great new Hitchup Mathildas along Avalanche Lake and new stairs up granite steeps on the side of Colden. Coming down the backside to Arnold Lake seems to never end but the beautiful memories from the 360 degree summit of Colden makes it all worth it. Helps that we hit a top 10 hiking weather day. 72 degrees and brilliant sunshine!

hiking
9 months 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
9 months 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
9 months ago

Great hike! Definitely recommended! Rather easy as well.

hiking
10 months ago

loved it!

hiking
10 months ago

Awesome hike, great views, amazing lakes

hiking
11 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.

hiking
Friday, October 14, 2016

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
Saturday, October 01, 2016

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
Friday, September 23, 2016

Possibly my favorite spot in the ADK Park.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

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
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

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

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!

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.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Beautiful trail. Could be demanding for someone who's not in shape. The view is worth the effort.

hiking
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Start off at Heart Lake just south of Lake Placid. This is a short 11 mile round trip trail that takes you past Marcy Dam and Lake Arnold. Its not really hard, just a nice and steady up hill battle. It took me 6.5 hours which I think is pretty fast. It was a little bit muddy and but the bugs were not that bad. There were a couple determined black flies but overall it wasn't bad.

hiking
Friday, June 27, 2014

This was my second hike ever... Went with my buddy and his kid. Very good hike, but boy was it tough. It could be that it was just my second hike and I wasn't use to the incline but I would suggest to be prepared for some intense climbing. Great reward awaits at the top tho :)

hiking
Wednesday, December 04, 2013

14.4 miles RT. We started out our day at the Loj around 7:30 with the idea we would do the Trap Dike if it was safe enough and if not we would continue on and enjoy the Loop trail. We had to skip the dike but we were so glad we did this loop - the fall colors and the fog against the massive rock walls along with a challenging yet fun hike was amazing. We did the typical loop backwards (Avalanche Lake to Lake Colden, up the Colden trail to the summit and down the Lake Arnold trail back to Marcy dam and then the Loj. This is a bit more challenging as you gain 2000' over 1.6 miles to the summit but it is a great trail with changing woods, exposed rock and scenery that words just cant describe - one of our favorite hikes so far. We logged ~14.5 miles and we were back at the trail head in 9 hours.

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

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