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Mt. Colden

Climb Mt. Colden on this beautiful loop hike through Avalanche Pass and returning via Lake Arnold.
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 14 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  On this beautiful loop hike you will pass through gorgeous Avalanche Pass and then ascend the steep Mt. Colden trail from the shores... more »

Tips:  Heart Lake Adirondack Loj Trailhead:
From Exit 30 take Route 73 towards Lake Placid for 26.5 miles. Take a left onto Adirondack Loj... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Adirondack Loj Hear Lake Trailhead

Parking here is $10 per day. Head on down the most traveled trail towards Marcy Dam after signing into the register.

2. Marcy Dam

From Marcy Dam look for the trail for Avalanche Lake. It should be well marked. If not you can always ask the ranger at the station for help with directions.

3. Lake Arnold Trail

The trail heading off to the left is the Lake Arnold Trail. This is the trail you will be returning on. For now just continue on towards Avalanche Lake.

Take your time and enjoy how awesome this area is as you traverse the lake on wooden ladders and bridges bolted to the cliff faces. You can look up the massive trapdike towards the summit of Colden far above with all its slides.

5. Mt. Colden Trail

This trail departs from Lake Colden about a third of the way down the shore and less than a mile from the outlet of Avalanche Lake. This way up Colden is much steeper than the descent route down to Lake Arnold which is why you should choose to ascend this way.

6. Summit of Mt. Colden

At 4,715 feet you are at the summit of Mt. Colden with spectacular 360 degree views all around. Across Avalanche Lake is the McIntyre Range and behind is Mt. Marcy and the Great Range in the distance. Take some time to relax up at the top if it is a nice day and get plenty of pictures. Try to snap a few in order of the MacIntyre Range to make ... More

7. Lower Summit

The lower north summit of Colden looking back.

8. Lake Arnold Junction

Head downhill to the north from this junction following the outlet of Lake Arnold.

9. Trail to Indian Falls

You have a choice here. If you have the energy and want to take a slightly different route back to Marcy Dam you can feel free to head right on this trail to check out the beautiful Indian Falls. I've included those falls in my Guide for Redfield and Cliff so chose to take the easier way back on this Guide. But, if you have the energy go for... More