Scenic and Destination Hikes Adirondack High Peaks
Adirondack Loj Rd./Heart Lake
Length: a 8.4 mile round trip
Avalanche Lake is a 9-acre mountain lake located between 4,714-foot Mount Colden and 3816-foot Avalanche Mountain. The two mountains rise in vertical cliffs from the surface of the lake. The trail past the lake from the Adirondack Loj to Lake Colden is choked with large boulders, and a number of wooden ladders have been built to make passage possible. There are also three places where the trail takes to wooden catwalks bolted directly into the cliff face, that were first built in the 1920s.1
Start out traversing over rolling terrain and pass the pond at Marcy Dam before climbing up to the remote and narrow Avalanche Pass. From the Pass, you’ll descend to the lakeshore where there are impressive views of the lake, nestled within a narrow gorge flanked by sheer cliffs on both sides.2
This trail can be very rough in spots. According to the Adirondack Mountain Club High Peaks Guide, it can take an hour to cover the one mile section from the top of the pass to the lower end of Avalanche Lake.3
2 Adirondack Great Walks and Day Hikes
3 Adirondack Mountain Club High Peaks Region 13th Ed.