Backpacking Avalanche Pass to Lake Colden

Backpacking Avalanche Pass to Lake Colden - Pure Adirondacks

We welcome Krysti Sabins of Unboring Exploring to share some information and a video on backpacking to Lake Colden in the High Peaks Wilderness.

Trip Type: Overnight, out-and-back
Where: Adirondack High Peaks
Trailhead: 44.182818, -73.962325
Length: 12-14 miles, depending on final campsite
Difficulty: Moderate
Notes: Bear Canister REQUIRED, Fires PROHIBITED
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall


Looking for an exceptional way to kick off the spring backpacking season? Why not try this High Peaks adventure on for size! With little elevation gain and much and more to see, this trip is a perfect cure for your itchy feet, even when a smidgen of ice remains on the trails.

To tackle this overnight, head over to the Heart Lake trailhead ($10 parking fee) outside of Lake Placid, as early as possible. This trailhead is where many, many hikers begin their journey up 5,343’ Mount Marcy (the highest peak within NY), but this trek will have you exploring the passes and valleys far below the towering summits.

From Heart Lake, you’ll stroll through aromatic pine forests, travel past Marcy Dam, clamber over wooden planks along Avalanche Pass, stroll next to expansive Lake Colden, and eventually pitch a tent along the Opalescent Brook. Overall it’s a circa 12-14 mile round-trip out-and-back, with some different routes returning around Lake Colden.

If you’re planning to be in any part of the Eastern High Peaks, keep in mind a Bear Canister is REQUIRED, otherwise you’ll have some brutish bruins searching through your foodstuffs ;) Also, all backcountry campfires are PROHIBITED, so make sure to pack plenty of layers in the colder months!

Eager to learn more? Watch the full virtual hike (w/ punderful narration by yours truly), below!

Hungry for more adventures from Unboring Exploring? Be sure to visit the website!

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