The greatest and most dramatic breathtaking vistas in the High Peaks don’t come from the summits but from the rugged mountain passes between. On this trip we will hike into the backcountry from the Adirondack Loj located on Heart Lake Road off Route 73. Along this route we will pass by the old Marcy Dam where you get your first look at Mt.Colden as well as the grand Angel slides on Wright Peak! Less than 4 miles from here, with only roughly 1,400 feet of elevation, we will enter into Avalanche Pass. This place is extraordinary! Colden on the left rises high above with sheer granite bulk. On the right is the extreme steep rock of Avalanche Mountain. Looking down the center is a pristine alpine lake, perhaps the finest photo spot in the park. Do not be disappointed that we are past peak leaf season since the stars of the show are the towers of granite, majestic waters, and rugged terrain.
With full packs, we will make our way over the rugged trail alongside Avalanche Lake. From here, we will get a frontside view of Avalanche Dike (Trap Dike). Then we will make our way across the “Hitch up Matildas,” drop packs, and take a short hike to the base of the Grand Trap Dike. This will also be a great photo opportunity, as this time of year the flowing waters make a great waterfall scene.
After our time at Avalanche Pass, we will trek along to Lake Colden. From here, breathtaking views of Mt.Colden seem everlasting! This is our final destination for Day 1. We will locate and secure a lean-to in the Lake Colden area. We will set up shop and enjoy a group dinner or you can bring your own food if you like. I will filter water and prepare for the next day’s event!
On Sunday morning, we will have coffee and breakfast and be on our way! We will set off from Lake Colden and hike up the old Cold Brook Pass, a trail no longer maintained, leading between Marshall Peak and Iroquios up into Indian Pass. This trail is rugged, perhaps the most rugged in the Peaks. After reaching the Indian Pass Trail, we will hang a left and march through the magnificent Indian Pass. Cutting between the MacIntyre Range and Wallface Mountain is what was once called Adirondack Pass, now Indian Pass. Wallface Mountain has the highest vertical rock cliff east of the Mississippi, 1,000 feet above with a talus laid floor. We will spend a few hours in here and eat lunch. From the pass we will begin our exit back to the Loj. A 5-mile hike out passing brooks, old logging dams, and pristine forests. This hike will be packed full of information, history, and the best parts of the park that few get to see.
Once you sign on, I would like to ask just a few questions about allergies and hiking experience. If you need any overnight gear, I have a couple of sleeping bags I could lend. You will need trekking poles, hiking boots, wool socks and an extra pair, gloves, hat and synthetic layers. If you have any questions regarding this trek, feel free to call me at (315) 529-0283. Looking forward to a great group. Thanks! — Jim Wallace for Albany Movement & Fitness.