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Avalanche Lake, Adirondack

#242 of 284 in Nature in New York State
Water Body · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Avalanche Lake is a 9-acre (3.6 ha) mountain lake located in the Adirondack High Peaks in New York. Avalanche Lake sits at 2885 feet (879 m) between 4,714-foot (1,437 m) Mount Colden and-3816 foot (1163 m) Avalanche Mountain. The two mountains rise in vertical cliffs from the surface of the lake. Immediately west of Avalanche Mountain (formerly known as Caribou Mountain) lies the MacIntyre Range— 5,115-foot (1,559 m) Algonquin Peak (the second highest mountain in the state), 4829-foot (1472 m) Boundary Peak, 4,843-foot (1,476 m) Iroquois Peak and 4,380-foot (1,335 m) Mount Marshall. Mount Marcy is 2.5 (4 km) miles to the east. Avalanche Lake feeds Lake Colden to the south, in the Hudson River watershed. To the north, the trail to the lake from the Adirondak Loj surmounts Avalanche Pass, which is only slightly above lake level but separates it from the Lake Champlain (St. Lawrence River) watershed. Following the lake toward Lake Colden, the trail 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, first built in the 1920s, that are bolted directly into the cliff face. This section is known as the "Hitch-Up Matilda;" in 1868 when a mountain guide waded to carry one of his clients past a point with no footing on shore, her husband urged her to sit higher on his shoulders.
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Avalanche Lake reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
7 reviews
  • This is a really good trail if you are with less experienced hikers. While its not technically challenging the views and route are beautiful. Avalanche lake is a stunning place to finish and the...  more »
  • Avalanche lake is a 12-mile round trip from the parking lot. The going is very easy until you reach a creek bed, then you better hope it didn't rain the night before. For us, it did, so the "dry...  more »
  • Small lake with a super fun and moderately challenging hike around it. You’ll be climbing over boulders, up and down ladders, and crossing small plank foot bridges. Personally I loved the experience, it felt like my own personal jungle gym in the middle of nature. It might be difficult to navigate if you’re not in very good shape/aren’t coordinated or have a heavy pack.
  • Best hike in the ADK avalanche lake to Mt. Algonquin

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