In the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks stands the mighty Mount Colden. It is just opposite of Algonquin Peak with Avalanche Lake nestled in between. The Adirondack Park in New York state has a total of 46 “High Peaks” that meet a set of standards grouping these mountains together – and Mt. Colden is one of them. Hiking all 46 of the High Peaks is a huge accomplishment for Adirondack hikers, so it’s definitely worth writing home about. Needless to say, Climbing Mt. Colden will be the first of many High Peaks blog posts, and they will all begin with a photo of the bronze bench mark seen above. The bench marks are cemented into the ground by the USGS and most of the summits should have one. However, rumor has it that some of these bench marks have been striped out of the ground by hooligans (as was the case with Colden), so luckily we snapped of shot of this one found 3/4 of the way up.
We hope you enjoy the photos below and slideshow at the bottom. Please note that our website has been modified to be a little more click-friendly. You should be able to click on each photo to enlarge without leaving the page. To minimize the photo again, click anywhere on the image. Enjoy!
Near the beginning of the hike we ran into the Lake at Marcy Dam. In the background you also get your first peek at Mt. Colden – it’s the one on the left. I guess we better get moving!
This waterfall is right along Mt. Colden’s trail, and it couldn’t be placed any more strategically. It’s probably about halfway up the mountain making it a great pit-stop to cool off.
Lake Arnold (above) is deceiving in more than one way. The water looks a little bit stagnant, and it gives you a view of what looks like Colden’s peak, but actually isn’t. Many of the Adirondack mountain trails have these false peaks. I’ve also heard people call them faux summits – but I like Chris’s term “heart-breaker” the best.
Finally, the summit! This is what it’s all about. A bit of advice – if you’ve ever struggled to find the perfect exercise activity because of a lack of reward – you have to give hiking a chance. The summit always makes your climb worth every hour of pain, and every drop of sweat. Photos can not say enough about the feeling you get by standing on top of this mountain. This view from Mt. Colden shows the entire MacIntyre Range.
Right to left: Wright Mountain, Algonquin, Iroquois, Mt. Marshall; Lake Colden is at the bottom of the range.
After a steep descent and a quick walk past Lake Colden, Avalanche Lake (above) appears out of nowhere. The hike from here on out is relatively flat, and offers an eerie, yet beautiful scene while passing through this steep mountain valley.
Above is the trail along Avalanche Lake. Above also, it appears that Chris is getting a little bit of that eerie feeling, or maybe he’s just wondering if he left his keys at the top of Mt. Colden.
This photo was taken at the end of Avalanche Lake, which is near the end of the trail loop. The lake at Marcy Dam (the first photo shown) would be the next landmark, making this one the last. But this photo of Mt. Colden is pretty cool, because what you see here – that huge gash in the mountain - is called the Trap Dike. It’s known as the 3rd option for climbing this High Peak. It’s dangerous – recently claiming the life of an expert climber – but it’s supposed to be the quickest way up. I think we’ll stick to the trails for now.
In addition to these photos, we’ve put together a short slide show of some additional photos. Thank you all for reading. Feel free to comment below - Name and email are NOT required, but at the very least a fake first name would be nice!Editor’s Note: This post is dedicated to Matthew Potel, the hiker mentioned above. We did not know him personally, but we share a connection with this beautiful mountain, as well as the entire Adirondack park. Editor’s Note: All photos above and below taken by Frank Pruzenski. [superb cats=9]