Hiking to Algonquin from Avalanche Lake

We knew what we were getting into with Algonquin. We knew it was long, we knew it had ladders and we had a pup – but as we were sitting at the campfire the night before – we couldn’t be happier. It was chilly weather, our friends had just arrived, and the stars were out like never before.

The next morning we woke up and headed on our way towards the ADK Loj trailhead. Since we camped there overnight, the journey was short. We decided to take the Marcy Dam/Avalanche Lake loop route to the peak since we are just two kids obsessed with Marcy dam, and we had to show our friends. This essentially had us taking the long route FIRST, but we figured that was better anyway.

Once we got to the Dam, Bear raced back and forth through the river, smiling the entire time. It was worth it. We then headed towards Avalanche lake. We had never been, but have seen a million pictures of it and were dying to catch a glimpse ourselves. Once we started to see the fjord-like walls we knew we were close – and once we arrived, it reminded us so much of Norway. A few pics were taken, and then we were on our way around the lake.

They had just re-done of the bridges around the lake, so we were lucky. They were really nice, the ladders too, but Bear didn’t favor them as much. It look almost all 4 of us to get the pup up the ladders each time. But as it was his first time doing it – you could see him get less scared each time. I was a proud pup mom.

After the lake we started the ascent. Slowly at first, but once you felt it – you really felt it. On the way up you pass along of beautiful waterfalls both tall and just rolling over the rock at your feet. There are a lot of openings where you can see Mt. Colden pretty well. It was a steep hike to the top from here, but once you reached the short alpine trees – that is where it got the hardest. We knew we were almost there, but it was always “almost there”. Finally, we reached the opening and saw the most glorious bald peak I have seen in a while. A few more minutes of scaling, and we were there. The 360 views from the top are hard to come by, and the sheer beauty of Colden across the way was pretty fantastic. 

I think we all slept for at least 5min each, and that includes Bear. We definitely tested him on the hike and he did so well.  Since we spent over 5+ hours already on the hike, we knew we had to time manage our way down. 

From the top it took us about 2 hours to get down. It was mostly a lot of steep rocky areas, which just as it was getting dark let off onto the much flatter Marcy Dam connector. Once we reached that we couldn’t have been happier. At that point we joined a lot more people making their way back in the twilight and as soon as we reached the mouth of the trail, I think I drank an entire gallon of water and a Gatorade at the campsite to celebrate. It was wild trip.