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Mt. Colden via the Trapdike

A very unique climb up a trapdike to the the top of a beautiful Adirondack 46er.
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Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 12 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  This is a difficult and steep climb up a trap dike to the summit of Mt. Colden. There is no maintained trail and negotiating the... more »

Tips:  Heart Lake Adirondack Loj Trailhead:
From Exit 30 take Route 73 towards Lake Placid for 26.5 miles. Take a left onto Adirondack Loj... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Adirondack Loj Heart Lake Trailhead

Parking here is $10 per day. Head on down the most traveled trail towards Marcy Dam after signing into the register.

2. MacIntyre Range Trail

A trail will head off to your right up Algonquin and the MacIntyre Range. Ignore this and continue on towards Marcy Dam.

3. Marcy Dam

There are a lot of campsites in this area if you'd like to make this a two day hike. You will start your loop hike from here and will return via a different trail to Marcy Dam again. Make sure to use bear canisters as black bears frequent the area. From here you want to head out on the trail towards Avalanche Pass which you will leave before you... More

4. Lake Arnold Trail

Here you will see a trail heading off to your left towards Lake Arnold. Ignore this trail and continue uphill towards Avalanche Pass.

This area is absolutely beautiful. Take your time making your way along the ladders and bridges to the southern end of the lake and take lots of photos!

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6. Double Back

Here you will need to double back along the eastern side of the lake to reach the entrance to the trapdike. There is no maintained trail from this point to the top of Mt. Colden so pick your route wisely.

7. Enter the Trapdike

From here you will be climbing steeply up through the center of the enormous trapdike. This will require scrambling up rocks with both your arms and legs. If you are nervous about some class 3-4 scrambling I may reconsider this route.

8. Trapdike Exit

From here on out you will be climbing the steep bedrock all the way to the summit. If it is wet I would highly recommend staying within reaching distance of trees or bushes on the side of the slide. This is very very steep but climbable if you are not scared of heights. Your calves will be burning by the time you reach the top. Trust your... More

9. Summit of Colden

At 4,715 feet you are at the summit of Mt. Colden with spectacular 360 degree views all around. Across Avalanche Lake is the McIntyre Range and behind is Mt. Marcy and the Great Range in the distance. Take some time to relax up at the top if it is a nice day and get plenty of pictures. Try to snap a few in order of the MacIntyre Range to make a... More

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10. Lake Arnold

Head downhill to the north from this junction following the outlet of Lake Arnold.

11. Indian Falls Connector Trail

Take a right here to head slightly uphill for a ways towards Indian Falls.

12. Indian Falls

This short little side trail will take you to the top of beautiful Indian Falls. If it's sunny take the time to relax on the rocks in the sun for a bit before continuing on towards Marcy Dam and then to the trailhead. Here you will now be on the Von Hoevenberg Trail that will bring you back to Marcy Dam. Ignore any side trails you may pass that ... More