Avalanche Lake and Avalanche Pass

Mile-long Avalanche Lake is nestled in the bottom of Avalanche Pass, a low route running between Avalanche Mt. and the MacIntyre Range (Algonquin, Iroquois, and Wright) to the west, and Mt. Colden to the east. The hike through the pass, frequented by Nordic skiers in the winter, is one of the most beautiful in the Adirondacks. The trail is very rugged and is not for the faint of heart, due to the numerous scrambles that must be made over and around various boulders. The trail follows along the west edge of the lake, sometimes requiring the use of catwalks bolted to the rock face of Avalanche Mt. These catwalks are known as "Hitch-up Matildas" because prior to the existence of the walkways, a guide was carrying a young woman named Matilda through the Pass. As the water became deeper, her sister repeatedly urged Matilda to "hitch-up" in order to remain dry.

Excellent views are afforded up towards the summit of Mt. Colden, and of the Trap Dike on Colden (see the geological history page for information and a photo of this impressive cleft in Mt. Colden). The trail to the north of Avalanche Lake was completely obliterated by a slide on Mt. Colden during the torrential downpours of Hurricane Floyd in the summer of 1999. The trail was cleared by the efforts of many volunteers and professionals, and is again open. However, in an attempt to live up to its name, the Avalanche Pass trail will remain very susceptible to avalanches and landslides over the next few years.
Looking north from the south end of Avalanche Lake.
The trail goes along the base of the cliffs to the left, and Mt. Colden is to the right.

Looking down on Avalanche Pass from the summit of Mt. Colden.

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