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Algonquin Peak Hiking Guide

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The 46 Adirondack High Peaks
High Peaks Wilderness


Algonquin Peak
Iroquois Peak
, Wright Peak

 

Algonquin Peak is in the MacIntyre Range in the High Peaks Wilderness of the Adirondacks in Essex County. It is the second highest mountain in New York at 5114 feet, and one of the 46Adirondack High Peaks in Adirondack Park. The name of the mountain comes from its reputedly being on the Algonquin side of a nearby informal boundary between the Algonquin and their Iroquois neighbors.

Algonquin is popular with hikers, who almost always start at the popular Adirondack Loj trailhead near Heart Lake outside of Lake Placid. While a shorter hike than Mount Marcy, this hike is steeper, requiring almost as much vertical ascent in a much shorter distance. Ambitious hikers add Wright Peak to the itinerary as a side trip to their adventure and sometimes even continue on to Iroquois Peak. Both are ADK 46ers as well. It is an eight mile round trip just to Algonquin Peak. This is a strenuous hike.

The usual route for this adventure is to follow the blue-blazed Van Hoevenberg Trail 1.0 miles to its junction with the yellow-blazed Algonquin Peak Trail and follow that the remaining 3.0 miles to the summit, during which the route gets progressively steeper and rockier.  The elevation gain for just hiking to Algonquin is 2900+ feet.

Algonquin Peak's summit is above the tree line, and thus stunning views are available in all directions. However, the large numbers of hikers on the summit have in the past caused damage to the fragile plant life that calls this area home, making it important to keep on the bare rock and the marked paths. On busy days a Summit Steward both reminds hikers of these rules and educates them about the ecosystem.

It's a 0.8 mile round trip hike along a side trail to Wright Peak and a 1.4 mile round trip to Iroquois Peak. This makes an adventure to all three of these ADK 46ers a 10.2 round trip hike. Some hikers create a backpacking loop hike by visiting Lake Colden and returning via Avalanche Lake. More ambitious ADK 46er hikers might even try to bag Mount Marshall and Mount Colden for an extended backpacking adventure.

 Look below for a map and a couple of videos featuring Algonquin Peak.

 

 

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