The trail from Adirondak Loj parking area is by far the most popular and direct winter route to the summit of Algonquin; the only other option would be a very long and difficult climb up from Lake Colden. From the Loj, start your hike along the wide, well-traveled trail to the former site of Marcy Dam. After 0.9 mile you will come to an intersection; continue straight toward Algonquin Peak.
The grade remains moderate but eventually gets much steeper as you start to climb the shoulder of Wright Peak. At around 3,800 feet in elevation a sign warns climbers of the risks of winter climbing. Soon you will pass by the Wright Peak trail on the left and start a much harder and steeper climb that will bring you to timberline.
At tree line it is good ideas to access the conditions and make the ruling to go or turn back, and if nothing else to be prepared for arctic conditions you could face. You will have no shelter or protection from the elements until you get back to this location. While only a around a mile, it is difficult terrain with full-on exposure.
Many winter climbers will continue along the ridge to tackle Iroquois Peak, a mile past the summit.
Elevation: 5,114 feet
Distance: 4.4 miles
Winter Obstacles to be Aware of
Heavy winds, arctic conditions, white-outs, icy conditions and severe wind-chill above tree line, can be witnessed and should be prepared for.
Bring microspikes or crampons for higher elevations, where ice often persists through spring. Bring plenty of extra layer: wind and cold protection, balaclava, mittens, and goggles.