Most Popular Winter Trailhead
Round Trip Distance
Average Round-trip Time
7 to 8 hours
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.
This trail 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 solid trail to Marcy Dam. After 0.9 miles 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 3800’ in elevation a sign warns climbers of the risks of winter climbing. Soon you will pass by the Wright Peak Tail on the left and start a much harder and steeper climb that will bring you to tree line on Algonquin Peak.
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 climb Algonquin and get back to this location. While only a around a mile it is difficult terrain and full on exposure.
Many winter climbers will tackle Iroquois Peak, 1-mile away, while so high on the ridge and Wright Peak on the way out to add two more High Peaks to the day’s adventure.
Crampons for above tree line could be needed; you should have them just in case. Wind and cold protection, balaclava, mittens are preferred for added hand warmth; goggles would be good to have just in case you need additional wind protection.
Please refer to our basic list of winter gear recommendations for day trips and remember this list is only a recommendation and you should take into light your experience, group size, length of trip, conditions, weather forecast, and any unforeseen incidences.