Avalanche Pass | Cross Country Ski

From the Loj follow the main highway trail into the High Peaks Region that leads to Marcy Dam. This trail will be packed solid by hikers at the ski conditions can be very icy and not in the best conditions, be aware of exposed rocks and roots for the first 0.9 miles to the Algonquin Trail; past here to Marcy Dam the conditions are usually quite excellent. From Marcy Dam you will need to follow the trail to Avalanche Camps and Avalanche Pass. You will pass by Avalanche Camps in around 0.8 miles from Marcy Dam and hand a right as you would to head to Lake Arnold. In a short distance the ski trail breaks off to the right and you start a fairly serious climb getting you ready for what to expect on the descent. 

After a long and steady snowshoe uphill, you will soon be passing by a couple newer slides on the side of Mount Colden. This is the top of the pass where you will start to descend slightly through the pass. You will enter the heart of the pass with vast cliffs and rocks loom over you. The trail then descends much steeper on a very narrow trail to Avalanche Lake. Many ski out onto the lake to get a better look at the cliffs of Avalanche Mountain and Mount Colden.  

Elevation Gain/Loss to Destination: 

~820 feet

Approximate Time, Round Trip:

  • Family with Kids:        Not recommended
  • Experienced Skier:        5 to 6 hours
  • Out of Shape/Beginner Skier:    Not recommended

Distance Round Trip:

8.2 miles

Trailhead Location: 

Leave Lake Placid on Rte 73, follow Rte 73 toward Keene. Continue for about 3-miles to Adirondack Loj Road on the right. Follow Adirondack Loj Road for to its end at Heart Lake and park in the main parking lot. Small parking fees will be required.  

Difficulty: 1=beginner, 5=advanced

Four: This is a very demanding ski that requires you to have some experience on backcountry terrain. 

Additional Important Information:

This is a very busy ski trail, expect to be sharing it with many other skiers.  

Skiing over a frozen body of water is a cross-country skiing past time; it can access you to areas not seen by most in the summer. With that being said it is a dangerous activity to cross frozen water bodies and should be done with care and respect for your environment. Know the ice conditions and be prepared for anything including heavy winds, snow drifts, whiteouts, slushy conditions, and thin ice.  

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