Most Popular Winter Trailhead
Round Trip Distance
Average Round-trip Time
6 to 7 hours
Winter Obstacles to be Aware Of
Heavy winds, arctic conditions, white-outs, icy conditions and severe wind-chill above tree line, all can be witnessed and should be prepared for. Wright Peak is known to be the windiest peak in the Adirondacks and once you are above tree line you will surely observe the reasoning.
This trail is the only option to the summit of Wright. From the Loj start your hike along the hard-packed trail to Marcy Dam and then in 0.9 miles you will come to an intersection; continue straight toward Algonquin Peak.
The grade remains moderate for quite a ways with small sections of steady climbing, but eventually gets quite steep as you start to climb the shoulder of Wright Peak. At around 3800’ in elevation you will pass by Rong Peak to your right which is rock wall of a summit and then over a rocky shelf to a sign warning climbers of the risks of winter climbing. Soon you will come to the Wright Peak Tail on your left. Wright peak is only 0.4 miles from this point and tree-line is half that. 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 Wight and get back to this location. While it is only a short 0.5 miles it is difficult terrain and full on exposure. Once you make that first step around the rock wall at tree-line the wind will become much more apparent and demanding. Balance and safety on the ice and open rock is essential. The rock above tree-line will be blown free of snow leaving little to no good traction. But what a fun peak to climb!!!
Crampons for above tree line could be needed but snowshoes could be adequate with extreme care; 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.