This Adirondack 46 High Peak is number 8 on the list.
Primary Trailhead: Leave Lake Placid on Rte 73, follow Rte 73 toward Keene. Take your first right after the ski jumps onto Adirondack Loj Road. Follow this road to its end and park at the hiker trailhead. ($10 parking fee as of 2013)
This is a 5.0 mile hike, one way with mixed terrain. This route starts out along a very busy and popular hiking trail that leads to Marcy Dam. At about 0.9 miles you will come to a major intersection that you need to go straight through and head up Algonquin. From here the terrain gets slowly steeper and much steadier. As you reach 3900’ in elevation the grade eases off a bit, you will notice the rock face of Rong Peak to your right. The intersection for Wright Peak is just a bit further and there will be a rather large congregation area.
From here it is less than a mile to the summit of Algonquin, which you will be required to climb to get to Iroquois. The final ascent up Algonquin is a very steep climb that will get you to tree line. Above tree line you are totally exposed to the elements for over 1-mile to the summit of Iroquois and over 1-mile back to tree line. From the summit of Algonquin you will descend quite steeply over open rock to the intersection with the secondary route and the herd-path to Iroquois.
The herd-path is very narrow and goes through highest bog in the Eastern United States, this is a very fragile ecosystem and care should be taken going through. Along the herd-path you will also have to climb over the two Boundary Peaks. Boundary Peak was the land boundary between the Iroquois and Algonquin Indians, hence the names of the peaks. The final climb up Iroquois is not as demanding as Algonquin.
Secondary Trailhead: Leave Lake Placid on Rte 73, follow Rte 73 toward Keene. Take you first right after the ski jumps onto Adirondack Loj Road. Follow this road to its end and park at the hiker trailhead.
This is an 8.0 mile hike, one way with a moderate to steep terrain. Follow the primary trail to Avalanche Camps and instead of heading toward Lake Arnold head toward Avalanche Pass. This next mile is referred to as “Misery Mile”; it’s a bit steep, but not too bad. You will pass through Avalanche Pass where the temperatures are much cooler and make your way along Avalanche Lake. This trail along the lake is very demanding and consists of scrambling, boulders and numerous ladders.
Once past the lake the trail drops a bit to a junction at a trail register. Go right for 0.4 miles past an inlet of Lake Colden to the trail for Algonquin on your right. This trail is one of the steepest in the park, be prepared to get a serious workout. From Lake Colden you will be climbing directly up the fall-line of a tributary of Lake Colden. The trail is typically wet and slippery with several large steps and serious erosion. This trail will exit in the col between Iroquois and Algonquin where you will pick up the herd-path along the primary route.
It is highly recommended that you use the two trails (primary to secondary) to make for a very rewarding loop.
5-13 mile RT, challenging, Elevation: 4840’, Ascent: 2936'(Algonquin)
Family with Young Kids: Primary trail – Not Recommended, Secondary trail – Not recommended
Experienced Hiker: Primary trail – 4 to 4.5 hours to summit, Secondary trail – 5 to 6 hours to summit
Out of Shape Hiker: Primary trail – Not Recommended, Secondary trail – Not Recommended