Mount Colvin

  • Route 73
    Keene Valley

Hike Features


Colvin was named after Verplank Colvin assistant the great surveyor of the Adirondack Park. Colvin is often climbed with Blake Peak – due to it being along the same ridge and located conveniently behind Colvin.

This Adirondack 46 High Peak is number 39 on the 46er list.

Colvin has two distinctive trails to the summit, where only one is typically used; the second is located in an area where extensive hiking is involved and a multi-day excursion almost a necessity. Colvin offers outstanding views of the Ausable Lakes as well as the Great Range.

Below are brief descriptions of the two routes, we recommend you pick up a guide book for more in depth detail or hire a local guide to assist you. Consider combining the primary and secondary trails below for a longer TWO CAR loop.

AMR Trailhead: This is the most popular route and leaves from the AMR. Leave Lake Placid on Rte 73, follow Rte 73 through Keene and Keene Valley and into Saint Huberts. Parking is across the road from the Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead for Giant Mountain.  This approach is on private land owned by the Adirondack Mountain Reserve.  Access is guaranteed by virtue of easements, but dogs are absolutely prohibited in this game preserve.

This is a 12.5 mile RT with mixed terrain. The hike starts along a dirt road the becomes paved next to a golf course.  At 0.5 miles turn left and down between two tennis courts on Lake Road Way to the entrance station and register at 0.6 mi. from the parking area.  Beyond is a wooden gate, where you will continue along a dirt road for an additional 2.5 miles before you enter a foot trail. The foot trail starts off very moderate but continues to get steeper in sections. The final approach to Mount Colvin gets very steep and it helps to have a bit of a boost or hand from a friend. After taking the winning views from Colvin you can work your way along the ridge and descend steeply into the col with Blake. For more information on that see the second approach below.

Elk Lake Trailhead: This route leaves from Elk Lake; Leave Lake Placid following Rte 73 to Interstate 87. Get off at exit 29 and follow the Blue Ridge Road toward Newcomb. Look for Elk Lake Road on the right in about 4-5 miles; follow it to its end.

This is a 21.0 mile RT with a moderate to steep ascent. Starting along the trail to Panther Gorge and Mount Marcy you will drop to cross The Branch before starting a flat approach to the beginning of a wet hike to the shoulder of the Pinnacle Ridge and then drop slightly to the Pinnacle Ridge Trail. From this point the trail is very demanding and encompasses several smaller peaks with no official names. There is a spur trail to the summit of Pinnacle, which is recommended for outstanding views. Blake will be at the end of the ridge.

From Blake you drop down very steeply through a highly eroded area where footing is difficult. From the col you will pass the third trail outlined below and then start an equally steep ascent up Colvin. There are a couple excellent viewing areas along the ridge to enjoy along the way. It is recommended to continue the traverse over Colvin and out to the AMR and a second car, unless an overnight is planned this round-trip outing would be too demanding for most hikers. As a warning~~ There is no water along the Pinnacle Ridge and none to be had until well off the other side of Colvin, be prepared and bring lots of H2O.

Elevation: 4057’

Family with Young Kids: not recommended – all trails

Experienced Hiker: AMR trail – 3 to 4 hours to summit, Elk Lake trail – 6 to 7 hours to summit, 

Out of Shape Hiker: not recommended – all trails