This Adirondack High Peak is 16 out of 46 on the list, but #1 for wind factor. A B-47 bomber crashed here in 1962, and most of the wreckage remains. Wright Peak can also be combined with Algonquin Peak and Iroquois Peak for a long day.
How to get there
From the intersection of Route 73 and Route 86 in Lake Placid, follow Route 73 toward Keene. Continue for 3.25 miles to Adirondack Loj Road on the right – this is the first right after the Olympic ski jumps. Follow Adirondack Loj Road to its end at Heart Lake. There is a fee for parking. Start with the trail to Algonquin. After 3.1 miles take the well marked trail to Wright, on the left.
By the numbers
- Elevation: 4,580 feet
- Elevation gain: 2,420 feet
- Distance: 3.8 miles, one way, to Wright Peak only
- Wright is High Peak #16
The trailhead can be found at the Adirondack Loj; there is a small parking fee for the day. The route follows the Marcy Dam Trail for 0.9 miles before heading straight at a four-way intersection toward Algonquin Peak. From here it continually climbs and at times quite steep to a gorgeous waterfall at 3500 feet. From here you will climb steeply to 3900’ to the base of a rocky knob of the right called "Rong Peak" by some. After another steep climb over a small rocky area you will come to the junction with the Wright Peak Spur Trail. From here it is 0.4 miles to the summit of Wright. Algonquin Peak is straight ahead, but turn to head toward Wright.
The trail is again steep to the rock ledge that separates the trees from the open rock. The climb up the bare rock summit can be very windy. Wind protection is a must for the final approach. The summit offers unrestricted 360 degree views.
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.
Wright Peak is only 0.4 miles from its junction off the trail to Algonquin and tree-line is half that. At tree line it is a good idea to assess 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 time, 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.
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.