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Mount Colden is the eleventh highest peak in the High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains, with an elevation of 4,715 ft.
The peak was named after David S. Colden, an investor in the McIntyre Iron Works, in 1836. The mountain is known for its distinctive Trap Dike, which can be used as a route to the summit via the trail along Avalanche Lake.
There are two maintained trails up Mount Colden. The first, and slightly longer route approaches from the northeast, passes by Lake Arnold before ascending the final summit after crossing over “false summits”. This was the route which I took when I hiked it on a cool spring day. Although it was a little overcast, as you can see from the panoramic image above, we still had some amazing views of the entire great range.
The second trail is steeper, approaches from the southwest, starting from Lake Colden, and takes the much steeper (and more treacherous route) up the Trap Dike.
Both approaches can reached from the popular Adirondak Loj trailhead. Alternatively, they can head southeast to reach Lake Arnold and the northeast approach. Lake Colden and the southwest approach can also be reached from the Upper Works trailhead. Finally, the summit of Mount Colden can be reached by climbing the Trap Dike from Avalanche Lake.
This approach leads to a long slide and a short bushwhack to the summit. This last approach does not follow a maintained trail, is extremely steep in places, and should be used with caution.