• Activities:

    Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Year Round

Easy Parking
Forest
Groups
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Distance: 8.5 miles. 2936' elevation gain. Number 2 on Adirondack 46 High Peaks list. 360 degree views.

Algonquin Peak, the second highest peak in New York, is one of the best hikes up in the Adirondack's. If you are looking for a challenging hike with views of the Adirondack park then this is a perfect hike.

Starting at the Adirondack Loj, locate the trail head at the end of the parking lot. After signing in follow the trail leading towards Marcy Dam. You will pass over a creek on a wooden bridge before starting a gradual climb. Before you begin the more consistent steeper climb you will come to a fork in the trail. Look for Algonquin Peak (staying to the right) and follow that trail the entire way up.

This hike has some great technical areas where you are on your hands and knees, grabbing tree routes, etc. As you climb you will come to a great waterfall providing a good place to stop and take a small break before you really start to climb. The second half of the climb provides some fun scrambling sections where you need to watch your footing and may need a helping hand every once in a while. As you get close to the top with will come to another fork in the trail. If you go to the left you will summit Wrights Peak so again stay to the right to get to Algonquin.

From here you will find another scrambling section where you may need to get on your hands and knees to get up. The angle of the rock is steep so if you are doing this hike in the early morning, in the early spring, you may want to have spikes because of the ice build up on the rocks (woodsy trail on the right of the rock where you have to duck under and push through branches is also available). The final .7 miles is above the treeline and can be very windy. *Note, stay on the rock path at the top as there is rare vegetation that grows on the summit and needs to be preserved. Once on top sit back, relax, and enjoy the incredible 360 degree views.

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots
  • Trekking Poles
  • Backpack with the 10 essentials
  • 1.5+ liter hydration bladder and food
  • Windbreaker for the exposed summit
  • Camera
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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This is probably my favorite summit in the Adirondacks! Thanks for writing about it. :)

9 months ago
9 months ago

Algonquin Peak has an outstanding 360 degree view from the top and is well with the trip. the trail is steep at times but once you reach the summit you will forget about everything but the amazing view.

10 months ago
10 months ago

More of a challenge than Marcy. Much steeper towards the peak but well worth the trek.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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