Witness snow covered summits of New York's highest peaks!

The hike begins at the large parking area for the Heart Lake Program Center.  Parking here is $5.00 for Adirondack Club members or $10.00 non-members.  As always you should sign in at the trail register before beginning your hike!

The first 2.1 miles is a fairly gentle rolling terrain which leads you to Marcy Dam.  From this spot you will see your destination Mount Colden in the distance with its many slides!  The next 1.1 miles is a mostly flat walk until the next junction.  Here you will head left toward Lake Arnold and begin to climb.  Once you reach the junction to Lake Arnold you will turn right.  Lake Arnold sits at approximately 3750 ft.  You will have 1.4 miles left to the summit.  There is a false summit you will have to travel over first.

Once you enjoy the amazing views retrace your steps.

From the summit you will see Mount Marcy, New York's highest peak.  You will also see the MacIntyre Range including Algonquin Peak (New York's 2nd highest peak).  In the distance you will see Lake Placid including Whiteface Mountain. 

Pack List

  • Hiking 
  • Snowshoes
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Backpack with Winter essentials
  • Proper Winter Clothing (layers)
  • Camera
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RT Distance 12.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 2800 Feet
Activities Snowshoeing
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Easy Parking


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Worth Every Second

I decided to head out and tackle Colden the day after it snowed about 5 inches (snowed 41 inches about two weeks prior). The trail was very well marked despite some of the blazes being covered by the snow, yes there was that much snow up top. Once on top, it was a whiteout, such a surreal moment just looking at white all around you. I will definitely be back in the summer to experience the full view but this winter hike was worth every second.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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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