The Trap Dyke: arguably the Adirondacks’ most classic “technical hike”. We’d each had it on our bucket list for a number of years now. The time had come to cross it off.
We set sail from South Meadows for a change. After skirting around scenic Avalanche Lake, the bushwhack and climb began, though it wasn’t much of a climb. The fantastic Inu dog we ran into at the base of the dyke would surely disagree, but I won’t argue with a canine today. There was one tricky spot, maybe two – especially if you have four furry legs -, but most of it was a very pleasant exposed hike. The second half was on steep yet coarse slabs of rock that rewarded us with unobstructed 180-degree views to the West and the Macintyre Range.
At the end of the slide, the already fairly crowded summit of Mount Colden awaited us. So did a German Shepherd who posed for everyone on top of a huge rock. We soaked in the views and descended via Lake Arnold and back to the cars. Curtain.
-Park at the High Peaks Information Center or at South Meadows. Hike to Marcy Dam and then to the end of Avalanche Lake, from where a faint unmaintained trail will make you backtrack a bit on the other side of the lake right to the obvious start of the Dyke.
-Head up the Dyke right to its end until you get to the slide (to hiker’s right), which will take you to the summit. This is not a marked trail, and a few sections of the dyke and slide are steep and exposed, so make sure you know what you’re doing.
-To return to your car, either take the scenic trail down to Lake Colden, or go around the other way to Lake Arnold. The stats below are from South Meadows and down Lake Arnold. Plan an extra 5 km to go down Lake Colden.
Mileage: 23.4 km (14.5 miles)
Elevation gain: 939 m (3,080 ft)