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McIntyre Range Hike

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  • McIntyre Range Hike

    Hello everyone, this is my first post on here and I wanted to know a little more about the McIntyre Range!

    I just starting getting into hiking/backpacking and I'm planning on doing the McIntyre Range this weekend (well Algonquin, Iroquois, and Wright that is). We're staying at South Meadows and plan on getting an early start (6-7am) and want to take the loop by going down the Avalanche Pass to Lake Colden way first and then swinging back to hit Wright on the way back.

    This is about 13 miles, correct? How is the level of difficulty compared to doing Marcy? Also, how long does this hike usually take (including some breaks and summit time of course)? I'm a little iffy on whether Algonquin or Iroquois comes first if you're going that way and I've heard that there isn't a definitive trail for Iroquois? Are there any landmarks or anything for it?

    Thanks a lot everyone, I appreciate the assistance.

  • #2
    Welcome. What you propose is significantly harder and steeper than Marcy. Start at first light. Predicting time is meaningless without knowing your fitness level. It's a reasonable full day trip for someone in very good shape. Since you don't know the peak order on the range I highly recommend purchasing an ADK guidebook and detailed map of the area to study before you leave. Then bring them with you. I have done this loop and recommend going the opposite direction. Get your climbing out of the way earlier in the day. Bring a flashlight. We are losing a lot of daylight. Good luck.
    Exploring the US one mountain at a time.

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    • #3
      Many people will tell you to leave Wright for last, though it is the first one that you will see off the trail. If you orphan Wright, it's a lot easier to come back and get it later, rather than Iroquois which is the furthest away. I agree with Bark Eater Too: Algonquin is harder than Marcy. It has almost the same elevation gain, in half the distance. The paths are marked and clearly defined, though the path over to Iroquois is an unmarked herd path. When you go over the top of Algonquin and come to the edge where you will see a path there is a sign. You need to go right. You will see an arrow pointing down, but that takes you to Avalanche Pass. If you look closely at the sign you will see that someone has etched in Iroquois to that wooden sign with an arrow pointing right.

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      • #4
        We tried this in April. Trail still was iced so going was a bit slow. We passed Wright, using the common thinking that it is closest to trail-head so easiest to do over. Made Algonquin but were running low on daylight so skipped Iroquois.

        So in planning how to best nip off Iroquois I can see the trail on the map that comes up from Lake Colden to between Algonquin and Iroquois.

        There are a lot of experienced people on this forum and the shared consensus is that going UP that trail is a tough haul. So yes, as others point out you may wish to consider reversing your loop. Or do an out and back skipping Wright on way in and catch it on way out if things are going well.

        Although Avalanche Lake is very scenic.

        It was a great hike
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        Eyes on the Forest, not on the Trees

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        • #5
          Wright-Algonquin-Iroquois is one of the best Adirondack High Peak hikes! Getting an early start is the best advice you've gotten so far! The classic loop is to go via Av Lake and then hit Iro and go out over Algonquin. Chances are you'll leave off Wright although if you leave the packs at the junction it's a nice, easy and very rewarding round-trip. The trail out from Algonquin is hard on the feet, ankles and knees but gradually gets easier and easier as you go.
          If you want to be sure you get all 3 peaks then go out and back the same way and do Wright first. After Iro go back over Algonquin. I've done this many times and it's a wonderful hike, quite manageable as a day-hike.
          The best, the most successful adventurer, is the one having the most fun.

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