MacIntyre Range 16M Traverse, Adirondack Mountains, New York

July 1, 2018 

The MacIntyre Range is one of the Adirondack Mountain's most impressive and beautiful ranges lying just to the west of its highest peak, Mt. Marcy (5,344ft.). The king of the range is Algonquin Peak standing at 5,115ft, also the second highest peak in all the Adirondacks and crowning a range which includes four official 4,000-foot peaks. These four peaks include Algonquin Peak, Iroquois Peak (4,840ft.), Wright Peak (4,580ft.), and Mount Marshall (4,360ft.). There is also a fifth peak above 4,000ft. which stands between Algonquin Peak and Iroqouis Peak that does not meet the requirements of elevation from the saddle of a neighboring peak. This peak is called Boundary Peak and stands at 4,829 feet. It is told that the peak is so named as the boundary line between the Iroquois and Algonquin nations from early America. This is however all fictitous because the Algonquin people never existed in this region and it was all more than likely Iroquois. There is also a small mountain at the northern end of the range known as Whales Tail Mountain because of its profile as viewed from different vantage points.

The MacIntyre Range is stunningly beautiful from almost anywhere and some of the finest views in the Adirondacks can be had from the summits and slopes of these fine peaks. Views from the summits take in most of the entire Great Range to the east. Mount Colden provides the most dramatic part of the picture in the foreground with Mt. Marcy and the other high peaks beyond. To the north you can see the ski jumps and the town of Lake Placid and the lake from which the town takes its name. Also in the view is Whiteface Mountain. To the northeast you can see on a clear day, Lake Champlain and the peaks of Vermont's Green Mountains. Looking south and west you'll look into the heart of the Adirondack Park, encompassing over 6 million acres. One of the most stunning views of these peaks is from the Adirondack Loj road (as seen above) when you first turn off of Rt. 73. The view encompasses many of the high peaks and a good portion of the MacIntyre Range.

These magnificent peaks have much in the way to offer hikers and climbers alike. If not for the views, this range provides one of the tougher hiking challenges in all the Adirondacks and according to a recent discussion Algonquin has been picked as the tougher peak over Mt. Marcy.

GETTING THERE: Follow Route 73 through the Keene Valley toward Lake Placid; turn left on the Adirondack Loj toward Heart Lake, 2.5 miles before reaching Lake Placid. Follow the road back to a parking area (fee) where the trailhead for the MacIntyres can be found at the southeast corner of the parking lot.

An early 0530 start saw brother Don and I hiking three-quarters of a mile from our campsite
to reach the trailhead at the edge of the parking lot above Heart Lake.  After starting
mildly enough the trail begins to climb in earnest after a mile as we ascended out of the
watershed of the MacIntyre Brook toward the exposed ridge where we would climb above
the clouds to reach our first objective of Wright Peak.

atop Wright Peak in the low clouds of early morning

atop Algonquin Peak looking toward Boundary and Iroquois Peaks (above)
looking east toward Mt. Marcy, the highest peak in New York (below)

looking back toward Algonquin Peak

Jimmy Nolet and Derik Dufour, two Quebecois we hiked together with all day

the beauty of Avalanche Lake


Decending down a wickedly steep trail along a stream

Elaborately engineered boardwalks around sheer walls
along the lake's edge.  Quite impressive.

After a long day we were beat, but happy to get back to 
our campsite for much needed rest.

On my bucket list for three years, the MacIntyre Range loop
was perhaps more challenging than the Great Range Traverse.
The trails were much more aggressive both up and down.  We 
did not do Mt. Marshall to the south to complete the high 
peaks of the range so as not to overextend our resources and
energy.  The sheer walls of Mt. Colden along Avalanche Lake
were very intriguing to me, perhaps enough to bring me back 
to do Marshall and Colden on my way to another summit of 
Mt. Marcy.