Saturday, May 31, 2014

Adirondack Trail Report - Algonquin and Iroquois

Algonquin Peak Boundary Peak Iroquois Peak Hike

by Kathleen Lisson

My husband and I hiked Algonquin, Boundary and Iroquois Peaks on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. 

We slept overnight at the Wilderness Campground at Heart Lake and had a hot breakfast at Adirondack Loj before setting out via the High Peaks Information Center (HPIC) trailhead. We reserved a bag trail lunch when we arrived at breakfast. 

We met Jack the summit steward at the peak of Algonquin. He was very friendly and educated us on the delicate plants present at the summit. The summit was rocky and it rained off and on while we were there. 

We ate some of our lunch and continued on to Boundary and Iroquois Peaks. Jack gave us good directions to Iroquois, but we were tired from our hike and didn't listen to the most important part - DON'T TURN LEFT at the tree line and proceed down a very steep path. Arun soon realized we weren't heading toward Boundary Peak and we retraced our steps. 

We spent a few minutes enjoying the view on Iroquois. The view of the summit of Algonquin was obscured every few minutes by rainclouds. 

Back on Algonquin, we got a reward for hiking in the rain - a beautiful Adirondack rainbow. I have never seen a rainbow from above! This was a rare double rainbow a few minutes before this shot. Jack said it was prettiest set of rainbows he had ever seen. 

We used the Adirondack Park Trails Illustrated Map and High Peaks Trails ADK book for all of our hikes in the Adirondacks. 

We got a late start on this hike and proceeded slowly due to the rain, so we opted to save Wright Peak for another hike. 

What I learned on this hike:

  • Some Summit Stewards are volunteers - be sure to strike up a conversation if you are on Marcy or Algonquin and find out more about them.
  • With the right waterproof gear, hiking in the rain is do-able. I wore my waterproof pants, gaiters, wide brimmed hat and waterproof jacket, and put my water cover on my pack. Gloves can also help if the temperature is low. 
  • There is still ice on the highest peaks in May. Yaktraks and poles helped. 
  • If you have to pee on an alpine summit, pee on the rocks, not the plants. 
  • Sleeping until 7 - 8 a.m. and having a hot breakfast near the trailhead is a great start to any hike. Being able to walk to your car and take a warm shower as soon as you finish hiking feels SO good! 
  • Wearing layers will make you look fat in hiking pictures, and hours of hiking will make you look tired. Take photos anyway! 

Find out more about the Summit Steward program here:

The Every Trail Guide to the MacIntyre Range is here:

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