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The Absolute Best Time to Visit Lake Placid with Tips from a Local

Planning a trip to the Adirondacks but not sure when to visit Lake Placid?

I get it. It can be difficult to figure out the best time to visit Lake Placid since every season is different.

And while there is a best time to visit Lake Placid, a lot of it depends on what you want to do, your budget, and how much you like crowds.

I mean, a 30+ year local like me doesn’t need to sit here and tell you that if you want to go swimming, you probably shouldn’t visit Lake Placid in winter.

That being said, there are some great heated pools in the area. So, you could swim in Lake Placid in winter – maybe not go boating but deffo swimming.

But, as a local who has grown up in the area, I am here to reveal my picks for the best months to visit Lake Placid – at least if want to save money, hate crowds, and love nice weather.

So, read on and learn all about the best time of year to visit Lake Placid.

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The Best Time to Visit Lake Placid

The short and sweet answer is that spring is the best time to visit Lake Placid and the Adirondacks in general. Typically this can be any time from March through May.

Not only does the snow start to melt and the best hiking trails in the Adirondacks begin to open up, but it is low season.

So, you won’t have to deal with the insane prices and intense crowds that come along with visiting Lake Placid in the summer and fall.

However, Lake Placid is great at any time of year. You can’t beat skiing in Lake Placid during the winter and you’ll love the vibrant colors and inundate the area during fall in New York.

Summer is also great if you want to take an idyllic boat ride out onto Lake Placid.

But, visit at these times and be prepared for large crowds on Main Street, packed Lake Placid bars/restaurants, and high prices when booking some of the best hotels in Lake Placid.

Lake Placid Seasons

Me exploring Lake Placid. There is a tree with orange leaves in the background as I walk on grass in a black t-shirt and red skirt. There is a dirt road to the left and small lake just behind it as I explore the area during the best time to visit Lake Placid.

Before you figure out the best time to visit Lake Placid, you first need to know about the seasons. After all, they could differ significantly based on where you’re traveling from.

So, because Lake Placid is in the Northern Hemisphere, the seasons are as follows.

  • Summer: June to August
  • Fall: September to November
  • Winter: December to February
  • Spring: March to May

Local Tip: Lake Placid sits at a high elevation. So, the weather conditions can change quickly. Therefore, you can get snow in April or snow in October. It really just depends on the season.

This is also important when hiking in Lake Placid. ALWAYS check the weather conditions before you leave and plan accordingly since things can deteriorate quickly in the High Peaks.

Why Visit Lake Placid in the Fall?

If you’re not a huge fan of snow, hate really cold weather, and love fall foliage then consider visiting Lake Placid in the fall.

Fall foliage typically peaks during the last week in September or the first week of October. However, that can vary greatly from year to year, especially because of Global Warming.

So, keep an eye on the weather and local foliage reports before you visit. Just be prepared for crowds and high prices since this is peak season in the region.

It is beautiful though and a great place to see the leaves change color.

Why Visit Lake Placid in the Winter?

Winter in Lake Placid is truly magical. You can see the snow cover the mountaintops and warm up by a roaring fire while you eat complimentary smores on Main Street.

You can also go ice skating on the Olympic speed skating rink or hit the slopes on White Face Mountain.

After all, Lake Placid has some killer trails since it was the host of the 1932 and the 1980 Winter Olympics.

Again, this is peak season in the region. So, get ready to deal with crowds, limited parking, and high prices. You also need to bundle up since this is the coldest part of the year.

However, it is a perfect time to try snowshoeing, dog-sledding, cross-country skiing, and any other winter sport you can imagine.

Why Visit Lake Placid in the Spring?

Hate the cold, crowds, and high prices? If so then try visiting Lake Placid in the spring. It is easily the quietest time of year. So, you can score great deals on hotels in the area.

You can also enjoy warmer weather and can hit the trails without 10,000 other people all around you. Additionally, flowers spring to life and make local trails come alive with color.

So, if I was planning a trip to Lake Placid I would try and visit during the spring. This is also a great time to visit NYC.

Why Visit Lake Placid in the Summer?

Summer in Lake Placid is the warmest time of year. So, if you love swimming and want to take a boat out onto the lake then this is the best time to visit.

It is also a great time to go camping and enjoy some incredible hiking through the High Peaks.

However, because the weather is nice the area is flooded with people. So, expect to pay a lot of $$$ for a hotel room and get up early if you want to find parking at some of the most popular trailheads in the area.

Yeah, many Lake Placid trails have small lots with limited parking – or just roadside parking. These lots fill up fast so wake up with the sun if you want to hit the trail.

Lake Placid Weather

To help you prepare for your trip and decide on the best time to visit Lake Placid, here is a breakdown of the weather you can expect by month.

Me with my back to the camera in a red skirt and black t-shirt. You can see the leaves of the evergreen trees changing around a lake near Lake Placid. The is one of the best months to visit Lake Placid.

Lake Placid in January (Coldest Month of the Year)

Lake Placid in January is very cold. It’s one of the coldest months of the year with highs of 22°F, lows of 10°F, and average daily temperatures of 16°F.

So, when visiting Lake Placid in January, pack plenty of warm clothes and layer up with a hat, gloves, a thick winter coat, thermals, etc.

Also, because there is an average of 91% humidity, the cold can chill you to the bone.

You may even want to pack a waterproof coat since you can expect six days of total sunshine and six days of precipitation throughout the month.

Snow pants are also vital since it can snow for 23 days in a month.

Lake Placid in February

Let’s be real, Lake Placid in February is still VERY cold. You’ll need a warm jacket and plenty of layers since daily highs are 25℉, daily lows are 12℉, and average daily temperatures are 19°F.

It’s still really humid (around 91%) which makes it feel even colder. You can also expect five days of full sun, five days of precipitation, and 23 days of snow.

Lake Placid in March

If you hate the cold then you’ll be delighted to know that things start to warm up in March in Lake Placid, So, expect daily highs of 33℉, daily lows of 20℉, and average daily temperatures of 27℉.

Because temperatures start to go above freezing, you can also expect a lot of rain – like ten days throughout the month. So, pack plenty of waterproof layers.

However, the humidity is only 88% and you can enjoy six glorious days of nothing but sun.

Lake Placid in April

Come with a nice rain jacket because April is one of the rainier months in Lake Placid. Yeah, this town gets around 15 days of rain with only eight days of pure sun.

However, warmer temperatures make things a bit more bearable since the average daily temperature is 39℉, with daily highs of 47℉ and daily lows of 30℉.

You also may get around 15 days of snow. So, just layer up and you should be just fine.

Lake Placid in May (Raniest Month of the Year)

Believe it or not, Lake Placid in May is even rainier than in April. So, get ready for around 20 days of rain throughout the month, with only 9 days of total sun.

That being said, the weather is starting to warm up with average daily temperatures of 53℉. You can also expect daily highs of 62℉ and daily lows of 43℉, with around 78% humidity.

You will also probably only get two days of snow, if any. So, the key is wearing lots of waterproof layers.

Lake Placid in June (Rainiest Month of the Year)

Again, June in Lake Placid is a super rainy month with around 20 days of rain and only 8 days of pure sun.

On the plus side, the humidity is only 80% and the average daily temperature is 59℉. Highs also soar to 68℉ and dip down to 49℉ in the evening.

So, pack shorts and lighter clothes for the day (if you’re hiking) and warmer jackets for the evening when things start to get chilly. Again, waterproof layers are key. But, heavy jackets are not necessary.

Lake Placid in July (Warmest/Rainiest Month of the Year)

Lake Placid in July means really warm weather. So, temperatures average around 65℉, with daily highs of 75℉ and daily lows of 55℉. Therefore, this is the warmest month of the year.

It’s still super rainy with 20 days of rain (there is a reason why the mountains are so green) and only 8 days of total sunshine.

Therefore, pack some pants/sweatshirts for the evening and shorts/t-shirts for daytime activities.

Local Tip: July also has the longest days of the year. So, if you want to spend a lot of time outside then this is the best month to visit Lake Placid.

Lake Placid in August (Rainiest Month of the Year)

Lake Placid in August is warm but not AS warm as in July. So, get ready for average daily temperatures of 63℉, with daily highs of 73℉ and daily lows of 53℉.

It’s also super rainy, as usual. So, expect 20 days of rain and only 8 days of total sun, with around 80% humidity.

Again, pack shorts/t-shirts for the day and pants/sweatshirts for the evening when things cool down. Waterproof gear is also key since it rains quite a bit.

Lake Placid in September

Thankfully, September in Lake Placid isn’t quite as rainy. So, you’ll only have to endure around 15 days of rain with 13 glorious days of sun.

However, the temperatures start to cool down with daily highs of 66℉, daily lows of 47℉, and average daily temperatures of 57℉.

The humidity is also around 81%, with fall colors reaching their peak at the end of the month. Therefore, pack long-sleeve shirts and a jacket if you plan to go leaf peeping in the area.

Lake Placid in October

Anyone who loves fall foliage should plan to visit Lake Placid in early October. You can also expect around 17 days of rain and 10 days of total sunshine.

Because average daily temperatures drop to 45℉, expect daily highs of 52℉ and daily lows of 38℉.

Humidity is also 81%, so pack a warm coat that you can wear on chilly nights, as well as thermals and lots of layers.

Lake Placid in November

Well, the cold weather is back. But, it isn’t as rainy since November means 11 days of rain and 11 days of sunshine.

Humidity is also around 83%, with average daily temperatures of 33℉. So, highs only go up to 39℉ while daily lows dip down to 27℉.

Therefore, pack plenty of warm layers. Bring a warm coat, along with a hat and gloves to keep you warm.

Local Tip: Thanksgiving is pretty quiet in Lake Placid and a great time to visit. You won’t be able to ski but there might be some snow on the ground. You can also do some hiking without the crowds.

Just check summit conditions since snow can fall early at higher elevations.

Lake Placid in December

Apart from January, this is the coldest month of the year. So, expect average temperatures of 23℉, with daily highs of 28℉ and daily lows of 18℉.

Therefore, lots of warm layers are key. You also don’t have to worry as much about the rain since you’ll only get around 9 days of rain and 6 days of sun.

The humidity is also 88% and you can expect snow about 22 days out of the month. It shouldn’t be a ton of snow but just enough to coat the mountains.

Per usual, winter in Lake Placid means lots of warm layers to help you fight the cold.

Local Tip: It’s usually quiet here in December until Christmas. After the 25th it’s gets pretty busy until New Year and is not my pick for the best time to visit Lake Placid.

Best Time to Visit Lake Placid FAQs

Woman sitting on a green Adirondack chair in winter in Lake Placid.

Is Lake Placid Worth a Visit?

Yes! Lake Placid is worth a visit since there are a ton of cool Lake Placid attractions to see and unusual things to do in Lake Placid.

Highlights include visiting a spa, swimming in a lakeside pool, enjoying a hot tub, doing a waterfall hike in New York, or hitting the slopes in the water.

Is Lake Placid Worth Visiting in the Fall?

Yes, Lake Placid is worth visiting in the fall. It will be packed with leaf peepers but it’s worth it since the region comes alive with stunning fall colors that you need to see to believe.

How Many Days Should You Spend in Lake Placid?

Try spending at least 3 days in Lake Placid. This way you can explore the nearby mountains and the incredible lakes that New York is known for.

If you plan well, you can do fun day trips to amazing spots like Ausable Chasm.

Which is Better Lake George or Lake Placid?

I prefer Lake Placid. It has a more small-town New York feel to it and is a bit farther north.

Yes, it is a bit more expensive. But, Lake George just feels so much more commercial. It has a main strip, outlets, and amusement parks that make it feel more like a city.

However, there are still a ton of cool things to do in Lake George. So, be sure to visit for yourself.

That wraps up this guide to the best time to visit Lake Placid.

What do you think is the best month to visit Lake Placid? Let me know now!

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