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Adirondacks - challenging hike/secluded camping?

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Adirondacks - challenging hike/secluded camping?

Postby marylander » Tue Nov 17, 2009 2:31 pm

I'm looking for a challenging hike (2 days/1 night) that also offers secluded camping. No shelters needed. In a perfect world, the camp spot would have access to fishing but that's not necessary. Planning on going in late April. Recommendations? Many thanks.
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Postby EastcoastMike » Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:12 pm

The conditions in late April can vary from spring like to there being quite a bit of snow. Are you looking to be in the High Peaks?
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Postby marylander » Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:21 pm

Ideally, we would be in the high peaks but I'm mindful of the weather. Suggestions outside the High Peaks are welcome too.
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Postby EastcoastMike » Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:16 am

Well I don't think you should have too much trouble with crowds that time of year. One of my favorite high peak trips that can be made into a backpacking trip is the orebed brook trail from the Garden which you can take to Gothics, Armstrong, and the Wolf Jaws. Or you could continue over Basin, Saddleback, Haystack. Another favorite is to hike out to either Avalanche Lake or Lake Colden, and from there you can hit many peaks within a relatively short distance (Algonquin, Iroquois, Colden, Wright, Redfield, Cliff, Skylight, Marcy, Marshall, Grey). If you want more isolation but still want something on the 46er list check out the Santononis or the Dix Range, both can make for a really fun 2 day trip. Don't know too much about fishing.
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Postby marylander » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:52 am

I've read good things about Avalanche Lake. Can you camp there?
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Re: Adirondacks - challenging hike/secluded camping?

Postby Alpinisto » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:12 am

marylander wrote:Planning on going in late April. Recommendations?


My recommendation: don't go in late April (if you can help it).

IMO, spring is the worst season for hiking in the ADKs. Mud + blackflies = me staying home. Winter hiking there is awesome, as are trips during summer and fall.

That said, there's a wealth of information about High Peaks hiking here. You may also want to post your query on the ADK High Peaks forum here.
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Postby EastKing » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:12 am

Living up New England for 6 years before I moved west I will say this much, camping in late April in the Dacks is not ideal unless you have a four season tent and are prepared for absolutely anything (mud, ice, snow, river floods, postholing, heat, cold). If you can wait two months you will have a more pleasant result in that the only major thing you have to worry about is the blackflies (they are brutal but not nearly as bad as all the other elemants put together). Many of the High Peaks trails will melt out by mid June and you will have a enjoyable time tagging some summits.

Good luck and if you have any other questions feel free to PM me.

-EK
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Postby EastcoastMike » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:21 am

EastKing wrote:Living up New England for 6 years before I moved west I will say this much, camping in late April in the Dacks is not ideal unless you have a four season tent and are prepared for absolutely anything (mud, ice, snow, river floods, postholing, heat, cold). If you can wait two months you will have a more pleasant result in that the only major thing you have to worry about is the blackflies (they are brutal but not nearly as bad as all the other elemants put together). Many of the High Peaks trails will melt out by mid June and you will have a enjoyable time tagging some summits.

Good luck and if you have any other questions feel free to PM me.

-EK


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Postby mtngrl » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:53 am

Gotta agree with EastKing - April can be a miserable time in the Dacks
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Postby jrbrenvt » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:19 pm

The thing I would caution any one hiking in the high peaks of the north east from mid-April to memorial day weekend is mud. Not so much that it's like , "ew, mud! I don't wannna get yucky", but that the trails are especially fragile and susceptible to erosion this time of year. In Vermont, the Green Mountain club goes so far as closing the trails above 3000' for this time period on Camel's Hump and Mansfield. What I find is there is generally spring conditions down low, and snow up high. Somewhere in between, for about 500-1000' vertical feet or 0.5-1 mile, there is melting snow and deep mud. This band moves up the mountain from mid April to late May, location and size depends on many factors. I have read that accelerated trail erosion is due to the combo of heavy foot traffic, excess mud, and frozen ground under shallow thawed ground. Obviously, if we said we will never hike in the mud, no one would ever hike in the Adirondacks. Not climbing the big peaks is more voluntary in the ADKs. I would recommend seeking a ridge climb instead of a ravine trail, ridges tend to drain better. I would avoid perpetually muddy and heavily traveled areas like Colden, Algonquin, Marcy. I like the Pharoah Lake wilderness region or Lake George (tongue range) that time of year. Also a pretty well drained ridge in NH is the airline trail to Mt Adams or Madison. Valley Way (despite being a ravine trail) is usually in pretty good shape too any time of the year because it gets so much maintenance. I generally do not have any bug issues until June (about when the Green Mountain Club says its OK to hike up high, the bugs come out). If you do go, just be conscious of trail erosion and try to stay on the rocks as much as possible.
http://www.greenmountainclub.org/page.php?id=60
http://www.adk.org/trails/High_Peaks_Hi ... Mud_Season
(interesting the adk link talks about May though mid-June as mud season, it really depends on the year though, many factors like was it a big snow year? Is it a warm/cold spring ? is it a dry/rainy spring? etc... I would guess in late April the snow pack will be mostly melted away in the lower elevations, like Avalanche lake, but the lakes them selves I think will still be frozen over)
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Postby marylander » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:52 pm

Thanks to all for your very helpful advice. I will go back to the drawing board on my plans and aim for a better time of year.
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Postby Bark Eater » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:13 am

I agree with the previous comments about better months than April. If you want seclusion and lakes, consider West Canada Lakes and/or Cedar Lakes on the Northville-Lake Placid Trail. It's very remote, very beautiful lake country, and hardly gets any traffic due to the seclusion. Challenging trail in a micro-way but not a lot of vertical. Can't comment about the fishing but the lakes certainly are pretty! There are leantos scattered through the area which are generally available.
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Postby CowHampshire » Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:43 pm

Try the Sewards. Nice area, but in April - bring your snowshoes.
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