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Looking for a two day hike in the Adirondacks (NY state)

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Looking for a two day hike in the Adirondacks (NY state)

Postby andanthor » Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:24 am

Hi All,

I'm looking to hike in the Adirondacks (NY state), and I'm rather overwhelmed at the amount of information I've found. My hope is that some of the more knowledgeable can provide some hints for what I'm looking for:

    A two day hike for april-may
    Ideally, camping in the wild, but option to pay for lodging at a rustic or simple facility
    Medium difficulty, with some elevation gain (I miss hills)
    Parking available, since I will be driving from Ottawa

I have some experience hiking (have camped a couple dozen times) and I'm in ok shape but less than athletic. Decent with orientation but not enough to venture routes with no trail.

I would appreciate any hints or links you can provide.

Thanks,

Alejandro.
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Re: Looking for a two day hike in the Adirondacks (NY state)

Postby Catamount » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:23 am

Hi Alejandro -

The Adirondacks are a fairly large mountain range, spreading across many counties in Northern NY, but I am going to assume that you are looking at the High Peaks region, where the best and highest Adirondack peaks are located. The first thing is that April into May isn't typically the best time to visit the region as this is when the snow pack is melting off and you would be likely to encounter a lot of mud and high water conditions. If you could hold off until mid-to-late May, you will likely experience conditions more to your liking with Spring starting to take hold.

Having said that, there are many options but I am going to suggest the obvious one based on your stated goal. The Adirondack Loj is the major launch point for climbs/hikes of many High Peaks. If you started there, you could either stay at the rustic Loj itself or hike into the Marcy Dam area and set up camp. The setting is idyllic and is a good base camp for attempts of many peaks in the area.

Here is a link to the Loj:

http://www.adk.org/page.php?pname=adirondak-loj

And here is a link to the Guide to the High Peaks:

http://www.adk.org/product.php?pid=1926&pname=High%20Peaks%20Trails

Good luck.
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Re: Looking for a two day hike in the Adirondacks (NY state)

Postby andanthor » Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:36 pm

Thank you, this is perfect.

And yes, I was thinking of the high peaks, should have mentioned it on my original post.

After reading a bit more, it seems I'll reschedule to September-October, since some have mentioned April-May to be pretty bad w.r.t black flies and other nasty bugs. July and August are quite busy for me, but I can probably take a weekend or two during Sept and Oct.

Camping in the Marcy Dam area sounds like a wonderful idea. How/were can I find out about fees, rules and regulations, etc?

Thanks again!
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Re: Looking for a two day hike in the Adirondacks (NY state)

Postby Catamount » Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:36 pm

No fees for backcountry camping. Everything you need to know about regulations can be found here:

http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7872.html

Marcy Dam is in the Eastern High Peaks wilderness area so a bear canister is required. Pinning down when the black flies are going to hatch is tricky from year to year but May into June is typical. If you go in September, they will be long gone. After Labor Day, the crowds will be way down as well. A really great time of year to be in the High Peaks. Hope you have a great trip.
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Re: Looking for a two day hike in the Adirondacks (NY state)

Postby Autoxfil » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:32 pm

April and early May are often still winter conditions. The snowpack is thin down low this year, but you'll need crampons up high well into May.

October can surprise you with snow and ice up high as well, but early in the month is usually pretty safe. Mid September is probably the best time of the year for hiking.

The Marcy Dam area is popular and can feel a bit cramped. It is, however, very beautiful. Avalanche Pass, Algonquin, Marcy, and Colden are all within easy reach and very popular due to the views from those places.

You need this book. Just buy it now and peruse it until your trip. You'll find lots of great hikes.

http://www.mountaineer.com/store/mercha ... y_Code=931

I believe it comes with this map - the last edition did. If not, or if you want a spare:

http://www.mountaineer.com/store/mercha ... y_Code=055

The High Peaks area has tighter restrictions than other places. But, the regulations in the High Peaks are excellent guidelines everywhere. The three points that are not obvious, general camping guidelines are:

1) Camping is permitted away from designated sites if you stay below 3,500 ft and more than 150 feet from water or trail. However, there are plenty of designated sites available, so I'd just pick one of them.

2) No campfires. Stoves only.

3) Bear canisters are needed. They can be rented from The Mountaineer in Keene Valey, or the at the Loj trailhead.
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Re: Looking for a two day hike in the Adirondacks (NY state)

Postby divnamite » Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:02 pm

High Peaks region can be very very crowded during September and October time frame. A lot of designated sites will be taken up if you are not there early. If you are looking for some wilderness experience, Marcy Dam might not be as wild as you think because the crowd.
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Re: Looking for a two day hike in the Adirondacks (NY state)

Postby Catamount » Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:40 pm

Regarding crowds and the popularity of Marcy Dam, weekends and weekdays are two different animals in the High Peaks. Sounds like Alejandro might be looking at a Saturday/Sunday but it could be worth his while to consider a weekday visit. I sometimes forget about crowding since I have always planned my trips to the Adirondacks for weekdays.
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Re: Looking for a two day hike in the Adirondacks (NY state)

Postby andanthor » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:52 pm

Wow, excellent responses everyone, thanks a lot.

Seems that the ideal plans for me are September at the Marcy Dam area. I don't mind other hikers, but I might try to make it a weekday trip if I can pull it off (boss, wife, kid).

Good stuff.

Thanks again for all the info.
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Re: Looking for a two day hike in the Adirondacks (NY state)

Postby divnamite » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:16 pm

If you can only go during weekends, make sure you have back up plans. ADK Loj parking lot filled up very quickly! You can also go for Great Range Traverse in a day.
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Re: Looking for a two day hike in the Adirondacks (NY state)

Postby Autoxfil » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:32 pm

divnamite wrote:If you can only go during weekends, make sure you have back up plans. ADK Loj parking lot filled up very quickly! You can also go for Great Range Traverse in a day.


Given that the OP said they are in "less than athletic shape", I'd avoid the GRT. Haystack, Basin, and Saddleback alone makes for a long day for most people.
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Re: Looking for a two day hike in the Adirondacks (NY state)

Postby divnamite » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:07 pm

Ooops, you are correct! I forgot that part. Marcy Dam is the way to go. While not as wild, still a memorable outing.
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