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Old 05-30-2018, 08:45 AM   #1
jblaser
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Lightbulb Pharaoh Lake Wilderness

How about posting trip reports, questions etc. related to the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness here? I am planning on several trips into the area for early summer and would interested in what everyone else is doing there. Thanks
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Old 05-30-2018, 02:08 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert in the geography of the PLWA and not as well traveled as DSettahr or Justin. Maybe someone on the Forum can help me identify this Mt.? It shows up in a lot of my pictures and it would be nice to know it's name.









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Old 05-30-2018, 02:27 PM   #3
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That's Pharaoh Mountain. There's no trails that access those cliffs although there are spectacular views from the summit (which is accessible by trail). To get to the cliffs is a challenge- after a bushwhack through the forest, the base is a jumble of massive boulders, many the size of houses, all pile together in a mish-mash of rubble. It's neat terrain to explore (lots of small caves) but also potentially dangerous without much chance of views. The cliffs have been climbed, but as often as not parties attempting to climb the cliffs are forced to turn back due to the rugged terrain before actually reaching the cliffs.

I've always meant to bushwhack to the top of the cliffs in search of views but have yet to actually do so.

jblaser, in planning trips into Pharaoh you should be aware that the area is both very beautiful and very heavily trafficked. I've counted as many as 85 people camped on Pharaoh Lake in a single night in the past. June is a good month to go before the use levels really start to pick up in July. Solitude can be hard to find on weekends between July 4th and Labor Day, and Autumn foliage season in late September/early October can also see high levels of overnight weekend use.
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:20 PM   #4
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That's Pharaoh Mountain. There's no trails that access those cliffs although there are spectacular views from the summit (which is accessible by trail). To get to the cliffs is a challenge- after a bushwhack through the forest, the base is a jumble of massive boulders, many the size of houses, all pile together in a mish-mash of rubble. It's neat terrain to explore (lots of small caves) but also potentially dangerous without much chance of views. The cliffs have been climbed, but as often as not parties attempting to climb the cliffs are forced to turn back due to the rugged terrain before actually reaching the cliffs.

I've always meant to bushwhack to the top of the cliffs in search of views but have yet to actually do so.

jblaser, in planning trips into Pharaoh you should be aware that the area is both very beautiful and very heavily trafficked. I've counted as many as 85 people camped on Pharaoh Lake in a single night in the past. June is a good month to go before the use levels really start to pick up in July. Solitude can be hard to find on weekends between July 4th and Labor Day, and Autumn foliage season in late September/early October can also see high levels of overnight weekend use.
Thanks again for the advice DSettahr. I am planning one more trip on a weekend during June and then a few more mid-week trips in July before I move on to another area. I am hoping I will "survive" the insects in couple of weeks!
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Old 06-05-2018, 08:33 AM   #5
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How are the bugs in the PLWA?
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:41 AM   #6
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How are the bugs in the PLWA?
IMO, the bugs in Pharo are the worst anywhere. Maybe you'll be somewhat safe by late July. Aug. is even better and Sept. better still.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:06 PM   #7
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Bugs in PLWA

My clothing and equipment is sprayed with Permethrin, I have bug juice, a headnet and even a bug jacket. This is the first time in more than 10 years that I have an opportunity to backpack in June - just wondering what I should expect if I go this weekend. I figure I can evacuate if it gets really unpleasant.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:32 PM   #8
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Generally, (and this applies to just about anywhere in the mountains this time of year) the bugs will be much worse in the woods, on the trail, & near wetlands, etc. Especially when you stop moving. Even with proper precautions you can still expect to get at least a little annoyed from time to time. It’s bug season, and it happens every year. Some years are worse than others. So far this Spring it seems like the black flies haven’t been as bad as in years past (to me), but the mosquitoes are already out in full force. Keep in mind too that everyone has a different tolerance level for different types of biting insects. In my experience the swarms of deer flies in late June & July are by far the worst to deal with. Sometimes your best bet is to shoot for a breezy campsite whenever possible. Pharaoh Lake’s northern end is good for this. Smudge fires also help, but heaven forbid I mention Pharaoh Lake & campfire in the same sentence, as the area does get beat up pretty bad with overuse. The best advice anyone can give is to take appropriate precautions, suck it up, & go have some fun.
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:32 PM   #9
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PLWA and Bugs

Justin, as usual, you motivate. Sounds good - I will head out and see what it's like. Thanks again!
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:47 PM   #10
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Just got back from the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest. Cool temps kept the black flies down a little. Those few that were out, were hungry. Mosquitos were the big problem for us, but good bug spray, a smokey campfire, Thermacell and a positive attitude went a long way.
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:51 PM   #11
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Thanks for the report and suggestions Tick Magnet.
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:34 PM   #12
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I agree with the others. Pharaoh Lake WA bugs are hands down every year the worst I ever see in the Adirondacks. If you bushwhack around, there's a ton of small vernal pools trapped in the rocky terrain that never really fully drain; all are ideal mosquito breeding havens.
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:35 PM   #13
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I agree with the others. Pharaoh Lake WA bugs are hands down every year the worst I ever see in the Adirondacks.
Iíll take the Pharaoh skeeters over the West Canada deer flies any day.
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:25 PM   #14
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While we're on deer flies, I was over in North Hudson this morning. Deer flies were egregious! Imagine that swarm of black flies that everyone complains about, except instead of black flies, they are all deer flies.

It has me considering making the "deer fly sticky trap hat" gizmo...
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Old 06-17-2018, 10:08 AM   #15
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oh boy, this should be interesting when I head in later this month!
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Old 06-17-2018, 03:00 PM   #16
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A friend from the Tug Hill buys the fly strips used in Diners, etc, and an old beater straw hat, strings the flystrip around the hat and hikes that way. He says that sometimes you want to have a chin strap and ear plugs, because you catch so many deer flies that they will fly off with the hat, or you'll go deaf from the buzzing!
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Old 06-17-2018, 03:55 PM   #17
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It was a gorgeous weekend in the Pharaohs, and the bugs were really no big deal I thought. Lots of mosquitoes, a few deer flies & horse flies, and some no-see-ums, but that is pretty typical for this time of year.
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Old 07-02-2018, 01:35 PM   #18
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Just got back from a 5 day trip through the PLW - Crane-Crab-Clear-Grizzle Ocean and Pharaoh Lake. Trails were in good shape except for some blow down from Clear to Grizzle and from Pharaoh Lake to Hay Meadow. Bugs (mostly mosquitoes and some deer flies) were not real bad except in low-lying, wet areas. Here is a link to some photos from the trip: https://photos.app.goo.gl/mgs6QdxxeKzJsLWi9
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:03 PM   #19
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While we're on deer flies, I was over in North Hudson this morning. Deer flies were egregious! Imagine that swarm of black flies that everyone complains about, except instead of black flies, they are all deer flies.

It has me considering making the "deer fly sticky trap hat" gizmo...
I use these and they work well. Just don't do what I do and forget they are there and stick yourself to yourself, the back of your chair, your car headrest, etc. Also don't head to Lowe's with 40 buzzing flies on your head or you'll get some strange looks.
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Old 07-02-2018, 03:18 PM   #20
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Just got back from a 5 day trip through the PLW - Crane-Crab-Clear-Grizzle Ocean and Pharaoh Lake. Here is a link to some photos from the trip: https://photos.app.goo.gl/mgs6QdxxeKzJsLWi9
Nice photos, especially the ones from Split Rock Bay!
I was at Crane Sat-Sun.
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