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Old 09-29-2017, 01:09 PM   #1
tpac
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Pharaoh Lake or Dix Wilderness for weekend backpacking trip?

Hi! My friend and I are heading to the Adirondacks (my first time there, though I've done plenty of backpacking) next weekend. We'd like to do a weekend backpacking loop, looking for something that's pretty well marked trail-wise, and also where we could have a (reasonable) campfire on Saturday night.

Dix and Pharaoh Lake Wilderness both seemed like decent possibilities, but from some online reading I gather: Dix is having bear issues, Pharaoh Lake is very busy this time of year, and while both allow fires in theory, finding downed wood might be an issue in practice.

Anyone been there and can tell me if these are still relevant concerns? Or have any opinion between Pharaoh vs Dix (or another suggestion)?

Thanks!

Edit: I've just realized that's Columbus Day weekend which is apparently very busy? I don't think I've every worked somewhere that gave Columbus day off!

Last edited by tpac; 09-29-2017 at 01:26 PM..
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Old 09-29-2017, 02:38 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by tpac View Post
Edit: I've just realized that's Columbus Day weekend which is apparently very busy? I don't think I've every worked somewhere that gave Columbus day off!
It's also Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend as well.
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Old 09-29-2017, 03:55 PM   #3
dundee
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Both are good places, both can be crowded, especially CD. Firewood is scarce in most places. Take a stove, skip the fire.
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Old 09-29-2017, 04:10 PM   #4
tpac
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Yeah, I don't usually do fires - honestly on shorter trips I usually skip the stove as well and just do cold food (what I'm doing on this weekend on a PA trip), but friend requested campfire so was looking to accommodate. It's more of a cold in the evening issue than a food one from what I know. But if we can't find wood, we can't find wood.

In terms of crowds - would something like Siamese Ponds or Silver Lake Wilderness be more empty? Neither seem to have full loops, but we can do an out and back or shuttle cars or something.
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Old 09-29-2017, 04:34 PM   #5
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Yeah, I don't usually do fires - honestly on shorter trips I usually skip the stove as well and just do cold food (what I'm doing on this weekend on a PA trip), but friend requested campfire so was looking to accommodate. It's more of a cold in the evening issue than a food one from what I know. But if we can't find wood, we can't find wood.

In terms of crowds - would something like Siamese Ponds or Silver Lake Wilderness be more empty? Neither seem to have full loops, but we can do an out and back or shuttle cars or something.
There's wood, but you have to walk for it. I don't have a fire because everyone else DOES! I could walk for wood, but having a fire uses up the resource and just makes the idiot public not "able" to find any, so they chop down trees. If I'm cold, I fire up some water on the stove to make soup, etc., or I crawl in the bag. A good companion is better than than a fire, anyway.

Siamese and Silver are always less crowded.

Last edited by dundee; 09-30-2017 at 07:53 AM..
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Old 09-29-2017, 05:07 PM   #6
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I can recommend the both of these places, but it depends on what you want to get more - Pharaoh Lake include numerous waters and lakes, Dix Mountain is largely rough, rocky and mountainous. And you should to take a stove, it's necessary in these places.
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Old 09-30-2017, 02:57 PM   #7
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Dix is really rugged once you start gaining elevation. It is very pristine. The hike in from Elk Lake Road discourages a lot of folks so on Columbus Day...
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