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Old 08-16-2017, 04:33 PM   #1
jhart77
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Overnight camp and hike

OK, so if I wanted to arrive early morning and park somewhere (is LOJ an option?), hike for a bit and set up camp, continue up one of the peaks and back down to camp, and then leave the next day - what are some options?
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Old 08-16-2017, 06:42 PM   #2
AvalanchePass
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Hi, the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Area is governed by specific regulations. Please familiarize yourself with them before embarking on an overnight trip.

Some highlights:
  • bear canisters mandatory April 1 – November 30
  • fires not permitted
  • camping above 3500 feet limited to designated sites
  • water purification highly recommended
  • sign in and out at all trail registers
Johns Brook Lodge is an excellent option as a base camp. It's a wilderness campground and the only access is by foot. Nearest trail head is a relatively easy 3.5 miles away.

Camping in a lean-to is an iconic Adirondack experience and renting one @ JBL is $30/night for 2 people ($5 additional adults, $2.50 additional kids). Lean-tos have roofs but are open air so you would need some kind of mosquito netting or a freestanding tent to set up inside the lean-to (allowed at JBL but not on state land).

Advantages of JBL are that the lean-to rental includes bear canisters and drinking water (not sure if you have water purification equipment). And you have the peace of mind that your camping spot won't be occupied after you haul your gear in.

JBL is an excellent base for some of the easier high peaks, waterfalls, swimming holes, and beginner slides. The lodge staff can assist with choosing destinations within your comfort level.
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:16 PM   #3
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As mentioned having a reservation is good peace of mind. There are public Lean To's and campsites on most of the trails leading away from the Loj. On a busy weekend they can fill up.

Other popular trailheads include Elk Lake and Upper Works. We have done almost exactly what you describe in all three. We live a few hours away so usually end up getting there mid day. Hike in. Set up camp. Day hike a peak next day (bringing day pack with appropriate gear), collapse back at camp and hike out third morning.
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:40 PM   #4
TCD
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Of course you have already been on the trail to Giant, but that is certainly one option. There is a fairly large camping area near the Washbowl Pond that would lend itself to your plan. (Giant Wilderness, not Eastern High Peaks, so fires allowed and no canister required.)

Also, the Round Pond / Dix trail has very nice camping at Round Pond about 1/2 mile from the road. (Dix Wilderness, not Eastern High Peaks, so fires allowed and no canister required.) You could consider Dix, but it's a big hike. If your group want something more moderate, both Noonmark and Round are great mountains with wonderful views, even though they are not on the 46 list.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AvalanchePass View Post
Camping in a lean-to is an iconic Adirondack experience and renting one @ JBL is $30/night for 2 people ($5 additional adults, $2.50 additional kids). Lean-tos have roofs but are open air so you would need some kind of mosquito netting or a freestanding tent to set up inside the lean-to (allowed at JBL but not on state land).
Are tents allowed inside the lean-tos at JBL? I thought that the ADK had adopted regulations for the private lean-tos that mirrored the High Peaks regulations, in part to both minimize impacts and to avoid confusion (i.e., someone hiking past JBL on the state trail might look across the brook, see one of the private lean-tos with a tent inside of it or a campfire out front, and not knowing the property distinctions would assume that either activity was commonly accepted on state land despite being prohibited.

EDIT: According to this brochure, tents are permitted inside of lean-tos at JBL provided that they are free standing tents only. (Which makes sense- in addition to freeing up space for other groups to use, part of the reason for the prohibition on tents inside lean-tos on state land is that there have been issues with groups hammering nails into the lean-to floor to pitch non-free standing tents). Campfires are indeed prohibited at the JBL lean-tos as I remembered.
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Old 08-23-2017, 04:57 PM   #6
debmonster
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Originally Posted by jhart77 View Post
OK, so if I wanted to arrive early morning and park somewhere (is LOJ an option?), hike for a bit and set up camp, continue up one of the peaks and back down to camp, and then leave the next day - what are some options?
Since most of the other responses focused on hiking to JBL from the Garden, I thought I'd throw in a few other possibilities from other areas (including the ADK Loj that you mentioned).

If you want to start from the Loj, I'd suggest getting there no later than 7am, as the parking lot fills up VERY early (but at least there is much more space at the Loj than at the Garden for JBL).

One idea would be to park at the Loj and hike approx. 2.5 miles to set up camp at the designated primitive site near MacIntyre Falls. Take the blue-blazed Van Hoevenberg Trail 1 mile to the junction with the yellow-blazed Algonquin Peak Trail and follow that approx. 1.5 miles until you reach the sign for the tent area. It's another 1.5 steep and rocky miles to the summit of Algonquin, but it's a fantastic walk and the summit is worth it. Take layers for wind and cool weather - temperatures on the summit can be much colder and windier than at the trailhead! The elevation gain from the parking lot to Algonquin is over 2900 feet, and if you're feeling good on the way back, you can take add on the 0.8 mile round-trip up to Wright Peak before returning to camp.

Another suggestion is to park at the Round Pond parking lot off of Route 73 (south of Keene Valley) and hike approx. 0.6 miles to the pond. Follow the herd path along the pond a short distance and go left to reach a few designated campsites, where you'll set up camp. Backtrack to the main trail and continue west 1.7 miles to the junction with the Stimson Trail, and go another 1 mile the open summit of Noonmark, one of my favorite non-46er peaks. You have the option of re-tracing your steps 2.7 miles back to camp, or adding on a 2.6 mile side trip to Round Mountain.

You could also hike up to Giant via either the Ridge Trail (from near Chapel Pond) or the Roaring Brook Trail. There are designated primitive tent sites on both trails within a fairly short distance from the road (approx. 0.4 miles on Roaring Brook to camp near base of falls, and approx. 1 mile on Ridge Trail to camp near Giant's Washbowl).

Hopefully, this gives you a few ideas to start. There are LOTS of other options, especially outside of the High Peaks area. Enjoy!
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