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Old 05-27-2013, 11:04 PM   #1
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Thru Hikers

How many people thru hike the trail in the summer? Im really interested in hiking the trail this summer.
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:28 AM   #2
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alot do, alot section hike it, so whats the question?
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Old 05-28-2013, 10:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ADKHikerr View Post
How many people thru hike the trail in the summer? Im really interested in hiking the trail this summer.
A lot of people do, but there is not the traffic you might expect. In fact, in my opinion it is underused. Usually you can get a lean to, but it's always a good idea to pack shelter.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:29 AM   #4
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That was certainly my impression too. It depends on what you are comparing it with. If you are used to the Eastern High Peaks, you will find the NP to be almost deserted and you'll wonder "where is everyone?" In our first three days in perfect weather in August we went from Upper Benson to Cedar River and met 6 people. Probably met about 25 people total in 8 days on the trail.
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:01 PM   #5
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When I did the NPT Southbound, I passed by less than a dozen going North that week. It was july.
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Old 05-28-2013, 02:11 PM   #6
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My understanding was thru hiking was when one hiked from the beginning to the end without sectioning it off. So thats why i asked how many people thru hiked it. Redhawk gave me the answer I was looking for thanks.
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:48 PM   #7
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I don't know specific numbers, you can check with ADK on that, but there's a fair number who do a thru hike every year. The couple who wrote the ADK guide do it every year and have for 24+ years. I think their name is Case.

The other posters are correct, you can go for days w/o seeing anyone. Sometimes you may share a shelter with one person. Other times you may run into a Boy Scout troop.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:35 PM   #8
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You might want to check in with our good buddy Tall Tom over at, if you haven't already.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:34 PM   #9
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A bit late on this but wanted to comment.

Every year, the NPT sees a slow but steady stream of through hikers. Usually, they are spaced out pretty well, and usually they are either solo hikers or groups of 2. Rarely are they in a group of 3 or more hiking together. It's extremely unlikely that multiple groups of through hikers would end up camping together in the same spot for a night.

However, the advice by redhawk to carry a tent as a backup is well given, as parts of the trail do receive a lot of use by the weekend crowd. Lean-tos in areas like the Spruce Lake, Cedar Lakes, Tirrell Pond, and Long Lake will often fill up on the weekends. You'll likely encounter a lot more section/weekend hikers on the trail than you will other through hikers.
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