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Old 07-18-2013, 09:50 PM   #1
Adirondackiteer
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help with trip planning - 3 days, 2 nights Great Range?

Ok a brief intro since I'm not a big time poster. When I was younger our family vacations were usually hiking in the Dacks or Whites, or paddling. Usually dayhikes, 1-3 peaks at a time. I just loved it, wish its something I could have done more frequently but usually only 3-4 trips a year. I've probably climbed close to half of the high peaks I figure, But I've lost my list years ago and its been so long only some of the names seam familiar. Last 4ker I climbed was nearly 15 years ago (I've lived in Ohio since then). Done a little hiking in WV when I started to get back into hiking a few years ago, but have longed to get back to NY.

Well its short notice but an oppurtunity opened up that my wife and son will be out of town all next week, and I was able to take off thur and fri. So I'd like to leave Ohio wed after work and probably show up at my folks (near watertown) late that night and head to the high peaks thur morning. And either head back to thier house saturday evening. I'm so excited at the oppurtunity to finally get back to the high peaks!

So I'm a bit out of touch with the place and could use some second opinions. Dad had been thinking of a trip for me for a while, his suggestion was the great range which I know I have never done yet. He suggested going in via the garden, an setting up basecamp and doing the range across the three days (something along the lines of day 1 wolfjaws, armstrong, gothics, and sawteeth, day two saddle, basin, hastacks, and day three big slide and yard). I tried doing some searching to see if such a trip is already planned and described, but seems all the great range trips out there are all about cramming 20+ miles into one day hike. No thank you. I'm in good shape but havent done much hills lately, plus I'm trying to take my time and enjoy the trip not beat some time or distance goal. Photography is a big hobby, might even bring my dslr along, so I figure I'll be spending a lot of time shooting. I'm probably going to borrow dads maps and guidebook (or possibly purchase some when I show up if any place is open) so for now I'm just looking at various online mapping places but I'm a little unsure where the campsites are.

So am I on the right track? Can I plan something around a basecamp for 3 days/ 2 nights in the great range, and keep daily miles around 6-10 ish? I have no problem carrying a full pack and ditching the basecamp idea either if that would open up more possibilities. I know I am a little unprepared for a spontaneous trip like this but I am sure I can get things together in a weeks time.

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Old 07-18-2013, 10:34 PM   #2
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Hiking some or all of the peaks in the Great Range is certainly possible given your time frame. From the garden you can hit campsites near Johns Brook Lodge, Wolfjaw Lean-to, OreBrook Lean-to or Bushnell Falls. Day hike options would be Lower/Upper Wolfjaw, Armstrong and Gothics one day, Basin/Saddleback/Haystack another day. Marcy or Big Slide another day.

Parking at the Garden is limited, no idea if it will be full on a Thursday morning so best to have a contingency plan.
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Old 07-19-2013, 08:34 AM   #3
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OK thanks rdl, sounds like I'm on the right track then. You bring up a point my dad also mentioned about parking. I know the Garden parking fills up quick especially weekends, but anyone know how its been lately on weekdays? If I stop at 'home' on the way, I doubt I'd be to the garden until 9-10am.

Also since I dont have any good maps to work with right now (wanted to get the Nat Geo high peaks one but its out of stock everywhere I checked) I'm using some online ones like from aprgis but I'm unsure where the tentsites are, or even the Johns Brook Lodge... (referring to my attachment) Is the Lodge there in the middle by the Ranger Station?
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:08 AM   #4
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2 summers ago I did that trip as a 3 nighter.

Day 1- dropped gear at Ore Bed LT, then did Gothics, Ar, UWJ, LWJ (no Sawteeth, we were pretty whipped by that point).

Day 2- Ha-Ba-Sa.

Day 3- Big Slide via Yard, we were back to the LT after about 5.5 hrs and we took our time, you could easily hike out that day if you only had 2 nights for the trip
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:12 AM   #5
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If the Garden Lot is full (less likely on a weekday morning) you can park at the Rooster Comb parking area (it's free). Either begin your Range hike directly from there by including Roostercomb and Hedgehog or drop your gear at the Garden first and hoof it up. (1.5 miles, 500 feet of elly gain and easily hitchhiked too.)

There is also a shuttle bus that runs from Marcy Field to the Garden.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:24 AM   #6
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Johns Brook Lodge is perhaps a 1/4 mile(?) past the ranger station when coming from the Garden. There are numerous tent sites as you approach JBL and there are usually tent sites near each lean-to in that area. I've never seen a map with all the designated sites identified.
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Old 07-19-2013, 03:24 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone, without any actual trail guide books or anything right now this is invaluable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILikeRocks View Post
2 summers ago I did that trip as a 3 nighter.

Day 1- dropped gear at Ore Bed LT, then did Gothics, Ar, UWJ, LWJ (no Sawteeth, we were pretty whipped by that point).

Day 2- Ha-Ba-Sa.

Day 3- Big Slide via Yard, we were back to the LT after about 5.5 hrs and we took our time, you could easily hike out that day if you only had 2 nights for the trip
Sounds like we're on the same wavelength. I agree Sawteeth is probably too much in that trip for me as well. Sounds like I can do it in two nights hiking out the last day like you suggest. If possible I'd really like to be back to the lot by 2ish, so that I could make it home saturday evening for dinner (but thats not a dealbreaker). Would you do anything different? I see you setup camp and the Ore Bed LT, I've been debating which is more centered between that, JBL, Wolf Jaw LT, etc. Or if I had enough time to move from one to the next to better setup for the longest day (though I dont know the trail mileages or elevations to know which will be the longest and shortest).

Is there any prefernce to do certain peaks on certain days, like does the nicest peaks get too crowded on saturday that I should do it thursday, and which one, for example?
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Old 07-20-2013, 02:33 PM   #8
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Another thought...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ILikeRocks View Post
Day 3- Big Slide via Yard, we were back to the LT after about 5.5 hrs and we took our time, you could easily hike out that day if you only had 2 nights for the trip
Looking at the map, it appears there is a trail from Big Slide to the Garden trailhead, through The Brothers. If my intention was doing Yard/Big Slide the last day and hiking out, would it be worth packing up in the morning and doing Big Slide with a full pack and heading out via The Brothers, vs doing an out and back again to the campsite, then walking out JBL trail (easier maybe but more boring and will be retracing what I already saw)? My pack should be fairly light.
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:00 PM   #9
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The trail over The Brothers is a pretty cool trail with scrambly terrain and good views. Definitely worth doing.
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Old 07-21-2013, 11:26 PM   #10
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Awesome so for now here are my plans...

Day 1 drive to the Garden lot (not sure if I'll be very early, maybe 9-10), hike on the Johns Brook Trail and setup basecamp around the lodge (any particularly good ones I should look out for?). Reduce pack down to daypack and head out on loop around LWJ, UWJ, Armstrong, Gothics, back down to basecamp. Is that the recommended order? I could do it in reverse starting with Gothics.

Day 2 Saddle, Basin, and the Haystacks. Again, any preference on direction? And looks like a couple of options on the trail from Little Hastack - N.W. is the Phelps trail, or N.E. to Range, and Shorey Short cut. Which has the better views?

Day 3 Pack up camp and head to Yard, Big Slide, and out to the Garden through the Brothers.

Did I miss anything? Not sure on the day mileages, hopefully reasonable and not to rushed for time.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:32 PM   #11
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Ok I'm running behind with a busy week at work (still unpacking from the trip) just wanted to say I made it out alive and well! It was a great trip and I'll post up a TR as soon as I get the pics edited and uploaded. One thing, I was way to rushed and day one wich I had no idea of mileage heading into it was way to long. I had to cut Lower Wolfjaw out and I still ended up not getting back until nearly 10PM. My first experience hiking in the dark... on my first solo trip... on my first hike in the ADK's in 15 years on unfamiliar trails... it was a bit unnerving! The late night also had me sleeping in the morning, and another late start on Day 2 putting me back after dark again. But atleast that time I was coming back on familiar trail. But overall I had a blast. More to come soon.
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