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Old 09-09-2004, 09:19 AM   #1
PeterG
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Garden Parking. How early to get a spot?

I know this is not an exact science, but how early do you think I would have to arrive this Saturday morning to get a parking spot? Is it even possible(will they all fill friday night)?

Options if full?

I hate living far away....
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Old 09-09-2004, 09:23 AM   #2
lumberzac
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If it is full you can park at the Rooster Comb TH parking area and hike an extra mile up the road or for a small fee take the shuttle up to the Garden.
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Old 09-09-2004, 09:34 AM   #3
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I've arrived there at 7AM on a Saturday and found parking in the center row (last spots). It's not always easy, but the recent rains may keep the numbers down Saturday...
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Old 09-09-2004, 09:42 AM   #4
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Not that it's the gospel, but I plan to arrive before 7:15 or so on all weekends before Columbus day (and I've never been turned back). Weekdays offer a little more leeway (I'd still get there before 8 AM).

After Columbus day, things slow way down, but you still want to arrive early as the days start to get a lot shorter and you need to maximize the daylight hours.
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Old 09-09-2004, 10:04 AM   #5
PeterG
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavs00
Not that it's the gospel, but I plan to arrive before 7:15 or so on all weekends before Columbus day (and I've never been turned back). Weekdays offer a little more leeway (I'd still get there before 8 AM).

After Columbus day, things slow way down, but you still want to arrive early as the days start to get a lot shorter and you need to maximize the daylight hours.

Ouch, thanks guys. I'll have to think about this as it is a minimum 3 hour drive to get their. Throw in waking up, getting coordinated with my hiking partner and I have to back time it by about 4 hours for the alarm clock... That would be about 3am. That is getting into seriously painfull territory.
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Old 09-09-2004, 10:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterG
Ouch, thanks guys. I'll have to think about this as it is a minimum 3 hour drive to get their. Throw in waking up, getting coordinated with my hiking partner and I have to back time it by about 4 hours for the alarm clock... That would be about 3am. That is getting into seriously painfull territory.
Dayhiking is best for those within 2 hours of the trailhead, otherwise you start running into that "too tired to drive anymore" territory on the ride home.
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Old 09-09-2004, 10:27 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kevin
Dayhiking is best for those within 2 hours of the trailhead, otherwise you start running into that "too tired to drive anymore" territory on the ride home.
Tell me about it. :-).

I have done this numerous times, so I know what I am in for. Usually I am going to ADK loj/South meadows and I know what my parking chances are like. It has been a while since I went to the Garden and was not sure of my chances. Still not unfortunately. I don't know if I can convince my buddy he should get up at 3am to go hiking.

Still I don't think my friday night 9pm camping chances would be much better.
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Old 09-09-2004, 12:05 PM   #8
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Like lumberzac said, if the lot is full, dump your packs at the Garden and park at the Rooster Comb trailhead (free) and walk the 1.5 miles up the road. It's a quick and easy 30 minute walk each way and doesn't really add much to the day. Don't let the prospect of a full Garden lot keep you from hiking from there. Using the shuttle will usually take as long or longer as walking up unless you get to the shuttle lot right when the bus is there. And if you return too late for a shuttle ride back, you have a 3.5 mile walk back to the shuttle lot at KV Airport.
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Old 09-09-2004, 02:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterG
Tell me about it. :-).
Still I don't think my friday night 9pm camping chances would be much better.
You could lay your sleeping bag down right beside the car in the parking lot. Or night hike to the first lean-to. Or stay in a motel.
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Old 09-09-2004, 09:34 PM   #10
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You could lay your sleeping bag down right beside the car in the parking lot. Or night hike to the first lean-to. Or stay in a motel.
I prefer the logistics of the morning drive down, unless I am taking additional time off. So I will take my chances. If I can't find parking at Garden, I can try something else...
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Old 09-12-2004, 12:09 PM   #11
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There were spots at 7:30am

I arrived sat at 7:30 am. There were a number of free spots.
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