Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > The Adirondack Forum > General Adirondack Discussion
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-29-2020, 05:36 PM   #1
Jeremiah Cloudhead
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 10
Tentsites @ Livingston Point?

Hi,

Are there tent sites at Livingston Point?

What about at Griffin or Flowed Lands leantos?

THANK YOU.
Jeremiah Cloudhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2020, 06:58 PM   #2
2505
Member
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremiah Cloudhead View Post
Hi,

Are there tent sites at Livingston Point?

What about at Griffin or Flowed Lands leantos?

THANK YOU.
I don't recall any at Flowed Lands. Pretty steep terrain behind the LT, but one of the prettiest spots in the HP.

No clue on the others.
2505 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2020, 07:11 PM   #3
DSettahr
ɹǝqɯǝɯ
 
DSettahr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,046
Well, this post ended up becoming a lot more info than the OP asked for. But it's good information generally so I've decided not to pare it down. Jeremiah Cloudhead, the answers to your questions are contained in the first 3 paragraphs below. All else is above and beyond the context of what you asked for, but perhaps still potentially useful to you (and certainly useful to others). -DS

There is one designated tent site at Livingston Point but it's kind of hard to locate. From the lean-to, backtrack about 100 feet back down the trail back towards the outlet of Flowed Lands. Look for an obvious but unmarked path on the west side of the trail (right if you're headed south). Follow this obvious path about 100 feet down to the water- you have to scramble over a few fairly large blowdowns on the way (these blowdowns are what makes the tent site difficult to locate). The site is obvious when you find it (a moderately-sized clearing marked with a "Camp Here" disc) and is fairly nice. There is also a box toilet here but it's similarly difficult to locate; the toilet is on the east side of the main hiking trail, down a side trail that is nearly opposite of the side trail to the tent site.

Livingston Point doesn't get a huge amount of use- the lean-to is often vacant even on weekends. It's so far removed from access to any High Peak that most never consider it as an option even when it's busy (getting to and from Livingston Point adds over a mile round-trip to any High Peaks hike). I did talk to a ranger patrolling the area recently and she said that improving the signage for the Livingston Point tent site is "on her to-do list."

There's no designated tent sites at either the Griffin or Flowed Lands Lean-tos, and finding your own site (in accordance with the 150 foot rule) at either of these locations would be difficult due to the lack of flat ground in the vicinity. Remember also that tents are not permitted adjacent to lean-tos as per DEC regulations. The Flowed Lands Lean-to is fairly popular and is occupied nearly every weekend; Griffin is moderately popular and is occupied most weekends but not always (presumably again due to the added distance necessary to access any High Peak).

Some detailed info on other sites in the area:

There are 2 designated tent sites near the Calamity Lean-to. Both are just north (by about 100 feet) of the lean-to on the trail that continues from Flowed Lands to Lake Colden. One site is on the west side of this trail (away from the water) and the other is on the east side (between the trail and the water). As with the Calamity Lean-to, these sites are very popular and are occupied most weekends- in fact, it's fairly common to see multiple groups sharing these sites.

There is also a designated tent site near the Herbert Brook Lean-to. It's on the west side of the trail that continues north to Lake Colden, maybe 200+ feet north of the turn off for the Herbert Brook Lean-to. This site is known as the "halfway site," as it's essentially located between Flowed Lands and Lake Colden. It's an OK site, it is also popular and again it is not uncommon to see it shared between 2 groups on busy weekends.

Lake Colden has 14 designated tent sites in addition to the lean-tos there. It's not uncommon for Lake Colden to fill to (or even above) capacity on every weekend during the warmer months; in fact many sites are shared between multiple groups on most weekends. They are situated as follows, starting at the north end of the lake and working counter-clockwise around the lake:
  • 1 designated tent site near the Lake Colden Ranger Station, on the northwest side of the lake. This site is located just south of the junction with the Cold Brook Pass Trail, on the west side of the trail. It's an OK site, there is at least one constructed tent pad here.
  • 1 designated tent site on the west side of Lake Colden, located midway between the Ranger Station and the Beaver Point Lean-to. This site is on the west side of the trail and is a decent distance uphill and away from the lake. The trail to the site is signed but due to the angle at which the campsite trail departs the main hiking trail, it's easy to miss if you're hiking south, but fairly obvious if you're hiking north. This site is kind of cramped and not all that great and it tends to be one of the last sites to be occupied on the weekend.
  • 3 designated tent sites on the hill due south of the Beaver Point Lean-to. From the lean-to, cross the marked hiking trail and continue up the hill, following the arrow signs. You'll reach a 4-way junction atop the hill, with one site each down the path to the left, the path straight, and the path to the right (with the 4th path being the one back down the hill the way you came). These are all moderately nice sites.
  • 3 designated tent sites immediately east of the Lake Colden Dam at the outlet, on the north side of the Opalescent River. All 3 sites are on the north side of the Opalescent River Trail, away from the river. 2 sites are immediately trailside, the 3rd site is located further north behind these 2 sites (it can be accessed by walking through either site). A couple of these sites have constructed gravel pads. These sites are also moderately nice although the furthest north one is a bit small.
  • 5 designated tent sites on the south side of the Opalescent River, in the vicinity of the Opalescent Lean-to. When the river is low, these sites can be accessed by fording the river immediately east of the Lake Colden Dam; when the river is high you must detour up the river to the high water suspension bridge and then back down the river. 2 of these sites are north of the lean-to and are fairly obvious and easy to find; these 2 sites are quite large and are shared between groups most weekends. The other 3 sites are south of the lean-to and can be a bit tricky to locate even though the trails to these sites are fairly well marked. All 3 of these sites are on the smaller side although sharing of them still happens with some frequency. The last site (the southern-most site) is somewhat isolated and usually a good bet to count on being unoccupied until after nearly every other site has been taken.
  • 1 site located midway up the trail to the Cedar Point Lean-to, which is was relocated to the southeast side of Lake Colden a couple of years ago. It's not really a great site; it's right smack in the middle of the trail to the lean-to and is fairly small. It's probably the least-used campsite at Lake Colden (although again, Colden is so popular overall that even this site gets a somewhat decent amount of use).

Note that none of the obvious spots along either side of the Opalescent River in the vicinity of the Lake Colden dam are legal sites. The DEC does allow day use of these locations for the purpose of cooking away from the campsites but camping in them is strictly prohibited, and they are all well marked with "No Camping" signs. The area is well patrolled and you will be directed to relocate if and when a ranger catches you camped in one of these locations.

There's also 2 designated sites not far from the south end of Avalanche Lake. These sites get light to moderate levels of use, and are a good bet for available tenting room for all but the busiest weekends in the backcountry.

Some options further away but still potentially worth considering:

The Feldspar Lean-to has 3 designated tent sites nearby. 2 are on the west side of Feldspar Brook, on the same side as and just north of the lean-to. The 3rd is on the east side of the brook, and is also located east of and well uphill of the hiking trail. These sites fill to capacity most weekends, and it's not uncommon to see multiple groups sharing them.

The Uphill Lean-to has 2 designated tent sites nearby. Both are fairly close to the lean-to; the first is just to the west and the other is just to the north. For how popular the Feldspar area is for camping, Uphill seems to get relatively less use despite being a mere 10-15 minutes away on foot. Accordingly, Uphill is also a good bet until well into the weekend (although even these sites can fill to beyond capacity on the busiest weekends).

There's also 2 designated tent sites on the Calamity Brook Trail, on the way in to Flowed Lands from Upper Works. Both are moderately popular; some groups use them for a single night to shorten their first or last day, others will use them as a base camp for the weekend to avoid trekking all the way to Flowed Lands/Lake Colden with overnight gear. The first of these sites is located near where the former second bridge crossing used to be located. It's maybe 5 minutes after (east) of the junction with the Calamity Cutoff Trail if you're hiking towards Flowed Lands. There are arrow markers for the campsite, as well as a "trail closed" sign (due to the re-routed section of the Calamity Trail) and an obvious old foot bridge foundation on the south side of the trail. Accessing this site requires fording Calamity Brook; this is usually a rock hop but it can be a bit of a challenge if the water is high. This is a nice site with plenty of flat ground for tents.

The second Calamity Brook site is further up the trail, located maybe 5-10 minutes before (west) of the suspension bridge (if you're hiking towards Flowed Lands) at the sole remaining crossing of Calamity Brook. This site is easy to miss if you've got up a good pace; it is marked with an arrow marker but the side trail to the site isn't otherwise super obvious. It's an OK site, not horrible, but a bit smaller and a bit more well-impacted than the other Calamity Brook site.

Lake Arnold has a single designated tent site but it honestly kind of sucks. It's super small (room for maybe 2 small tents at best) and the demand obviously exceeds the available capacity as evidenced by the number of well-established, illegal sites in the vicinity.

If you're hiking in from the north, by way of the Adirondak Loj/Marcy Dam, there's 24 sites at Marcy Dam (by my count during a visit there last year; this number is very definitely subject to change as I believe that some of these sites are brand new and that the plan is for these to replace other sites that will be closed in the near future). Some brief details on where these sites are located is as follows, starting on the west side of Marcy Dam and working clockwise around the old pond:
  • 6 sites are located west of the old dam at Marcy Dam. Some of these sites are fairly obvious, however there's a couple that are located partway down the Whale's Tail Ski Trail that are less obvious- these sites seem to get less use.
  • 3 sites are located along the Marcy Dam Truck Trail to the north of Marcy Dam. The furthest is about a quarter mile away from the old dam. Some of these sites were still only partially constructed when I passed through last year.
  • 4 sites are located along the new cut-off trail that was constructed kiddie-corner to the Marcy Dam Truck Trail and the stretch of the VanHoevenberg Trail that continues up Mt. Marcy. Similarly, some of these sites were still only partially completed when I passed through a year ago, as was the trail itself. These sites also did not yet seem to be getting much use. There is also a brand-new lean-to located on this trail.
  • 11 sites are located southeast of Marcy Dam. My memory their exact locations is a bit hazy- most of them are definitely located between (south of) the VanHoevenberg Trail and (east of) the Avalanche Pass Trail, but not all. All of these sites get a lot of use.
  • There is also a single designated tent site south of Marcy Dam, west of the Avalanche Pass Trail and across Marcy Brook. This site can be spotted form the trail (in daylight) but it's not well marked. Fording Marcy Brook to access the site isn't hard when the water is low, but it can be a challenge during high water. The site seems to not get very much use from what I could tell.

South of Marcy Dam, there are no designated tent sites near the Kagel Shelter. The Marcy Brook and Avalanche Camp Lean-tos each have 1 designated tent site in the vicinity.

East of Marcy Dam, there are 2 designated tent sites located along the VanHoevenberg Trail, approximately halfway between Marcy Dam and the junction with the Phelps Trail. Both sites are on the north side of the trail, and are accessed by following the same side trail uphill to the north some distance.

In general, camping at sites of your own choosing (below 3500 feet in accordance with the 150 foot rule) is still permitted in this area. However, realistically this can be incredibly difficult to do, both due to the dense understory in the forest as well as the rugged terrain and lack of flat ground.

Last edited by DSettahr; 09-29-2020 at 08:50 PM..
DSettahr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2020, 07:11 PM   #4
DSettahr
ɹǝqɯǝɯ
 
DSettahr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,046
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2505 View Post
I don't recall any at Flowed Lands. Pretty steep terrain behind the LT, but one of the prettiest spots in the HP.

No clue on the others.
There are 3 designated tent sites at Flowed Lands (1 at Livingston Point, 2 near the Calamity Lean-to). 4 if you also count the site near the Herbert Brook Lean-to as being part of "Flowed Lands."
DSettahr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2020, 07:37 PM   #5
Jeremiah Cloudhead
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 10
@DSettahr, from the little experience that I have reviewing this forum, I already knew that you were a seemingly unparalleled wealth of ADK info (I figured that you might respond to me) but DANG, I didn't think it'd be that much info. Thanks so much. I'm excited to be in that area for the first time. Be well. Enjoy the ADKs. Peace.

Last edited by Jeremiah Cloudhead; 09-29-2020 at 08:02 PM..
Jeremiah Cloudhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2020, 08:37 PM   #6
DSettahr
ɹǝqɯǝɯ
 
DSettahr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,046
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremiah Cloudhead View Post
DSettahr, from the little experience that I have reviewing this forum, I already knew that you were a seemingly unparalleled wealth of ADK info (I figured that you might respond to me) but DANG, I didn't think it'd be that much info. Thanks so much. I'm excited to be in that area for the first time. Be well. Enjoy the ADKs. Peace.
Since it will be your first trip into the area, a bit of unsolicited yet necessary added advice (also posting this for the benefit of anyone else stumbling across this thread while researching for High Peaks overnight trips): Don't forget the bear canister! Bear hangs absolutely do not work in this area, and NYSDEC regulations require the use of bear canisters for the overnight storage of all food and toiletries.

Keep in mind also that bringing the bear canister is only half the battle! Equally as important is the following guidelines on the proper use of the canisters. Admittedly the bullet points below comprise a lengthy instruction manual but it is all super important:
  • Remove the canister from any carrying case you are using upon arrival at the campsite. Bear canisters are made to be slippery and tough to hold on to by design. Carrying cases make excellent handles for the bears to grab on to, allowing them to transport the canister over long distances away from your campsite even if they aren't able to breach the canister (far enough that it's unlikely you'll be able to retrieve the canister). Similarly, don't leave the canister unattended in your pack- you'll risk losing your pack also.
  • Treat the canister like your refrigerator- open and shut. Some bears in the High Peaks have learned to target campsites during breakfast and dinner time because they know that the canisters often do not have their lids on and secure during these timeframes. Even worse, there's often food out and accessible that isn't being closely watched. They'll dart into any cook area, grab the open canister or accessible food quicker than you can blink, and disappear with their prize back into the woods. Proper use of the canister is to minimize as much as possible the amount of time that the lid is unsecured, as well as the amount of food that is unsecured- open the canister, remove only the food necessary for that specific meal, and immediately replace and lock the lid. Keep the lid locked at all times you're not actively removing/replacing food, even while you're cooking and eating.
  • Campsites are the first place the bears will look for food. Accordingly, it's best to both store your canister and cook/eat as far away from camp as possible. 200 feet is a good minimum distance for both. At Lake Colden, many campers will cook either on the Lake Colden Dam, or along the banks of the Opalescent.
  • All food and toiletries need to be secured in the bear canister. Take the time to pack the canister at home or at the outfitter (if you're renting a canister) so that you can be sure of this before you get into the backcountry. A common sticking point that many don't consider is alcohol, which also needs to be stored in the canister (whiskey fits far better than beer, in addition to also being substantially lighter).

Please don't take this in any way as a judgement on your preparedness for overnight travel in the High Peaks- you may already be well versed in the need for and proper use of bear canisters in this area. But this is such a substantially important issue that it bears repeating regardless- and again for the benefit of those that are likely to read this thread in the future while researching their own trips.

Remember too the phrase "a fed bear is a dead bear." So often, backcountry visitors to the High Peaks think that the worst consequence of improper food management in the area is that they miss out on a meal or two, and are forced to hike out hungry. The real consequences are much more dire- with every food reward, bears are encouraged to act more and more aggressively towards humans. This not only ruins the quality of the experience for future visitors, it puts the DEC in the position of having to put bears down. This ultimate consequence happened most recently earlier this season, when the DEC was forced to euthanize a bear that was climbing into lean-tos and ripping tents open- a dangerous behavioral pattern that resulted from no shortage of hikers failing to take the bear canister regulation seriously.

If the above doesn't convince you, keep in mind that failure to possess and properly use a bear canister can lead to tickets and fines, and/or even eviction from the backcountry.

A couple of post scripts concerning BearVaults and Ursacks: The BearVault brand canisters have failed repeatedly in the High Peaks- and even contributed both to the temporary closure of Flowed Lands/Lake Colden to all camping earlier this season, as well as the aforementioned necessity of putting one of the resident High Peaks bears down. While the BearVaults are technically still compliant with the regulations (for the time being, this is likely to change in the near future), to knowingly bring a BearVault into the backcountry of the High Peaks is reckless and irresponsible. There is no ethical defense whatsoever of their continued use in this area.

Ursacks (and similar products) are banned, and with good reason. The High Peaks boasts a user group that runs on the extremely inexperienced end of the ability spectrum- and there is a lot of "monkey see, monkey do" behavioral patterns. Many users to the High Peaks backcountry emulate the behaviors they witness among other groups, and many do not possess the ability to distinguish between an Ursack and a regular stuff sack. Use of Ursacks would absolutely lead to regular bear hangs with unsecure stuff sacks by these inexperienced users as they seek to emulate that observed behavior. (Also, it's a lot easier for rangers to check for bear canister compliance without running afoul of individual civil rights than it would be with Ursacks. Bear canisters are recognizable at a glance, even from a distance. Ursacks require much more intrusive inspections.)
DSettahr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2020, 08:45 PM   #7
DSettahr
ɹǝqɯǝɯ
 
DSettahr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,046
All of the above being said, the area is absolutely amazingly beautiful and well worth the visit (provided that effort is placed into proper preparedness). The views from the summits of nearby peaks like Algonquin, Iroquois, Colden, Marcy and Skylight are unparalleled in other regions of the Adirondacks, and some of the best even on the east coast generally.

When are you planning your trip for? Just in case... if it's for Columbus Day Weekend, keep in mind that the area will likely be extremely busy that weekend. I'd make plans to start hiking in Friday morning at the latest, and if this isn't an option, I'd give serious consideration to picking an alternate location outside the High Peaks region (or postponing the trip to a different weekend entirely). It's not fun having to hike mile after mile of extra distance just to find a space to camp.

Also, I'd go prepared for cold nights. Overnight lows in the High Peaks backcountry have already dipped down even into the upper teens on some nights earlier this month.
DSettahr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2020, 07:45 PM   #8
Jeremiah Cloudhead
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 10
Thanks for all that info / advice. We’re good. We have 2 Backpacker’s Cache canisters. Heading in tomorrow, early afternoon. Plan to do Marshall and Cliff. Maybe Colden. Thanks again. Be well.
Jeremiah Cloudhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.