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  1. #1

    Default Question Regarding Katahdin's Closing Date

    Hey guys,

    I will be a May 2010 NOBO thru-hiker and I've been a bit worried about making it to Katahdin before October 15th. I've read the following in another thread and decided to post about it here to possibly get an answer:

    "Technically Baxter doesn't close for entry. It closes its campsites in October. And the hike up to the terminus has to be done during the day when weather is permissable."

    Is this true? So even if I arrive to Baxter after October 15th I can still hike Katahdin if the weather is permissable? If this is true, I won't have to hurry as much on my thru-hike.

  2. #2

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    Trailhead June & July Aug. Sept. Oct. Katahdin Stream 12:00 Noon 11:00 AM 10:00 AM 9:00 AM Abol 12:00 Noon 11:00 AM 10:00 AM 9:00 AM Roaring Brook 12:00 Noon 11:00 AM 10:00 AM 9:00 AM Chimney Pond 1:00 PM 12:00 Noon 11:00 AM 10:00 AM




    *CUT-OFF TIME APPLIES ONLY TO GOING TO THE SUMMIT OR ABOVE TREELINE.
    If departing before 7:00 AM:
    The weather forecast and Class Day designation for climbing Katahdin will be determined at 7:00 AM. All hikers are encouraged to wait to find out the Class Day notification before proceeding above treeline. However, any hikers that want to climb prior to 7:00 AM can do so at their own discretion, as long as the previous day was not a Class IV. Regardless of departure time or trailhead used, all hikers must register before climbing. Hikers planning to climb before 7:00 AM are urged to check with rangers and check the weather forecast and most recent Class Day, posted at all Park ranger stations, the night before a pre-7 AM departure.



    7. CAMPING: Camping is permitted only in authorized campgrounds and campsites May 15 through October 15 and December 1 through March 31. Tents may not be pitched in lean-to sites. Because campgrounds may be distant from the gatehouse, campers should check driving times and plan accordingly. Except as otherwise permitted by the Director, campers must register at the gatehouse no later than 8:30 P.M. The latest check-out time is 11:00 A.M., and the earliest check-in time is 1:00 P.M.
    -from the baxter st. website

    this is true, it doesn't close. But then I think you have to hike from abol bridge and back in 1 day (someone correct me) -- you can take the blueberry ledges (i think thats the name) which is shorter than the AT for getting to Katahdin Stream Campground--where the 'climb' up Big K starts.

    but yes i hear you can get up just fine after october 15th, so long as the weather is fine and you have a party of 4.

    when are you planing on starting? We took our sweet sweet time once we reached MA as we had no desire to pound out 20 mile days in a mad rush to be looking for a job and off the trail.. anyways you really shouldn't have to worry about the date unless you are starting pretty late or have a health/age condition that limits you to 8-10 miles maximum per day.

  3. #3
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    Default Completing a northbound through hike

    Summitting Katahdin after October 15 without vehicular support, when the days are short is possible, but it's not the way most would prefer to finish.

    Make the effort to reach Baxter State Park before the 15th when waiting for the weather is less apt to be an issue and campgrounds are open. Better still, plan to summit by September 30 unless you are able and willing to wait for an opportunity to summit.

    At some point, depending upon the weather, Katahdin trails close for the season until such time when they reopen and winter rules apply.

    Click on Thru-Hiking in Baxter State Park, strike [PageDown] several times to read When can I hike Katahdin? and learn about issues associated with October summits.

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    Less traffic in/out of the park after about 10/1, so it is harder to hitch about.

    The weather usually is bordering on vile by then, for most mere mortals anyway.

    Can be very nice up there, sunny and warm, or my favorite, freezing rain.

    Just easier to be there before the 15th.

  5. #5

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    If starting in May is your only option, you could flip flop, start somewhere in the middle and go north and then come back for a SOBO finish. SOBO/NOBO are not the only options.
    Cabin Fever
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  6. #6

    Default

    Yea, that's what I may end up doing, but the 100 mile wilderness and then Katahdin seems like such a cooler ending to this trip then Harper's Ferry (again). But we'll see.

  7. #7
    Registered User thestin's Avatar
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    Default

    The sun sets a little after 4pm in that area of Maine in early November. Makes for short hiking days and long cold nights.

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    Default Alternate itineraries

    Quote Originally Posted by appalachianjosh View Post
    Yea, that's what I may end up doing, but the 100 mile wilderness and then Katahdin seems like such a cooler ending to this trip then Harper's Ferry (again). But we'll see.
    Williamstown, Hanover, Gorham or Monson to Katahdin might be alternatives similar to what a northbound through hiker would experience for someone not positioned to complete a northbound through hike on Katahdin. These alternatives may make completing the higher ground possible while saving other segments for later.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by appalachianjosh View Post

    "Technically Baxter doesn't close for entry. It closes its campsites in October. And the hike up to the terminus has to be done during the day when weather is permissable."

    Is this true?
    Pretty much. Overnight camping season always ends Oct 15th *if* not before that date due to weather. I always advise hikers to try to get to Baxter before October 1st. Any later date gets sketchy.
    Teej
    Baxter Park trail condition updates:
    http://baxtertrails.blogspot.com/
    Pick up your feet!

  10. #10
    weary's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    Pretty much. Overnight camping season always ends Oct 15th *if* not before that date due to weather. I always advise hikers to try to get to Baxter before October 1st. Any later date gets sketchy.
    If I were only running a couple of days late, I would hitch out the Katahdin Iron Works Road and ahead on Route 11 to Millinocket and Baxter Park. That way you could climb Katahdin with a couple of days to spare.

    That would make the end of your walk around 50 miles of the 100-mile Wilderness, climaxing on the summit of Whitecap -- a pretty awesome peak by it self, followed by an easy overnight down to Gulf Hagas and the Katahdin Iron Works Road again.

    Weary

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by weary View Post
    If I were only running a couple of days late, I would hitch out the Katahdin Iron Works Road and ahead on Route 11 to Millinocket and Baxter Park.
    Good advice, Whitecap is one of those 'top of world' mountains and the trail just north is amazingly well maintained. An October 1st flip up from Monson to Baxter (call ahead for a reservation) followed by a walk back through the 100 mile is also a good option if a hiker feels up against a weather window. When you get to Monson they'll know enough about Katahdin conditions to help a hiker decide what to do.
    Teej
    Baxter Park trail condition updates:
    http://baxtertrails.blogspot.com/
    Pick up your feet!

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