Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-27-2003
    Location
    northern whites
    Posts
    1,764

    Default Jewell Trail - Stealth Campsite in the whites - some info

    I did a hike this past weekend up Washington and Jefferson and had a chance to go down the Jewell trail from the Gulfside Trail (the AT). The Jewell trail unofficial "stealth campsite" is occasionaly mentioned as a option to Lake of the Clouds and is about midway on the long open above treeline section of the AT between the south side of Eisenhower and Madison. This is not a formal tentsite, its basically is one small open area in the woods to the right with some smaller open spots spread out in the woods to the left nearby. There are no facilities and the water source would be from a small stream that meets the trail just about treeline. Note that this steam is drainage from Mt Clay and the AT so it may not be pristine. Other than this one flat area, the trail below slabs the side of the ridge for quite a distance before coming to any other spots. I would not recomend it to groups. If the trail is followed down it comes out at either the Cog Railroad base station (which has tourist type snackbar) if you take the upper spur or a parking lot for the Lake of the Clouds hut and an AMC shuttle stop idf you go straight. There is currently a bridge out on the trail to the AMC lot so you might as well go to the Cog base station.

    I didnt have the GPS but based on the terrain on a amp its about a 870 feet drop in elevation and 3000 feet distance down off the AT. There is dense treecover in the area but it is quite exposed to westerly winds and may not be a good place to be in foul weather. The elevation drop is more than to the Perch (farther north on the ridge) but less distance. There is no signage but its pretty obvous as the trail above it is a dense treelined tunnel that you will be quite familiar with by that point in your trek across the whites.

    Do note the Jewell trail is one of the major hiking routes up Mt Washington, there will be plenty of dayhiker traffic, and unfortunately it does get used on occasion as toilet stop by dayhikers so watch for "landmines"

  2. #2

    Default

    And hope you don't meet a Ranger or Ridge Runner while trying to camp there...
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the note, I have suggested Jewell as an option in the past on this site and will refrain from doing do in the future.

    Dropping into Dry River or the Gulf is even more elevation loss before a suitable site & Hermit Lakes probably not be available once you get there. So is pushing through to RMC sites, Valley Way or Osgood the only, non-AMC hut, legal options?

    What about a hammock? Do the spruce open up enough to hang one [say 12-15 feet]? I was able to legally camp east of Zeta Pass last summer by dropping off the ridge and finding an opening.

    Thanks for the post.

  4. #4

    Default

    A hammock does give you more options then a tent, but you still have to drop down off the ridge quite far to find suitable trees and spread out far enough that you don't need a chainsaw to cut a path through them. You need to get down to about 3800 feet.

    Years ago I was experimenting with a nylon mesh string hammock (about the only kind available back then) and did a hike up to Mt Washington via the Jewell trail and was looking for a place to camp. I found a likely spot others had used (I don't think it was as high up as the place Peakbagger discribed) and as I was looking it over, a Ranger popped out of the woods and said "Don't even think about it". So, I explained I had a hammock and he then directed to me a spot not too far away with suitable trees, well off the trail.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-15-2011
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    1,100

    Default

    Slo, you are definitely bringing back memories. I remember those hammocks and they were pretty uncomfortable. We also used "tube tents," the glorified, long garbage bag with two open ends. Both came in day-glo orange.

    One would have an easier time finding a legal site within a shorter distance of the ridge down the Eisenhower trail, but that leaves a long day to get to either something in the RMC or Madison Hut.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-27-2003
    Location
    northern whites
    Posts
    1,764

    Default

    Tom and Slo-go-em

    I always thought the Jewell trail site was an illegal camping spot that was ignored by the USFS but when I check the rules located here

    http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/whit...ation/camping/
    down near the bottom is "Backcountry Camping Rules"

    The Jewell trail isnt listed as no camping within 200 feet (interestingly ammonusuc ravine trail is). The area isnt within a designated wilderness area or the Cutler River drainage, nor within 1/4 mile of a camping facility and the trees are over 6 feet high so as far as I can figure, it is legal to camp there so a ridge runner cant hassle you. Note this applies to the spot I described, stopping short and camping in the rocks or where the trees are less than 6 feet high, is illegal due to the general prohibition against camping above treeline.

    Jeff, I have looked for a suitable similiar area years ago while going down the Eisenhower trail into the Dry River and on Edmonds path a few times and I dont think there is anywhere to pitch a tent any closer than the Jewell trail option. I would agree that Edmond path has suitable trees for hanging closer to the AT.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-15-2011
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    1,100

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Tom and Slo-go-em

    I always thought the Jewell trail site was an illegal camping spot that was ignored by the USFS but when I check the rules located here

    http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/whit...ation/camping/
    down near the bottom is "Backcountry Camping Rules"

    The Jewell trail isnt listed as no camping within 200 feet (interestingly ammonusuc ravine trail is). The area isnt within a designated wilderness area or the Cutler River drainage, nor within 1/4 mile of a camping facility and the trees are over 6 feet high so as far as I can figure, it is legal to camp there so a ridge runner cant hassle you. Note this applies to the spot I described, stopping short and camping in the rocks or where the trees are less than 6 feet high, is illegal due to the general prohibition against camping above treeline.

    Jeff, I have looked for a suitable similiar area years ago while going down the Eisenhower trail into the Dry River and on Edmonds path a few times and I dont think there is anywhere to pitch a tent any closer than the Jewell trail option. I would agree that Edmond path has suitable trees for hanging closer to the AT.
    I looked at a map and it was Edmands Path, not the Mt. Eisenhower trail, where I used to camp. It was probably a mile down, and another back up though. Nauman to Valley Way is probably the best way to get through there staying at legal sites and not huts. That's a day where one would be happy to have a light load, lol.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-11-2005
    Location
    Gainesville, Florida
    Age
    60
    Posts
    7,159
    Images
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
    I looked at a map and it was Edmands Path, not the Mt. Eisenhower trail, where I used to camp. It was probably a mile down, and another back up though. Nauman to Valley Way is probably the best way to get through there staying at legal sites and not huts. That's a day where one would be happy to have a light load, lol.
    There used to be a lot of sites about a mile down the Eisenhower Trail.
    I'm not really a hiker, I just play one on White Blaze.

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •