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Suzzz
10-04-2017, 08:43
To those of you who have summited Katahdin recently...

I will be going up the Hunt Trail this weekend with a friend (her first time and she's pretty excited) and so far it looks like the weather will be cooperating. We will be staying at Katahdin Stream Campground Friday night and were hoping to be on the trail bright and early Saturday morning but the BSP rules state that you can only start the trail at 7am. From my experience, BSP is pretty strict and they always enforce the rules. Has anyone here been able to start the trail earlier than that? Will there be a ranger standing guard at the trail head? If so I won't bother getting up at the crack of dawn. I'm not much of a morning person so I'll be a little grumpy if I get up early only to sit and wait.

That being said, I can't wait to be there!

putts
10-04-2017, 09:12
You should have no problem starting at any time you desire. I'm not sure that I've ever heard of the 7AM rule, and I'm more inclined to believe that it is a recommendation. If you have any doubts, Friday night, go check out the hiker sign in sheet at the trail head. You will find dozens of names next to a depart time earlier than 7 AM. Total non-issue. Have fun!!!

ScottTrip
10-04-2017, 09:38
In 2016, I started at 5:30 AM. The ranger actually recommended an early start to avoid crowds and any weather that was predicted for later that day.

Suzzz
10-04-2017, 09:48
When I made my reservation on the phone, the person I was talking to told me that you could only start the trail at 7am.

It will be my first time on the Hunt Trail, I usually go up from the other side of the mountain and I don't remember a specific start time from Roaring Brook so I was a little surprised when she told me that but I figured it might have something to do with the fact that the Hunt Trail is part of the AT.

So it's a go for an early start then!

Puddlefish
10-04-2017, 09:57
I'd be inclined to call back and ask them their reasoning directly. Maybe previous noise complaints of early risers in the campground? Might be expecting overnight frost (not that it would miraculously clear by 7 am.) Trail safety based on the sunrise time? I'm just making wild guesses.

Slo-go'en
10-04-2017, 10:10
I'm pretty sure they want you on your way up BEFORE or BY 7 AM. That ensures the average hiker has enough time to make up and back before dark.

Suzzz
10-04-2017, 10:11
I'd be inclined to call back and ask them their reasoning directly. Maybe previous noise complaints of early risers in the campground? Might be expecting overnight frost (not that it would miraculously clear by 7 am.) Trail safety based on the sunrise time? I'm just making wild guesses.
Agreed. I planned on asking when we get there Friday afternoon anyway. I was in a rush when I called to make the reservation and didn't have time to ask the lady to elaborate. I just thought I'd ask here to see if someone had heard about it. Like you said, overnight frost wouldn't be goine by 7am but it would be easier to manoeuver once the sun is up. I'll also take putts suggestion and the check sign-in sheets the night before.

Suzzz
10-04-2017, 10:13
I'm pretty sure they want you on your way up BEFORE or BY 7 AM. That ensures the average hiker has enough time to make up and back before dark.
That would be the logical way of thinking but she specifically said that we couldn't start before 7am.

I think I'm going to call them right now and ask again. Stay tuned!

Suzzz
10-04-2017, 10:41
Ok, soooooo....

Sorry guys, it's my bad, I was in such a rush when I called that I completely misunderstood the lady I was talking to. The 7am rule is for something completely different.

I just talked to someone who confirmed that we can start the trail whenever we wish to. There are NO time restrictions.

Puddlefish
10-04-2017, 11:06
Ok, soooooo....

Sorry guys, it's my bad, I was in such a rush when I called that I completely misunderstood the lady I was talking to. The 7am rule is for something completely different.

I just talked to someone who confirmed that we can start the trail whenever we wish to. There are NO time restrictions.

Well, that kills this thread... unless we feel like making up conspiracy theories. I'm going to go with "the aliens at the secret government base are nocturnal, and they don't want you on the trail until sunrise."

Suzzz
10-04-2017, 11:11
If I see any aliens on my way up, I'll say hello for you!

peakbagger
10-04-2017, 11:34
Despite the wrong info, I recommend a headlamp start. Its real easy to get going late from KSC this time of year as its on the wrong side of the mountain for sunrise.

Hopefully you have a great day, just bring plenty of warm gear including enough gear to cover all exposed skin. I was up there on Labor day weekend and there were traces of snow in the shadows on South Peak.

dcdennis
10-04-2017, 14:29
I submitted for the first time last month on 9/7. From KSC site #23 it took me 11 hours round trip and thats without dilly dallying for a single second at the summit because the weather was crap and no views. Leave yourself time, you dont want to be doing Katahdin in the dark if you can avoid it.

Suzzz
10-04-2017, 14:55
Despite the wrong info, I recommend a headlamp start. Its real easy to get going late from KSC this time of year as its on the wrong side of the mountain for sunrise. Hopefully you have a great day, just bring plenty of warm gear including enough gear to cover all exposed skin. I was up there on Labor day weekend and there were traces of snow in the shadows on South Peak.

We are thinking about setting out at 6am and we'll have plenty of warm clothes. I don't like being cold so I always have more than needed.

Suzzz
10-04-2017, 14:58
I submitted for the first time last month on 9/7. From KSC site #23 it took me 11 hours round trip and thats without dilly dallying for a single second at the summit because the weather was crap and no views. Leave yourself time, you dont want to be doing Katahdin in the dark if you can avoid it.

We are giving ourselves 12 hours to do it, hopefully we'll be done before that and hopefully the weather will be nice enough for a picture with the sign, especially for my friend who'll be up there for the first time.

peakbagger
10-04-2017, 16:11
I expect the leaves will be looking good, hard to beat Baxter in the fall if you get a good day.

Sovi
10-04-2017, 16:22
When do the leaves start to change up in Maine? Hoping to be able to see them at the end of my hike. Also hoping "fall" starts earlier up there than down here.

putts
10-04-2017, 18:28
When do the leaves start to change up in Maine? Hoping to be able to see them at the end of my hike. Also hoping "fall" starts earlier up there than down here.

It's already started. This is going to be a great weekend to be in Baxter!

Maine foliage tracker: http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/projects/fall_foliage/index.shtml

"Augusta, ME (October 4, 2017) - The Fall Foliage Report from the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry reports 70 percent color for the upcoming Columbus Day weekend in northern Maine, while the remainder of the state is at 40 to 50 percent color change. A low leaf drop is also reported throughout the state.
Typically, northern Maine (zones 6 and 7) reaches peak conditions the last week of September into the first week of October. The rest of the state’s progression of color will start occurring from north to south in mid-October. Coastal Maine typically reaches peak conditions mid-to-late October."

egilbe
10-04-2017, 18:45
40488

Baldface Circle trail in Evans Notch area. Can see the AT on the Carter Moriah range from where the trail intersects with Meader Ridge trail. Leaves are already starting to fall. Kinda dry.

peakbagger
10-04-2017, 21:05
Leaf season has definitely shifted a couple of weeks from the past. They used to be over in the northern whites by now and this year still not yet peak.

Sovi
10-04-2017, 21:08
Bummer, looks like I will miss it then. I plan to be done by early august.

red5
10-05-2017, 05:21
We are thinking about setting out at 6am and we'll have plenty of warm clothes. I don't like being cold so I always have more than needed.

Yes, dress very warm. Bring more layers than you think you might need. The days might be in the 60s here in Maine but at the top of Katahdin it could be an extremely windy ice box. You'll have to grab lots of granite and if it is really cold your hands will appreciate warm gloves. A winter hat too.

gracebowen
10-05-2017, 22:59
How long is the trail to the summit? Is there an alternate route down or up to make it quicker? Is it easier going up or going down?

Suzzz
10-05-2017, 23:26
Yes, dress very warm. Bring more layers than you think you might need. The days might be in the 60s here in Maine but at the top of Katahdin it could be an extremely windy ice box. You'll have to grab lots of granite and if it is really cold your hands will appreciate warm gloves. A winter hat too.

Absolutely! Being from New Brunswick, one of Maine's Canadian neighbours, we are familiar with the weather and will be prepared for the cold. We will have hats, gloves and lots of layers!

Suzzz
10-06-2017, 00:13
How long is the trail to the summit? Is there an alternate route down or up to make it quicker? Is it easier going up or going down?

It will be my first time up the Hunt Trail but in my experience with Mount Katahdin...

I calculate for 12 hours because I'm not a very fast hiker and I will be happy with anything below that. Of course, a lot of people are much faster than that, especially thru hikers.

Personally, uphills are always harder for me and I'm typically able to get down in about 70 of the time it took me to get up. And just so you know, going down is tough on the knees.

There are other trail options to summit Katahdin but the Hunt Trail is part of the AT and the others aren't. So if you want to be on the AT, the Hunt Trail it is. Also, all of the other trails are on the other side of the mountain so in theory, yes, it's doable to start on one trail and finish on another one but it's not very practical since you'll need to organize transportation either to get you back to your starting point or to first drive you to the start in the morning.

red5
10-06-2017, 04:58
There are other trail options to summit Katahdin but the Hunt Trail is part of the AT and the others aren't. So if you want to be on the AT, the Hunt Trail it is. Also, all of the other trails are on the other side of the mountain so in theory, yes, it's doable to start on one trail and finish on another one but it's not very practical since you'll need to organize transportation either to get you back to your starting point or to first drive you to the start in the morning.

Just a minor correction but there is also the Abol Trail which goes up and down the same side as the Hunt Trail. The Abol Trailhead is about a mile or so before the Hunt Trailhead so they are pretty close. I've known people to go up the Hunt Trail and come back down the Abol Trail and then walk/hitch the Tote Road back to KSC as the Abol Trail is easier (in my eyes anyways...no big huge boulders).

gracebowen
10-06-2017, 09:21
Thanks that was what i was looking for. For a thru only one way has to be on the AT. Plus id like to see simething different on the way.

Suzzz
10-08-2017, 16:16
Just a minor correction but there is also the Abol Trail which goes up and down the same side as the Hunt Trail. The Abol Trailhead is about a mile or so before the Hunt Trailhead so they are pretty close. I've known people to go up the Hunt Trail and come back down the Abol Trail and then walk/hitch the Tote Road back to KSC as the Abol Trail is easier (in my eyes anyways...no big huge boulders).

Yes, of course, I must have been having a brain fart when I responded to Gracebowen. The Abol Trail is on the same side as the Hunt Trail and not that far away. As for the level of difficulty, I have no idea since I've never been on the Abol Trail. Thanks for the correction Red5!

Deacon
10-08-2017, 16:23
The Abol trail is only slightly easier than the Hunt trail. Its still a bch coming down.


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D2maine
10-16-2017, 06:08
so how did the hike go? the weather closed in fast on Saturday am hope you made the summit...

Suzzz
10-16-2017, 08:50
so how did the hike go? the weather closed in fast on Saturday am hope you made the summit...

We almost made it. We got to the Gateway and the fog came rolling in, complicating things slightly. My hiking partner who is a novice hiker and was on her first Katahdin hike was getting nervous so we decided to turn around. I probably could have kept going and meet her at the bottom after I was done but my motto is we go in as a group and we come out as a group. Also I'm sure she appreciated not being left to her own devices for her way down. My goal was to make her enjoy the experience and not feel like she was alone and in over her head. Katahdin is not exactly a walk in the park. Once we were done I asked her how she felt about her day and the first thing she told me was that we need to come back next year. So all and all, I'd say our day was a success.

Before we left BSP, we talked to some hikers who did make it to the top and they said that visibility was slim to none. A group even told us they never found the sign. Knowing that, I'm glad we decided to turn around.

TJ aka Teej
10-16-2017, 09:16
My goal was to make her enjoy the experience and not feel like she was alone and in over her head. Katahdin is not exactly a walk in the park. Once we were done I asked her how she felt about her day and the first thing she told me was that we need to come back next year.

An excellent result! And always remember, there's much more to the Park than Katahdin. Come back, stay a few days, and enjoy!

The 7AM thing, btw, is when the Rangers post that day's weather and trail condition report at the trailheads after receiving it over the radio.

Suzzz
10-16-2017, 10:25
An excellent result! And always remember, there's much more to the Park than Katahdin. Come back, stay a few days, and enjoy! The 7AM thing, btw, is when the Rangers post that day's weather and trail condition report at the trailheads after receiving it over the radio.

We will be back, you can be sure of that! And yes I've done a few of the other trails, namely in the Daicey Pond and Kidney Pond areas. The 7am thing was me being in a rusgh when I called for the reservation and not taking the time to listen to what the lady was telling me. It was all good. We were on the trail at 6am.

D2maine
10-16-2017, 12:23
We almost made it. We got to the Gateway and the fog came rolling in, complicating things slightly. My hiking partner who is a novice hiker and was on her first Katahdin hike was getting nervous so we decided to turn around. I probably could have kept going and meet her at the bottom after I was done but my motto is we go in as a group and we come out as a group. Also I'm sure she appreciated not being left to her own devices for her way down. My goal was to make her enjoy the experience and not feel like she was alone and in over her head. Katahdin is not exactly a walk in the park. Once we were done I asked her how she felt about her day and the first thing she told me was that we need to come back next year. So all and all, I'd say our day was a success.

Before we left BSP, we talked to some hikers who did make it to the top and they said that visibility was slim to none. A group even told us they never found the sign. Knowing that, I'm glad we decided to turn around.

bummer but definitely the right call, keep the group together and it sounds like the return trip is on for next year.

D2maine
10-16-2017, 12:25
We will be back, you can be sure of that! And yes I've done a few of the other trails, namely in the Daicey Pond and Kidney Pond areas. The 7am thing was me being in a rusgh when I called for the reservation and not taking the time to listen to what the lady was telling me. It was all good. We were on the trail at 6am.


if you get the chance doubletop is a great climb and view.

Suzzz
10-16-2017, 14:25
if you get the chance doubletop is a great climb and view.

I have and it was a great hike. Actually, Doubletop was my first hike in BSP back in 2009.

red5
10-17-2017, 05:29
Well if we are doing BSP recommendations I'll throw my 2 cents and say the Traveller Loop might just be the best hike in the whole state of Maine.

peakbagger
10-17-2017, 07:53
Traveler Loop is great hike but quite long with no bail options. I would suggest doing Katahdin first as its about equal effort.