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Catch-Up
03-12-2019, 20:13
Does anyone have recent experience with White House Landing in the 100 Mile Wilderness? Everything I see on here is 10 years old or more. I would like to know if it is a pleasant experience, we might like to zero there in June/July this year on our way to Katahadin.

fastfoxengineering
03-12-2019, 20:18
Does anyone have recent experience with White House Landing in the 100 Mile Wilderness? Everything I see on here is 10 years old or more. I would like to know if it is a pleasant experience, we might like to zero there in June/July this year on our way to Katahadin.There is lots of comments on Guthooks.

I have never stayed but here is what I gathered.

White House Landing is available for thru hikers. They are not a hiker hostel, nor do they cater towards hikers.

It's expensive. Everything cost money.

It is nothing like a $20 hostel down in TN.

Most negative comments are from people being angry about having to pay $15 for a cheeseburger. Or that electricity costs money.

It will end up costing about $100pp per night with food.

Its actually pretty reasonable for an off grid cabin in the middle of nowhere who will let you use electricity and cook for you.

And now complimentary cannabis comes with your stay. It is legal in Maine.

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imscotty
03-12-2019, 21:09
And now complimentary cannabis comes with your stay. It is legal in Maine.
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What, I thought that stuff in the dresser drawer was potpourri?

fastfoxengineering
03-12-2019, 21:31
What, I thought that stuff in the dresser drawer was potpourri?Nope they have a selection.

I should note the majority of the comments on guthooks are very positive.

They say the same thing.

Excellent place, excellent food, the owners are great.

It is not a hostel. Its a backcountry fishing camp that hikers coming through the 100 mile wilderness can stay at.

They offer private bedrooms, a bunkhouse, showers, phone charging, hot meals.

But its pretty far off the beaten path so the price reflects that.

Most hikers are reporting they spent between $75-$150pp here.

Guthooks has a lot of informative comments on the white house landing page.



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LazyLightning
03-12-2019, 22:06
They except mail drops for free so you really could stay for like 30 bux and be all set. That said their food is very good and my stay was easily over $100. The burger and homemade pizza were so good... plus not only did they have the complimentary cannabis but I picked up his last metal pipe after just losing my glass one that morning. That place couldn't have worked out much better for me.

Dogwood
03-13-2019, 00:11
Ridiculous saying one has to experience spending $100--150 at WHL. Bunkhouse and rooms are not expensive and might be all a hiker needs if having recently come from a stay in Monsoon. Consider your running tab total and cost of an item before each purchase reigning in that common unbridled consumptive mentality that infect many. Treat a stop at WHL similarly to a VVR stay in the Sierra. Keep track of your tab and consider each purchase in context of being in a remote to get to area and you'll be less sticker shocked going out the door which some complain. YES, prices for food, cannabis, and paraphernalia can be costly. It's how we work it/work out our hikes and our habits that also play roles in costs complaints which many are in the habit of ignoring.

A lot of the cost complaints come from NOBO thrus in the habit of gorging every time they are under a roof or in some resemblance of modern civilization. A questionable habit to continue post thru hike! Some dont dietary transition well post thru which can lead to packing wt(fat) back on. It's NOT always excused gaining wt afterwards by saying we're less active! With some who are in the habit of unbridled consumption now it's made worse with access to legalized cannabis. NOBO thrus tend to be at their trail budget ends if they even had one and stuck to it so funds can be tighter making memories of spending $ more enforced at this place. Plus NOBO thrus have come from the south recalling many of the donation operated and some of the cheapest AT hostels often run in less costly southern hospitality trail angel or very modest $ earning hostel biz environments.

I thought a good way to go through the 100MW was to break up resupply by sending a box to WHL. It saved consumable wt. Buying more cheaply with greater selection in Gorham, Stratton ME, or if staying at Shaws in Monsoon getting a ride with others to a med/lg grocery store and mailing a box to WHL. The $10-14 postage and lower food costs buying the bulk of food elsewhere was far more cost effective then attempting a full resupply or heavy supplementing at WHL or in town in Monsoon. This also kept me from over impulse consuming and spending at WHL where food was more expensive. Some hostels can have decent trail food prices. WHL was hard to make that happen although their sandwiches and pizza helped supplement the 100MW. The 100MW does not have to be approached as 100 miles on one resupply!

I tend to run tight trail budgets. Most I've spent at WHL was $55. VVR was $65 sending a box to both and staying in a tent(VVR) or bunkhouse(WHL). Both places I like experiencing diversity on a hike riding in a boat. Maybe that helps keep the boredom some complain about at bey...experiencing other things than backpacking on a LD hike?

I've never stayed at WHL in June.

fastfoxengineering
03-13-2019, 00:31
Ridiculous saying one has to experience spending $100--150 at WHL. Bunkhouse and rooms are not expensive and might be all a hiker needs if having recently come from a stay in Monsoon. Consider your running tab total and cost of an item before each purchase reigning in that common unbridled consumptive mentality that infect many. Treat a stop at WHL similarly to a VVR stay in the Sierra. Keep track of your tab and consider each purchase in context of being in a remote to get to area and you'll be less sticker shocked going out the door which some complain. YES, prices for food, cannabis, and paraphernalia can be costly. It's how we work it/work out our hikes and our habits that also play roles in costs complaints which many are in the habit of ignoring.

A lot of the cost complaints come from NOBO thrus in the habit of gorging every time they are under a roof or in some resemblance of modern civilization. A questionable habit to continue post thru hike! Some dont dietary transition well post thru which can lead to packing wt(fat) back on. It's NOT always excused gaining wt afterwards by saying we're less active! With some who are in the habit of unbridled consumption now it's made worse with access to legalized cannabis. NOBO thrus tend to be at their trail budget ends if they even had one and stuck to it so funds can be tighter making memories of spending $ more enforced at this place. Plus NOBO thrus have come from the south recalling many of the donation operated and some of the cheapest AT hostels often run in less costly southern hospitality trail angel or very modest $ earning hostel biz environments.

I thought a good way to go through the 100MW was to break up resupply by sending a box to WHL. It saved consumable wt. Buying more cheaply with greater selection in Gorham, Stratton ME, or if staying at Shaws in Monsoon getting a ride with others to a med/lg grocery store and mailing a box to WHL. The $10-14 postage and lower food costs buying the bulk of food elsewhere was far more cost effective then attempting a full resupply or heavy supplementing at WHL or in town in Monsoon. This also kept me from over impulse consuming and spending at WHL where food was more expensive. Some hostels can have decent trail food prices. WHL was hard to make that happen although their sandwiches and pizza helped supplement the 100MW. The 100MW does not have to be approached as 100 miles on one resupply!

I tend to run tight trail budgets. Most I've spent at WHL was $55. VVR was $65 sending a box to both and staying in a tent(VVR) or bunkhouse(WHL). Both places I like experiencing diversity on a hike riding in a boat. Maybe that helps keep the boredom some complain about at bey...experiencing other things than backpacking on a LD hike?

I've never stayed at WHL in June.Party pooper.

You dont HAVE to spend that much. But I think most hikers have the mentality that if they're going to stay somewhere, theyre also going to eat real food, shower, charge up, etc. And i think WHL charges a fair amount for a charge and shower on top of your bunk.

If you mailed yourself something pretty decent though thats not so bad. Food wise.

But does WHL have a kitchen for you to use? That you dont have to pay for?

If not...then more prepackaged processed food that is either stoveless or needs to be cooked using a camp stove. Unless your the fancy hiker with healthy, dehydrated meals.

Peanut butter and jellys? Pasta and a jar of sauce? If you have a camp stove and enough fuel your options open up.

Its tough. A nobo that far north has a hard time resisting a hot meal at that point. No matter the cost.

Plus... cannabis has known side effects

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Dogwood
03-13-2019, 03:18
here ye here ye maine safety meeting has begun

Is it really complimentary? what selling pt for a hostel stay.

Hey Fox how long you been here? Oh ah wow man has anyone seen a sandal. I ah I ah I wost ones of mese sandals. Bout twoah wks...I think.

fastfoxengineering
03-13-2019, 03:31
It's become an attraction for multiple hostels in Maine. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20190313/5f44d8f7cb9e74a18acb8eb7a0485956.jpg

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peakbagger
03-13-2019, 07:08
I seem to remember similar comments about Uncle Johnny's in Erwin TN long ago on manipulative selling tactics. WHL appears to be a business not a non profit. If its willing buyer buying from a willing seller situation then what is the problem? It was on sale for a couple of years and no one elected to pay them $500K for the place so I guess the P&L was not that great. Folks have made it through the 100MW for many years without the service and survived.

Deacon
03-13-2019, 07:24
I went back and looked at my bill for staying there. $80.20 for overnight stay, dinner that included beer, their giant cheeseburger and a half of s 14Ē pizza, all you can eat breakfast, and a sizable tip.

For what you get I didnít think that was to bad. Thatís not as much as most motel rooms.


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Deacon
03-13-2019, 07:26
And their bunkhouse is huge - very comfortable.


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Catch-Up
03-13-2019, 10:11
Ummm, I'm not excited about cannabis selection, complimentary or otherwise. And there are two of us, so the expenses would be doubled, of course. Thanks for the info. It is still under consideration. Maybe we will get a food drop from Shaw's instead. I guess it was the shower that was most appealing about stopping at WHL. Can't believe they charge extra for shower and charging your phone tho, geez!

Grampie
03-13-2019, 10:33
White House Landing is well worth the stop. Once you consider where they are located, far from any town, and the logistics of operating a guest operation in the middle of the wilderness it's a great AT hiker stop. The quality of all they offer is top notch. The folks running the place are not making a fortune off their guests. The are just sustaining their desire to live the life style they live.

peakbagger
03-13-2019, 11:55
Ummm, I'm not excited about cannabis selection, complimentary or otherwise. And there are two of us, so the expenses would be doubled, of course. Thanks for the info. It is still under consideration. Maybe we will get a food drop from Shaw's instead. I guess it was the shower that was most appealing about stopping at WHL. Can't believe they charge extra for shower and charging your phone tho, geez!

They are off grid and have to haul fuel to run a generator. The normal price for power from a generator is usually close to a buck a KWhr comparted to $0.15 for grid power. I am surprised they don't have a big solar array to line up with the busy hiker season but that required up front investment from someone and ongoing investments to keep the system running may not be of interest. The required battery banks at best last 10 years and require expensive replacement.

Sporting camps in Maine are a dying breed. Very few are profit making. The owners usually scrape by and their only hope is cash out when they sell. Many are were on leased land so the actual sales value is low. Banks don't like to lend money on leased lots as the landowners can always change their minds. I think WHL is on owned land but access is usually very dependent on the large landowner they are surrounded by. With the Atlantic Salmon restrictions on permanent stream crossings, many large landowners are cutting way back on the roads they maintain unless they are actively logging. If they pull a key culvert or two the owner of a remote lot on lake could be screwed. Most of the sporting camps that come on the market on owned land get bought up by someone with money and turned into a private camp or a non profit like AMC buys it. Camp Phoenix adjacent to Baxter got turned into private condos to keep it together. They come up for sale on occasion and 100K gets you an old cabin on a shared common frontage.

LazyLightning
03-13-2019, 13:05
Ummm, I'm not excited about cannabis selection, complimentary or otherwise. And there are two of us, so the expenses would be doubled, of course. Thanks for the info. It is still under consideration. Maybe we will get a food drop from Shaw's instead. I guess it was the shower that was most appealing about stopping at WHL. Can't believe they charge extra for shower and charging your phone tho, geez!

I don't think it was extra for shower, maybe if you want more then one... It was 5 bux if they did charge. It would still be cheaper to get a bunk and shower with a free resupply sent then it would be to have Shaws do a mail drop in the 100 mile... They charge at least 50 for that, might of been 80

Edit... Just noticed you said 2 of you so if Shaws charges 50 that will be like 10 bux less but with no bunk/shower

LazyLightning
03-13-2019, 13:12
The cannabis was overpriced and not the greatest quality for the donation thing but you do get either a free joint or cookie for staying.... For anyone wondering.

Dogwood
03-13-2019, 14:34
Girl Scout, Oreo or just plain Cookie?

LazyLightning
03-13-2019, 18:02
I opted for the joint over the cookie but I'm thinking more like a chocolate chip with a little ganja cooked in, edibles never worked to good for me. It was decent stuff I guess I'm just kind of a cannabis connoisseur and expected a little better for being legal in ME ;)


If your not into that, it's still a great place to stop. Nobody is gonna be getting stoned in the bunk house or anything and the people were super nice, I think you get access to their canoes/kayaks for free (with permission) but it was to cold when I was there.

Catch-Up
03-14-2019, 09:36
They are off grid and have to haul fuel to run a generator. The normal price for power from a generator is usually close to a buck a KWhr comparted to $0.15 for grid power. I am surprised they don't have a big solar array to line up with the busy hiker season but that required up front investment from someone and ongoing investments to keep the system running may not be of interest. The required battery banks at best last 10 years and require expensive replacement.



Sporting camps in Maine are a dying breed. Very few are profit making. The owners usually scrape by and their only hope is cash out when they sell. Many are were on leased land so the actual sales value is low. Banks don't like to lend money on leased lots as the landowners can always change their minds. I think WHL is on owned land but access is usually very dependent on the large landowner they are surrounded by. With the Atlantic Salmon restrictions on permanent stream crossings, many large landowners are cutting way back on the roads they maintain unless they are actively logging. If they pull a key culvert or two the owner of a remote lot on lake could be screwed. Most of the sporting camps that come on the market on owned land get bought up by someone with money and turned into a private camp or a non profit like AMC buys it. Camp Phoenix adjacent to Baxter got turned into private condos to keep it together. They come up for sale on occasion and 100K gets you an old cabin on a shared common frontage.


Thanks for that info, Peakbagger. That makes more sense about the charges. I didn't know they were off grid.

peakbagger
03-14-2019, 11:04
My guess is 16 miles from the closest power grid (and town) via mostly private dirt logging roads that are a lot less maintained when they were 20 years ago. A swag would be an hour round trip to town is probably a minimum, add in another 20 minutes round trip to the nearest small grocery store in Millinocket.

Emerson Bigills
03-14-2019, 17:31
I stayed there in July 2017. Beautiful, but remote, spot on a large lake and the boat ride across the lake to the site was pure Maine. I was the only one in the bunkhouse that night so it was quiet. Did laundry down by the lake, showered up and relaxed. I had the pizza for dinner and couldn't finish it, but had already ordered a cheeseburger to go for the next day. I had the pizza for lunch and ate the cheeseburger for dinner while sitting on a rock along the shore of Rainbow Lake, my next to last night on the trail. I still recall sitting on that rock watching a storm move toward us, thinking about how my hike was almost over. As much as I was ready to go home and enjoy some creature comforts, I knew I was going to miss the trail in that moment.

Eating at the Landing isn't cheap, but considering I bought a meal to go, it wasn't that much more than my town/hostel stays in the Northeast. Good people and consistent with the AT, they had some interesting stories to tell about the property. It was a nice bit of comfort in the Hundred Mile Wilderness.

RockDoc
04-22-2019, 20:53
The food all comes from Costco in Bangor. I was there one day when they were unboxing.

Berserker
08-15-2019, 18:19
I spent a night at WHL on my last section a little over a week ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed my stay. Linda and Bill are great hosts (and hard working...running that place is a 24/7 job), the place is nice and clean with great amenities for being off grid, and the food was delicious. As others have stated it's not super cheap, but as a section hiker that hasn't been afraid to throw around a little cash to be comfortable one night while I'm out that didn't both me. My buddy and I got the private cabin, dinner, some beers and charged our phones, and that came to a little over $110 a person...that's pretty darn reasonable in my opinion considering you can drop that amount on a lower end to mediocre hotel nowadays.