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View Full Version : Trail side camping wmnf / my wash.



BenK
08-31-2019, 18:39
According to the wm guide, trail side camping is allowed. I do not have experience with this. Is it possible to tent camp around Pinkham notch without fee or reservation? Are the fees only associated with the huts? I would like to go from PN up the AT to Madison, then camp the night at Valley Way. D2, back up to the ridge line and traverse on the AT, hitting all the summits over to Wash. I will probably spring for my son and I to stay at LOTCH... D3 into Crawford Notch and shuttle back to the car at Pinkham... thoughts and input will be appreciated. We have done backcountry tent camping in the past, just not in NH... ty...

Slo-go'en
08-31-2019, 19:44
In a word NO! You can not camp within 1/4 mile of road or buildings. This eliminates trail heads. The tent site on Valley way is nearly 1/2 mile off the ridge and down 1000 feet. There is no tenting above tree line and 99% of your hike will be above tree line. In the areas where tenting is technically allowed, it simply isn't physically possible.

There is no fee at the Valley Way tent site, one of the few free tenting sites in the Whites.

You are planning an extremely physically demanding hike. You don't say when you plan to do this hike. Doing a full prezi traverse this time of year, even stretched out over 3 days is very ambitious and highly weather dependent. But then, that's true any time of year, but at least in early summer you have many more hours of daylight and much warmer temps.

BenK
08-31-2019, 20:01
In a word NO! You can not camp within 1/4 mile of road or buildings. This eliminates trail heads. The tent site on Valley way is nearly 1/2 mile off the ridge and down 1000 feet. There is no tenting above tree line and 99% of your hike will be above tree line. In the areas where tenting is technically allowed, it simply isn't physically possible.

There is no fee at the Valley Way tent site, one of the few free tenting sites in the Whites.

You are planning an extremely physically demanding hike. You don't say when you plan to do this hike. Doing a full prezi traverse this time of year, even stretched out over 3 days is very ambitious and highly weather dependent. But then, that's true any time of year, but at least in early summer you have many more hours of daylight and much warmer temps.

I was specifically asking about Pinkham notch, which is well below tree line, as is 2 miles of trail along old Jackson road before you hit the great gulf wilderness...

Slo-go'en
08-31-2019, 20:12
I was specifically asking about Pinkham notch, which is well below tree line, as is 2 miles of trail along old Jackson road before you hit the great gulf wilderness...

Good luck finding a spot along there, your slabbing the side of a hill. Best to get there early enough you can make it to the Osgood tent site. That would be a lot easier then trying to find a spot along the old Jackson road and really isn't that much more effort.

If your driving up from RI and want to hike in that afternoon, a shorter, quicker approach to Osgood is from the Dolly Cop campground. The AMC shuttle will drop you off there on the way back if you ask. However, that is a NFS pay parking lot.

peakbagger
08-31-2019, 20:30
Here are the regs https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5363715.pdf and specific regs for the Cutler River drainage https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5275809.pdf.

Looking at page 4 of the Cutler River pdf you cant camp upslope of the old Fire road so you have to camp between Old Jackson Road and RT 16 staying at least 1/4 of mile away from RT 16.

FYI if you are thinking about this trip in the next 4 to 6 weeks, daylights getting short and temps are dropping on the ridge line plus there are lot of folks out on the trail. The east side of Mt Washington gets dark about 1 hour earlier than sunset due to low sun angle. It makes finding a camping spot difficult wandering around in the woods with a headlamp.

BenK
08-31-2019, 21:04
If your driving up from RI and want to hike in that afternoon, a shorter, quicker approach to Osgood is from the Dolly Cop campground. The AMC shuttle will drop you off there on the way back if you ask. However, that is a NFS pay parking lot.

This was my orig idea, but I did not know if I could get the shuttle to dolly cop (not marked as shuttle stop on amc map). I would like to park at Crawford notch and shuttle to dolly cop, spend the first night there to get the earliest possible start the next morning... they donít give you a hard time about stopping there?

Slo-go'en
09-01-2019, 09:46
This was my orig idea, but I did not know if I could get the shuttle to dolly cop (not marked as shuttle stop on amc map). I would like to park at Crawford notch and shuttle to dolly cop, spend the first night there to get the earliest possible start the next morning... they don’t give you a hard time about stopping there?

They will drop you off anywhere you like so long as it's on the route and you ask nicely. They would actually drop you off at the Great Gulf parking lot which is right off the road and shaves off an additional 0.7 miles.

You would have to take the 1:25 PM shuttle from Crawford which loops around on the west side of the mountains. That would get you to the Great Gulf parking lot at about 3 PM.

colorado_rob
09-01-2019, 10:22
There is an excellent "stealth camp" summary that someone posted 5-6 years ago, I've got it and will gladly PM it to you. I believe the suggested sites are all legal, even though it is labeled "stealth". I used the list to great success during my WM portion of my AT hike. Look for a PM with the list, BenK, and enjoy the whites! We're heading there next weekend to try a 1-day Prezzi traverse. Well, kinda one day; Friday we hike up to Madison Hut, stay the night there then summit Madison early the next morning and head south over Adams, Jefferson, Washington, etc, to Pierce, then down to the Highland center. We'll see if these 63 year old bones can still do such a thing.... After Madison, it's "only" 15+ miles, 5K up, 8K down, it's the down that will get me....

PennyPincher
09-01-2019, 11:41
Osgood Tent site is an easy hike from Pinkham Notch. hardly any elevation gain. Just a few miles. We used to maintain the Osgood cutoff when our son was little (3-5 years old). It was easy enough to hike in to tent site and out all in a day for him, though sometimes the dog would nap every time we stopped to trim a few tree branches.

BenK
09-01-2019, 20:26
There is an excellent "stealth camp" summary that someone posted 5-6 years ago, I've got it and will gladly PM it to you. I believe the suggested sites are all legal, even though it is labeled "stealth". I used the list to great success during my WM portion of my AT hike. Look for a PM with the list, BenK, and enjoy the whites! We're heading there next weekend to try a 1-day Prezzi traverse. Well, kinda one day; Friday we hike up to Madison Hut, stay the night there then summit Madison early the next morning and head south over Adams, Jefferson, Washington, etc, to Pierce, then down to the Highland center. We'll see if these 63 year old bones can still do such a thing.... After Madison, it's "only" 15+ miles, 5K up, 8K down, it's the down that will get me....

Excellent resource. I will compare it to the map. Good luck on your trip. Hope you get great weather.

BenK
09-01-2019, 20:27
Osgood Tent site is an easy hike from Pinkham Notch. hardly any elevation gain. Just a few miles. We used to maintain the Osgood cutoff when our son was little (3-5 years old). It was easy enough to hike in to tent site and out all in a day for him, though sometimes the dog would nap every time we stopped to trim a few tree branches.


Good to know. Thank you.