View Full Version : Katahdin Weekend Trip

02-04-2009, 15:07
Looking to climb Mount Katahdin as a group of 4, 2 dads and 2 daughters.
Visited these sites already...

Our plan is to drive from Saint John New Brunswick on Saturday May 16th,
camp one night, climb on the 17th, and then drive to a motel in Bangor to swim in pool and hook-up with shopping wives. It is the Canadian long weekend the week before the Memorial Day Weekend, but the first week that most of the camp-sites are open. I think we want to park where we camp, then basically day-hike it leaving shortly after 7am, if the mountain is open, and then return to the car and drive to Bangor.

1. Understand we will need to make a last minute reservation for the 4 of us, less than 14 days in advance. Is that right? Am I missing anything?

2. Is that a busy weekend? How likely will we to get a campsite?

3. What campsite should we try for? Roaring Brook?

4. What are the odds of the mountain being closed in May?

5. What trails should we take?
Chimney Pond Up, possibly the Knife Edge and Helen n. Taylor back?

6. What is a good plan B for a day of hiking if mountain is closed.

I'm not going to ask how long it will take, because my daughter hasn't told me yet, but our goal would be to peak by noon, but turn around and start heading back no later than 5 hours after we start, and to only do the knife edge if the weather and the girls are still up for it after Baxter's Peak.

7. How long is the trip back compared to the trip up?

8. Is there any gear they are particularly fussy about, or that we should be, compared to our usual hiking gear for Fundy Footpath, etc. The site days they don't like tennis shoes. Do they consider trail runners to be 'tennis shoes'.

9. How much water will we be carrying, and where do we do our final fill up?

10. All comments welcome.

02-04-2009, 15:26
Also curious if anyone knows the elevation of the various campgrounds?
Katahdin Stream ? Abol ? Roaring Brook ?

I'm guessing they are all about the same?
About 1000 feet above sea level, or 4300 from the top? Is that about right?

02-04-2009, 17:42
Have a wonderful trip and post a few images to WhiteBlaze's gallery when you get home.

02-04-2009, 18:45
Your odds of an open mountain are slim. If it were me I would have a plan B, and call several days before. The low trails could be knee-deep with water.

If it were me, I would not make any reservation, the thought of all the campgrounds filling up, well, not likely. Or you might make a reservation for a cabin.

It is pretty bleak up there if the snow/ice/water situation is not in your favor, during the first week of camping.

02-04-2009, 22:05
Also curious if anyone knows the elevation of the various campgrounds?
Katahdin Stream ? Abol ? Roaring Brook ?

I'm guessing they are all about the same?
About 1000 feet above sea level, or 4300 from the top? Is that about right?
I'm guessing you are right, or near enough to being right, that it doesn't make much difference. An easy -- and abolutely fabulous -- way to climb the mountain is to backpack into Chimney POnd from Roaring Brook, camp, climb the mountain, camp again at Chimney POnd, and then exit to the Roaring Brook campground.

Whether all this is possible in May is something no one can predict. Many years it is not, many years it is.

But the same is true for the other trails on Katahdin in mid to late May.

If you have the option, I would wait until June 1. Even then a successful summit is questionable, though every day makes the possibility more likely.


02-10-2009, 19:11
Thanks for all the replies.
Good to know that mid May is too early. We should look to mid June or later then.
So we might do something local here in May, or at least wait and see. Cheers.

02-10-2009, 20:39
Chimmey Pond is the place to go. Better get reservations now though, it's the most popular site for good reason.
http://i719.photobucket.com/albums/ww196/kd1jv/th_knifeedge.jpg (http://s719.photobucket.com/albums/ww196/kd1jv/?action=view&current=knifeedge.jpg)
http://i719.photobucket.com/albums/ww196/kd1jv/th_Chimmeypond.jpg (http://s719.photobucket.com/albums/ww196/kd1jv/?action=view&current=Chimmeypond.jpg)

02-10-2009, 22:32
I climbed Katahdin on June 2nd last year. We were not even allowed to drive to Roaring Brook and they told us the trails to Chimney Pond were still under many feet of snow. We went up The Abol Slide trail and had to come down the Hunt trail. There seemed to be many open campsites at Kathadin Stream and Abol Campsites. We stayed outside the park at the Abol Bridge Campsite. It was central to other hikes we were doing.

02-11-2009, 09:32
The Hunt Trail or Abol Trail is the first to melt out in the spring and the park usually tries to get Katahdin Stream and Abol campgrounds open as early as possible but no guarantees in May. Booking a hike from the roaring brook side is more of a risk as the road tends to take longer to dry out and the Chimney basin takes longer to melt out.

Whatever you do, dont take just any reservations in the Park if you want to climb Katahdin, as the sites accessed from the Northeast Gate (trout Brook and Branch Ponds) are about a 2 hour drive on a rough road to the trailheads. You are a lot better off, camping at the one of the whitewater campgrounds just outside the park and driving to the gate early in the morning.

As you are from New Brunswick no need to warn you about black flies!

02-11-2009, 09:37
You might wanna have the wives stay in Millinocket. . . closer for you and it is a much more booming metropolis with lots of Malls and outlet stores. . .:rolleyes::D:)