View Full Version : MT Katahdin Pack Swap?

03-10-2009, 01:25
I'm thru hiking MEGA on July 1st, and I keep reading about Katahdin. According to my understanding of my reading, I'll be dropped off at Baxter State Park, sign in at the ranger station, swap my pack for a day pack, and hike the mountain. Thats all I have found. Whats this sign in stuff? And How do I get my pack back after I swap it for a day pack?:-? I'm just a little confused here. Any and all information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Also How long does it take the average hiker to get off Katahdin, and get to a suitable place to make camp?

03-10-2009, 01:38
from what i understand the "sign in" is just where you sign a clipboard at a ranger station so in case of an emergency they have a count of people up top and then you sign again when you come back down only.think the only camping allowed is in the campsites so it depends on the route you take

TJ aka Teej
03-10-2009, 01:57
You'll first 'sign in' at the Park gate. Then there's a sign sheet for campers at Katahdin Stream Campground too, because the Ranger works most of his day outside, not at the desk in the cabin. There's also an AT register on the porch for you to sign. (Take the time to read through the great 'first and last' entries by other ATers). And lastly there's a trailhead register. There's a bin beneath the register full of day packs (thanks to the generosity of the Ranger and his friends) for ATers to borrow. You leave your gear right on the porch.
Who is dropping you off, and when?
The first place to camp off of Katahdin is at Katahdin Stream Campground. I always recommend ATers book a lean-to for two nights, before and after their climb.
I don't know where you've been reading about Katahdin if that's all you've been able to find, so I suggest reading the ATC's Thru-Hikers' Companion (a free copy is available on line at http://www.aldha.org/comp_pdf.htm ), and look over previous postings here in WhiteBlaze's MEGA forum.

03-10-2009, 08:56
A couple of clarifications.

Getting dropped off at BSP - I assume that you are making arrangements to be dropped off at Katahdin Stream campground, as the main gate is a bit of a drive to the campground. If you are getting a drive into the park with a friend (versus a shuttler) be aware that if they dont have Maine plates, they will have to pay a fee to drive in the park (used to be $8).

One thing to consider is that only about 1 in three days is a real good day to hike Katahdin for views (which are incredible). When you get to the park the predicted conditions for the day are posted. The rangers can and will "close" the mountain, but normally post a class 3 day, which means, its seriously doubtful that you will have a fun time climbing and the odds are that the weather isnt going to clear up. Class 2 days are usually okay to climb and there might be a chance of clearing, but odds are you will get a real good view of a cloudbank. Class 1 days are usually nice weather and possbily great views, although afternoon clouds like to form on the summit so the earlier the better.

If you can work out the logistics, the hike up the east side of the mountain from Roaring Brook is incredible on a good day, plus it keeps you from having to backtrack on the AT. Alternatively, hike up Abol Trail and down the AT (Hunt Trail). If it is a really nice day, and you dont mind rock scrambles and steep drops, the Knifes Edge trail is unlike any other trail in the northeast.

03-10-2009, 10:09
Another thing. . . when you leave your pack at the Ranger's station you'll have seen enough to know that it is perfectly safe there. Leave early headin up the mountain, although I've left twice after 10 am, my first time up I left at 8 and had more time to spend up there.

03-18-2009, 18:14
Yeah the rangers are real nice and will look after your pack the sign in is just for record.