View Full Version : Adirondaks High peaks

08-09-2011, 16:08
Me and a buddy of mine are planning to go up to the high peaks this Saturday until next Wednesday. We are planning to park at the Gardens and go over the brothers, big slide mountain, yard mountain,. then past johns brook to Mt Marcy, then over basin mountain , Saddleback mtn, armstrong mtn., upper wolfjaw mt, then past the wolf jaws leanto and back to gardens. Anyone who know this area have a rough idea how many miles this would be have a hard time judging from the national geographic map i have. Also will there be plenty of water in this section? Also we are hammockers are there plenty of trees or is alot of it above treeline? Thanks.

08-09-2011, 17:24
I'm not sure of the distance, but it's a great, spectacular area. Read up on the camping regulations (and they are enforced by rangers):http://www.adk.org/trails/High_Peaks_Hike-Backpack.aspx

No camping above 4000 feet at any time.
Camping between 3500 and 4000 feet is limited to designated sites.

Hammocking shouldn't be a problem if you drop down to below the alpine region. It's encouraged that you camp at designated sites at all times because it's a heavily used area.
Bear canisters are required and there is a bear that can open Bear Vaults. The ADK and outfitters rent canisters.
Haystack was my favorite, followed by Gothics and Basin on the Great Range trail.

08-09-2011, 20:16
Having done these a few times, here are my thoughts.... from Garden to JBL via BS and Yard, from JBL to Marcy via Hopkins/VH and then back to JBL via the Range Trail and out to the Garden on the Northside Trail. (I saved you from the Shorey Shortcut)

Bring water with you from the Garden, I don't recall much water past Brothers until you get beyond Yard. Otherwise you will have good water the entire trip. Camel up before hitting Van Hoevenberg, Just before Marcy. Camel up again at the phelps trail junction and consider a quick jaunt up Haystack, which offers a great returen for a modest investment.
Camel up again just before climbing Basin, as that might be the last water on the Range Trail (It has been a few years for me and last itme I was up there it was in 8 feet of snow and trail markers were knee level :)).

It is about 23 knee busting miles. It has a gain (and loss) of about 9,500 feet. I have saved a copy of a map, but I would seriously think about picking up an ADK guidebook and mapset (Or Barbara McMartin's book and map) before heading out.

As for hanging, there is a lot of puckerbrush and smaller krumholz at elevation. Illegal to camp over 4,000 ft, over 3,500 means means staying in designated shelters/sites and there are not too many good hanging trees around..

Also go to VFTT or ADKHighpeaks forums for much more up to date information A lot of the folks there are regulars in that region.


No camping above 4000 feet at any time.
Camping between 3500 and 4000 feet is limited to designated sites.
Below 3500 feet, camping is allowed at designated sites or at locations at least 150 feet (46 m) from any road, trail or water source. (In the Eastern High Peaks, to protect the resource, DEC strongly recommends camping only at designated sites or lean-tos.)

08-09-2011, 21:59
I just got back yesterday from 6 days hiking and camping at Taylor pond, a bit north of where you are planning to go. But, just so you know, I have never seen it so dry up there. I have been going to that region every summer for the last five years. Watering spots that have always had water were dry. I talked to a ranger there who said the whole area is very dry this year.

08-10-2011, 22:46
Thanks guys i actually have decided on the Pemi loop in New Hampshire instead. I called the High peaks information center and the lady confirmed that there was not a lot water in the section which scared me and she said the parking lot will probably be full on Saturday so would have to take a pay to take a shuttle there, plus parking fee, bear canister rental fee and weight, and more camping restriction.. the shuttle only runs weekends and holidays and im coming back Wednesday. How do you all think Pemi Loop compares to the ADK trip I have planned? Anyone have info about water levels on the Pemi Loop?

08-11-2011, 12:03

08-11-2011, 12:06
mean to post that in another thread oops lol

08-11-2011, 13:33
On the Pemi Loop, I'd go counter-clockwise starting with the Wilderness Trail (old RR bed) at Lincoln Woods on the Kancamagus Hwy. Up the Bonds - Bondcliff, Bond, West Bond side trail is almost at the Guyot Campsite (fee) - water available. Then to Mt Guyot and along the Twinway. From South Twin it's a quick mile and a half to North Twein, then a return to the Twinway. STEEP downhill to Galehead Hut (water, leftovers ?) - also the Frost Trail to the top of Galehead - just a few minutes up and back. The Garfield Trail to Garfield Shelter and Campsites (water on the side trail in to the shelter). Over Garfield and the rugged Garfield Ridge Trail to Lafayette, then Franconia Ridge. On this stretch, You can descend a mile to Greenleaf Hut for water, and then hike it back up. At the other end of Franconia Ridge, it's a descent to Liberty Springs tent platforms (and water). Then the Osseo Trail back to the Wilderness Trail. You have the chance for 11 4000 footers in this 32 mile (I think) loop with good water alongside Wilderness Trail, at the campsites and huts listed. With good weather, this is a honey of a hike - relax by taking a few days for it. Franconia Ridge is not fun in bad weather. Osseo Trail is one of the nicest steady descents in the White Mtns. Enjoy!