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Advice Wanted on Adirondacks Backpacking Trip
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Ben R
(snowfiend131) - MLife

Locale: Western PA
Advice Wanted on Adirondacks Backpacking Trip on 07/06/2010 16:18:11 MDT Print View

Hi all,

I was hoping for trail suggestions for a backpacking trip in the Adirondacks in August. Going for 5 or 6 days at moderate hiking pace, so 50 or 60 miles would be ideal. I will only have one car, so a loop is needed unless there is a shuttle service available.

This is my first time to the area. Would like to check out some of the high peaks region, but am open to other suggestions. I'm interested in views, scenic areas, wildlife, nice campsites, and maybe occasional solitude if I can get it during peak season. Most of the trip will be weekdays, so hopefully I can avoid the crowds somewhat.

Thanks in advance.


Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Advice Wanted on Adirondacks Backpacking Trip on 07/06/2010 19:11:26 MDT Print View

Not a route suggestion, but very important:

You will need an approved bear canister in most of the mountainous areas of the Adirondacks, and last I checked only the Garcia was on the approved list (this was over a year ago). You'll get a hefty fine if a ranger catches you in the backcountry without one. You can rent them in a number of places if you don't want to purchase one...I recall rental was something like $2 per day. I recall fitting maybe six days worth of food in one canister. They weigh around 2 3/4 pounds (ugh!) and are large, so bring an appropriately sized backpack.

Concerning routes: some are fairly rough, not used much, have some route finding problems (they disappear into a jungle), and some bushwhacking might be needed. The major routes are well marked but can be steep, wet, cold and muddy, even in Aug.

John Whynot

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Advice Wanted on Adirondacks Backpacking Trip on 07/06/2010 20:11:54 MDT Print View

Here's a link to the ADK information page on hiking and backpacking in the Adirondacks.

Bear canisters are required in the Eastern High Peaks area.

You might look into the Northville Placid Trail...

Edited by jdw01776 on 07/06/2010 20:14:14 MDT.

Chris Morgan
(ChrisMorgan) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
Re: Advice Wanted on Adirondacks Backpacking Trip on 07/06/2010 20:40:48 MDT Print View

Not the high peaks, but otherwise fits your trip description to a tee:

You could always do the loop and then take a side trip up a peak or two.


Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
ADK Trip on 07/07/2010 01:46:14 MDT Print View

Start at Adirondack Loj, check out avalanche lake, climb Mt. Marcy, make a loop from there. Great area. Highly recommended.

Dan Stanko
(Dinsdale) - F

Locale: Loozerville,USA
Re: Advice Wanted on Adirondacks Backpacking Trip on 07/07/2010 04:46:53 MDT Print View

Marcy is usually busy but worth the trip,most popular and an easy trail for day hikers from the LOJ.

Garcia is the only approved container and you can rent right there for cheap.The screw type bearvault has been defeated by the local bears there.

Lots and lots of loops to one parking spot;

Colden,Avalanche pass,Algonquin are 2 nice days;

Av. Pass at dawn;
avalanche pass

Colden from Marcy Dam;
marcy dam


Edited by Dinsdale on 07/07/2010 04:50:12 MDT.

Ben R
(snowfiend131) - MLife

Locale: Western PA
Re: Advice Wanted on Adirondacks Backpacking Trip on 07/07/2010 09:55:46 MDT Print View

Thanks for the tips, keep them coming if there's more.

Is there a website that shows that the Garcia is the only approved canister? The regs I saw only said a commercial hard sided canister. I was aware the Bearvault was no good for the area, but what about the Bearikade? I was thinking of renting a Bearikade thru the mail because food for 2 people for 5 days might have a chance of fitting in one large and light canister.

Dan Stanko
(Dinsdale) - F

Locale: Loozerville,USA
Re: Re: Advice Wanted on Adirondacks Backpacking Trip on 07/07/2010 15:31:43 MDT Print View

I think the bearikade would pass because of the similar 3 coin screw type top....

I am also looking for an approval but at the LOJ they only approve the Garcia and have a sign expressly saying the bearvault doesn't fly.Frankly when I emailed about the bearikade they had no clue,so I am trying thru DEC to get a letter for OK.Keep you posted.

They ask if you have one but I have never had to show one to anybody.But it does happen from time to time as I have asked around.

This has the regs....sorry it does not have the BRAND of container;unfortunately thats just the way it is.They rent the Garcia's and in their mind...that's it.

Edited by Dinsdale on 07/07/2010 15:43:38 MDT.

Ben R
(snowfiend131) - MLife

Locale: Western PA
Type of Bear Canister on 07/08/2010 18:19:57 MDT Print View


I have seen the page you linked before. The text provides a range of stats for bear canisters, implying that there must be more than one type or brand of allowable canister:

•Canisters are usually made of a hard plastic, but metal or another material may also be used.
•Canisters weigh 3 to 5 pounds.
•Canisters typically are 8 inches by 12 inches in size.

Let me know if you hear anything further.


Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Type of Bear Canister on 07/08/2010 18:32:10 MDT Print View

"•Canisters weigh 3 to 5 pounds.
•Canisters typically are 8 inches by 12 inches in size."

Except for the ones that are lighter and slightly smaller.

At the Yosemite National Park permit stations, they have a photo posted with six or seven of the normal models of canister. Before you get your permit, you have to point at the one that you have. In some cases, the ranger wants to see it.


Tom Wemett
(nptfanatic) - F

Locale: Adirondack Mountains
Northville Placid Trail Hike Planning on 11/21/2010 14:54:58 MST Print View

There is a new website up and running devoted to the Northville Placid Trail in the New York State Adirondack Mountains - [url][/url]. There is a page for hike planning whether a weekend, section or thru hike. Another section on latest trail conditions as reported by other Northville Placid Trail hikers, NPT Trail Stewards, ADK Trails Staff, DEC personnel and others.

With regard to bear proof containers, there is a picture of one that doesn't work and one that does. The heavy black plastic ones are best. Only needed in the Easter High Peaks. Not required on the NPT. However, you still need to hang your food and toiletries to keep squirrels and chipmunks from getting into them.

george carr
(hammer-one) - F - MLife

Locale: Walking With The Son
Re:Advice Wanted on Adirondacks Backpacking Trip on 11/21/2010 15:46:20 MST Print View

John and Tom are right, bear cannisters are only required in the High Peaks region. IMHO it well worth the extra 2 3/4 pounds that the Garcia weighs to spend 5-6 days in this amazing area. It's my understanding that the Garcia cannister is the only one that is allowed in this region (although I have been wrong once or twice), and as others have said, they can be rented for about 2 bucks a day. I rented one at the Adirondack Loj for $5 for 3 days. If you do decide to hike the High Peaks do yourself a favor and get the ADK guide to the High Peaks. It comes with a map of the area, as well as trail descriptions.

Edited by hammer-one on 11/21/2010 15:47:36 MST.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Bear canisters, continued on 11/21/2010 16:10:28 MST Print View

I hike the High Peaks area at least 2 somtimes 3 times per year. And I use a modified bear vault. I drilled, tapped and countersunk a screw opposite to the latch and use a little Squirt to open it. I have been stopped twice and both times the ranger said it was fine. This was NOT the Loj people. I believe they were more interested in how I made the modification, since one bear, Yellow-Yellow, does not really pose a threat...she is timid and has been "conditioned." She ranges between Lake Colden and Marcy Dam, mostly. To my knowledge, she is the only bear in the country than knows how to open the Bear Vault. Hmm...let me check the site... ok, nothing new.
Here is the web site:
As far as I know, no regulations have been changed in response to this one bear, first reported in 2008, I believe. I am also a member of the the Adirondack Mountain Club for the past number of years. They keep track of everything to do with hiking and camping up there and publish a magazine 4 times per year. I would have seen this. There was a report from another camper that Yellow-Yellow had taught one of her cubs. Nothing O-fficial on that, though, so use some skepticism as with any hear-say.
I will say that the source was reliable, of the rangers that stopped us asking if we had a canister. You only need a canister in the EASTERN High Peaks. Nowhere else requires one, to the best of my knowledge.

The NLP trail is more or less a straight run. A nice trip, but difficult to do, without some transportation ('corse, it is always possible to hike back... My Brother-in law takes a group of boy scouts on a yearly trip along that trail.

Chris Morgan mentioned the Cranberry Lake 50, I will second that, having done most of it before it was completed ;-}.
A nicer hike would be down to High Falls(Oswagatchie River)then back to complete the Cranberry lake 50... Watch for Eagle...They are a nice bonus.

Matthew Marasco
(BabyMatty) - F

Locale: Western/Central PA, Adirondacks
re: on 11/23/2010 10:21:12 MST Print View

I did the CL50 in early October, just past peak color, and It was magnificent. If that's that you end up doing, make sure you hit the side trail to Cat Mountain. It's a short detour worth the magnificent view. Also, there's a lovely stealth campsite at the top that I reeeeeally really wish I had camped at. I'll try to post some pics later. I meant to do a proper TR but I've just been toooo dang busy lately...

Matthew Marasco
(BabyMatty) - F

Locale: Western/Central PA, Adirondacks
re: on 11/23/2010 10:25:08 MST Print View

Also, if you're in the neighberhood, check out Raquette River Outfitters. It's probably the coolest little paddle/gear place I've ever been to. It's in Tupper Lake. They've set friends and I up on great trips the past two summers, and we'll definitely be back to finish more of the Whitney paddling loop.