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7-12 day hike in the Adirondack suggestions

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  • 7-12 day hike in the Adirondack suggestions

    I'm trying to plan a 7-12 day backpacking trip for the beginning of May. I've never done any hiking in the Adirondacks before however, and have never done a backpacking trip this long. Im looking for trail/route suggestions, but any general advice for longer trips would be appreciated. As for the trails, would definitely love to get above tree-line and hit some 4000-fters!

  • #2
    Well, the natural choice for an ADK backpacking trip of that length would be the NP trail. But it's a valley trail; no peaks.

    Normal backpacking paces for the NP trail range from 6 to 14 days. One option for you might be to hike all or part of the NP trail south to north, and then turn off after Duck Hole, head over to Upper Works, and go in and bag a couple peaks at the end of the trip...


    • #3
      Welcome to the Forum!

      Keep in mind that in the beginning of May many of the peaks could still have significant snow at higher elevations and you're going to be dealing with a lot of mud at lower elevations. The High Peaks area is probably not a place where I'd take vacation time to devote one to two weeks of backcountry living without having prior knowledge of the conditions you'll be dealing with. I agree with TCD that the Northville-Placid trail (northbound) will be your best option. If you decide to do this, I'd start checking this forum's sister site, for trail beta. There's a section over there devoted exclusively to that trail where people frequently post conditions and updates.
      My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.


      • #4
        Keep in mind that not all of the HighPeaks are above tree line


        • #5
          Welcome to the forum.

          Your beginning of May start time coincides with the DEC's annual mud season advisory. They politely ask that you stay below 3000 feet until the advisory is lifted. Though it's not an outright prohibition and there aren't any trail closures please keep it in mind.

          I seem to recall some threads on the forum asking for similar suggestions. They pop up every now and again. I would look back through the trip planning section or search on "backpacking" and see what you can find.

          And I'll throw in the typical advice given to every ADK newbie... buy the map and guide book. They are great resources and indispensable for your trip prep.

          Last edited by Makwa; 02-10-2018, 05:42 AM.


          • #6
            I think other people are politely trying to tell you that you will most likely heading into a weather disaster....

            And no one mentioned the black flies either...
            Leave No Trace!


            • #7
              A trip in the high peaks is really limited by how much food you can stuff into a bear can. Bear cans are required in the high peaks. I have spent 7 days living out a bear can and for the first 2 days you do a lot what I call bear can ballet. That is taking all your dinners out to get to your breakfasts bellow and then putting them all back and so forth. Sometimes you are forced to leave your garbage bag outside at night.

              If can go at a time with better weather. I suggest late August. I would suggest this hike.

              The best trip you can do (according to me) is park at South Meadows and hike the Klondike Brooke trail into the John's Brooke valley. There are several leantos in that valley. From this valley you can hike several 4,000 footers from a base camp. After eating a few days of food, move yourself the Slant Rock leanto.

              From there you can hike your full pack up and over Mount Marcy and down the South Side of the Peak (Mount Marcy Trail) to Feldspar leanto or even to Lake Colden leantos. Set up another base camp. From here you climb peaks like Colden and Algonquin.

              When you hike back to your car it will be through Avalanche Pass which is lovely. At Marcy dam take the Marcy Dam Truck Trail back to your car.

              You need to bring a tent because sometimes the leantos are full. Hamocking is best in the Daks because the ground is so wet but I never got into that. I would if I had to do it all over again.
              Leave No Trace!


              • #8
                Now let's not try to drive this guest away! Sometimes, mid-May can provide what I call "secret season" where the mud has dried, but the bugs and the leaves are not out yet, and hiking is wonderful. No guarantees, of course, but if you have flexibility as to your dates, and you can watch the weather and conditions, you can hit a very nice period.

                Black flies usually don't come out in the high peaks until around Memorial Day. They are the worst in early June.

                Bear canisters are only required in the Eastern High Peaks. So if you want to camp and skip the Bear Canister, you can hike the Sewards or the Santanonis for your "peaks" portion.

                Another option, which might be a winner, would be to hike the NP trail, and then stay at Placid end (campground; hostel; B&B; or hotel) and day hike some high peaks.