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June 23-June 25: Loj- Algonquin-Marcy-Haystack-Loj- Loop

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  • June 23-June 25: Loj- Algonquin-Marcy-Haystack-Loj- Loop

    Hey All.

    I am planning a trip to backpack up to Algonquin, Mount Marcy, and then Haystack in late June. Two of us, capable and experienced in backpacking. We plan on starting and ending at the Loj. I was wondering if this is feasible. Plotting it out it looks to be about 20 miles. We have never hiked in the Adirondaks so we are asking for your help. Here is the itinerary:

    Friday, Early AM- Park at Loj Parking Area and begin hike along the AlgonquinTrail to peak, then to campsites at Lake Colden. Overnight stay.

    Saturday, - Hike along Mount Marcy Trail up to Mount Marcy, Phelps to Haystack, range trail to Sno-bird campsite. Overnight stay.

    Sunday- Return to vehicle using the Van Hoevenberg Trail to the Loj.

    (there are some backtracking)

    Here are some of my questions.

    1. How difficult do you think this will be to accomplish in 3 full days?

    2. Are there any other places to camp along our route? Good places to make sure we see? Any swimming holes or things like that to check out?

    3. We will pack probably 4 days of food. (it looks like we require a bear canister) do we need any other "special" gear for the hike?

    4. Are there plenty of water sources along the way?

    5. Any other general thoughts on this itinerary?

    I appreciate any input.

  • #2
    How heavy will your packs be? The trails in the Adirondacks are very steep, rocky and very tough. You might prefer to carry the weight in to Lake Colden, set up there and hike Algonquin (and Iroquois while you're at it) with day packs. Besides taking note of the distances look closely at the elevation gains and losses your plan involves.

    From Lake Colden you can strike off early next morning with full packs, drop them at 4 Corners then go up and down Marcy. You can also do fairly quick round trips of Gray, from Lake Tear and Skylight from 4 Corners. Grab your packs and descend to Panther Gorge for your 2nd night. From Panther Gorge you can carry day packs 1700' up Haystack (spectacular hike btw but very steep), return to camp then pack up and head out via 4 Corners and Feldspar Brook.

    If you are fit and fleet of foot and get going early you could day-pack from Lake Colden up and over Marcy, out to Haystack, then backtrack over Marcy back down to Lake Colden.

    Instead of camping twice at Lake Colden you can get closer to Marcy by moving camp and setting up at Feldspar Brook. This would save you humping weight over 4 Corners but puts you further from Haystack. As a plan B you might want to scrap Haystack and do Colden instead considering it's a lot closer.
    Project-100: 100 peaks, one winter.


    • #3
      What Neil said. Bear in mind that Jun 24 is a holiday in Quebec and trails, especially the Great Range, will be busy. Also remember that Sno Bird is the only legal campsite along the ridge and if it is full, you will need to descend to below 3500'.


      • #4
        1. Camp at Marcy Dam. Day-hike to Algonquin (shortcut to Algonquin Trail is Whale's Tail Ski Trail but it'll probably be wet). Optionally add Wright and Iroquois. Backtrack or make a loop via Avalanche Pass (the pass is very scenic).
        2. Day-hike to Haystack and Marcy via Van Hoevenberg Trail. Backtrack (pause at Indian Falls; very scenic).
        3. Sleep in.
        Looking for Views!


        • #5
          Bring plenty of insect repellant.

          I'm of a similar mind as the other posters in that if packing over peaks can be avoided it probably should be. Of course, it can be done, but it's not really necessary. Exploring some of the options Neil mentioned would allow for seeing all the spots mentioned plus some others while keeping the weight down during the most difficult climbing.
          Adopt a natural resource. Give back.