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Weekday crowds during foliage season?

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  • Weekday crowds during foliage season?

    How are the crowds on the trails in late September during the week?

    Planning to do Colvin/Blake and Nippletop/Dial, and to camp at Elk Pass sites, unless anyone has better suggestions?

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  • #2
    The peaks will be crowded but not as bad as on holiday weekends. This is a great plan, but be prepared for those sites to be occupied. I personally prefer the sites along the Gill Brook during warm weather since they tend to be less buggy and pissy. You can also filter water from the brook, where as the ponds are a little sketchy. If you plan to hike-camp-hike as a loop, the Gill Brook sites will cause you to have to backtrack a little, but not enough to be any real inconvenience.

    Edit: That's bear country. Make sure you have a canister and store it away from your site a night.
    My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.


    • #3
      A pertinent question, to me at least! I'm planning a full 5 day mid-week in late Sept/early Oct. Trying to cherry-pick a good week weather wise. I just assume I'll run into people, but fewer than if I go during a weekend. My first two nights will be in the Sewards, so I don't expect to see too many people there, especially if it is rainy. For my last two nights I plan on camping in South Meadows at one of the spots away from the road a bit (a new experience for me, being so close to my car).

      Two years ago I camped at Lake Colden for three nights in early October and didn't see another soul camped there until the third night (the weekend). Granted, the second day was a total washout that I spent not climbing peaks, but admiring the raging waterfalls along the Opalescent instead. Still and all, I was kind of shocked I was alone at Lake Colden for two entire days and nights. In my experience, if you can go mid-week, you'll encounter far fewer people.


      • #4
        I don't think you'll meet too many other people on a weekday.

        Bib and I hiked Gothics -> LWJ yesterday (Wednesday Sept. 13) and met a total of 10 other hikers:
        • 1 while ascending staircase on Ore Bed Brook Trail
        • 0 on Gothics
        • 3 on Armstrong
        • 2 on UWJ
        • 4 on LWJ
        Garden had plenty of available parking space. About 20 entries in the trail-register. Many had signed in for Big Slide, a few for Saddleback, etc. All in all, a very quiet day. Fall colors have started with the first flush of red visible in Johns Brook Valley. High-elevation birches have started turning yellow. Some fallen red leaves on trail. Phelps and Ore Bed trails were dry whereas Range Trail was surprisingly muddy.
        Looking for Views!