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Thread: Pharaoh Lake Wilderness

  1. #1
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Pharaoh Lake Wilderness

    Got an email from EMS today about great foliage hikes in NY and it occurred to me that I never actually made it out to the Adirondacks this year. Anyway, one of the hikes it recommended is the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. I remembered that name because it is right near the place I usually camp when I go out there. So....had a few questions:

    1) My current map set and book doesn't cover that area and being a likely "one of" hike to the area I hate to buy the Nat Geo map set for one hike (I also don't particularly like the Nat Geo maps). The EMS blog says it is a well marked area and I did find a PDF map online. I assume that will be sufficient for the area?

    2) Is "at large" camping allowed in that area? Does the terrain lend itself to tent placement? I assume with a lot of lower elevation terrain it would be fine but there are a lot of ponds so not sure if there are restricted use areas. Would probably do as a day hike but I'd like to keep my options open if it is that nice of an area.

    3) The EMS blog mentions Pharoah Mountain has 360 deg views and is about a 10 mile hike (which appears to be round trip). Looks to be one key river crossing between Alder Pond and Crane Pond. Anyone know if it is bridged and/or would be an issue at this time of year? How are the views?

    4) I would likely do this hike two weekends from now (10/20-10/21). Will I be too late on foliage at that point? EMS blog says that area is later than High Peaks area and I know the higher peaks in NH are really starting to peak right now, but it looks like NY is ahead of NH with foliage. If anyone can provide a "best guestimate" of what kind of color I can expect that would be helpful.

    5) Last but not least: Crowds. Is this a busy area during foliage season? If I remember right that trail head is tiny with very limited parking and I'm really looking for an "off the beaten path" type of hike, not a peak-bagging super highway. Have plenty of those in NH.

    Any info on this area would be greatly appreciated.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

  2. #2
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    Pharaoh is a great area. I only get there occasionally, but here's what I can suggest:

    1. Go to DEC for maps and info:

    https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_fo...ppharaohlk.pdf

    2. Go to DEC also for the "rules":

    https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/107648.html

    3. Don't know, but I think that is a pretty small stream there, so it's not one of those problems like in NH where the ASFS is removing bridges across big rivers.

    4. Yes, it's probably a little late for foliage. There will still be some color, but the area is peaking right around now.

    5. Hard to predict, but Pharaoh is never as crowded as the high peaks. It's a different crowd, anyway - more of a hunting / fishing / pickup truck crowd at Pharaoh, as opposed to the peak bagging crowd in the high peaks.

    I only get to Pharaoh once a year or so - lots of folks at ADKForum are very frequent visitors and real experts on the area:

    http://www.adkforum.com/

    Search for recent reports, and search for posts by DSettahr and Justin, among others, for lots of detail.

  3. #3
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    Pharaoh is a great area. I only get there occasionally, but here's what I can suggest:

    1. Go to DEC for maps and info:

    https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_fo...ppharaohlk.pdf

    2. Go to DEC also for the "rules":

    https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/107648.html

    3. Don't know, but I think that is a pretty small stream there, so it's not one of those problems like in NH where the ASFS is removing bridges across big rivers.

    4. Yes, it's probably a little late for foliage. There will still be some color, but the area is peaking right around now.

    5. Hard to predict, but Pharaoh is never as crowded as the high peaks. It's a different crowd, anyway - more of a hunting / fishing / pickup truck crowd at Pharaoh, as opposed to the peak bagging crowd in the high peaks.

    I only get to Pharaoh once a year or so - lots of folks at ADKForum are very frequent visitors and real experts on the area:

    http://www.adkforum.com/

    Search for recent reports, and search for posts by DSettahr and Justin, among others, for lots of detail.
    Thanks for the details. I am on the ADK forum as well and will post question there too.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

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