View Full Version : Winter camping options near the Santanonis

01-06-2004, 03:42 PM
what are the winter camping options near the Santanonis for a large group (of let's say 10 to 12 people) ?

I've slept at the Bradley pond leanto before and from what I can remember it that area cannot accomodate many tents once the leanto is full. There's a big slope in the front and you are directly in the woods in the back.

The area near the start of the heardpath is flat but it's also very swampy so I'm not sure it's an option either.

Doc McPeak
01-06-2004, 04:13 PM
When we were in the LT there was a guy in a campsite (I think it was disc-ed as legal) down below near the trail. I agree the slope would be difficult, maybe with enough snow you could tamp down a ledge or two, though I'm not sure what the legal limits are for camping. I think 8 to a group.

01-06-2004, 05:14 PM
There are places near the BP trail around the beginning of the herd path that should accomodate the overflow.

01-06-2004, 07:14 PM
Yea, I think the group limit is 8. There is plenty of room in the winter. When it's wet, it's more limited.
I passed a group of a least 12 French speaking folks coming off Algonquin over the weekend. It was like waiting for a heard to cross the road out west someplace. The only thing missing were some bells.
If you plan on taking a group that large, post it. That way, people know it's going to be crowded.

01-06-2004, 07:32 PM
There are places near the BP trail around the beginning of the herd path that should accomodate the overflow.

I also recall some possible places beyond the beaver dam that might work, and a place just before Panther Brook as well. Question: are these legal? Do the minimum distances from trail and water apply to heard paths?

As for sites at the lean-to, I have camped at a site just to the right of the lean-to down an incline. I was camping with Gary Koch, so I figure he would have told us if they were not! You're in the woods, near the stream. It was nice enough (relatively speaking), except for the raccoon territorial rumble that woke us up. That same night some people camped at the spot that Doc McPeak mentioned.

10-12 people at a site sounds high, but perhaps the limits are higher in the winter?

01-07-2004, 07:42 AM
Thanks for the input.

We'll make sure to spread the group along the spots suggested if it gets too big.

I will also post in the Trip/Event section before going.

01-07-2004, 09:10 AM
There is a campsite straight north of Bradley Pond, on the herd path towards times-square. I think it is 0.3 mi from the maintained trail. Actually, it is about 50-100m north of the herd path. In summer, you cannot see it from the herd path, but as soon as there is a tent pitched there, you will see it. No dense trees to get through. From the herd path, you have a partial view on the pond.

There is another spot, as other mentioned, on the way to Times Square, but I think it was closer from Times Square than from Bradley Pond, so I would not recommend to carry everything up to this campsite. Yes it is feasible, but you would do in 1 hour what you would have otherwise done light in 30 minutes the following day.

Another thing re. the Santanonis: I suggest that you do Couchie first, then Santanoni, then Panther. Otherwise, you may end up not being sure you have enough time before the sunset.
In Winter, Couchie is typically 3 hours 2-ways, so between 2 and 5 hours (window of uncertainty is 2 hours). For Panther, it is between 45 minutes and 1h15, so 30 minutes window.
Not only it is safer, but it reduces chances that you will say "oh, I'm not sure we have the time, etc".

Also your stamina decreases during the day, you may not want to add an extra 3 hours for 1 peak, but chances are few that you would not go to Panther at the cost of 1 hour.

Another option is to split the group, with at least 1 strong hiker in each of the 3 directions, such that everyone breaks 1 trail and gets 2 already broken trails !!!

Hope this helps. Sorry that my message was as long as the cactus !