View Full Version : Dack designated campsites

01-07-2004, 01:06 PM
I'm starting to plan a trip for next summer to the dacks. Right now I'm considering the great range traverse region. I have a several year old version of the HP trail guide, only shelters are on the maps, not campsites. How does one find out where the designated campsites are? I assume one must descend from the ridge each night, but to where? Is it too much to hope that there is a listing with lat/lon coordinates?


01-07-2004, 01:55 PM
We camped around the Lower Wolf Jaw lean to. There are a few designated camp sites around it. (73.85W 44.15N since you asked) If you come in from The Garden, there is a map posted near the Interior Outpost showing the locations of all legal camp sites in the area.

01-07-2004, 04:41 PM
Tony -
First - remember that camping on the eastern Ausable Club/AMR side of the range is illegal.

On the western side of the range (the john's brook side) there are quite a few places to camp. All the lean-tos have campsites around them - just look around for the yellow discs that have a tent on them. Nearly all the sites are along the Phelps trail - the one that runs from the Garden to Mt. Marcy.

Location: Mileage from the Garden:
1. Bear Brook Lean-to 0.9
2. Deer Brook Lean-to 1.3
3. Howard Lean-to 3.2
4. Bushnell Falls Lean-to #1 5.0
5. Bushnell Falls Lean-to #2 5.2
6. Slant Rock Lean-to 6.8

There are two additional locations to camp:
1. Wolfjaws Lean-to 1.1 miles from JBL near Lower
Wolfjaw (see Mark's post).
2. Sno-Bird Campsite In to col between Basin and
Haystack near where the Shorey
Short Cut comes in.

I know people have done full packs over the range - it is doable (you could split it up - the first day do the lower range to Sno-Bird, the second day Haystack, Marcy, and out). However - the south sides of both Gothics and Saddleback offer VERY steep decents. The ADK guidebook describes the trail off Saddleback as "descending precipitously over ledges." They really mean it's f***ing steep. It's actualy vertical or very close to it for awhile. Gothic's south side had the famed cables, which are now gone. When I did the range this summer, we did it in two seperate days from the Howard Lean-to. Hope that helps.


01-07-2004, 05:29 PM
The newer ADK High Peaks maps indicate campsites, I assume they include all of them. The areas I'm familiar with are accurate.

01-07-2004, 06:11 PM
You can come in from the Ausable Club side but must camp away from trails and water and above 2,500', but everywhere camp below 3,500'.
Cannot legally camp at the old Snowbird leanto site, its too high.

01-07-2004, 06:35 PM
My mistake - I thought there was NO camping in the AMR? And now that you mention it - I did know that Sno-Bird was illegal.

Tony - I forgot one more place - Ore Bed Brook LT - about a mile above Johns Brook Lodge as you head towards Gothics.


01-07-2004, 07:32 PM
Originally posted by MrOysterhead
My mistake - I thought there was NO camping in the AMR?

You're right. It's just that AMR land is below 2500 feet, not just off the ridge. The ADK map shows the private land boundries.

On a more practical side, there are very few places that are level enough to camp..

01-07-2004, 07:34 PM
Hey Pete,

In winter, you just level the snow to make a flat site, that is when the snow is deep enough.


01-08-2004, 05:44 AM
I thought you could camp at DESIGNATED sites above 3500ft. As far as I know, it's still legal to camp at Snobird, Macintyre falls and other sites above 3500 that are designated.

01-08-2004, 06:06 AM
I don't think Snobird is an approved site.


01-08-2004, 06:29 AM
Originally posted by Warren
The newer ADK High Peaks maps indicate campsites, I assume they include all of them. The areas I'm familiar with are accurate.

Excellent! That is what I was hoping for, I'll get one of these maps right away.

Thanks all!

01-08-2004, 07:44 AM
As of last September there was a yellow camping disk at the Sno-Bird lean-to site, and I am not aware of any movement to close this site to camping. As for camping on the AMR side of the Great Range, it is legal on state land above the boundary. There is quite a bit of flat land with legal sites on the Wedge Brook Trail just over a mile from the West River Trail. The terrain is rougher, but there are possible sites off both the Beaver Meadow and Pyramid trails to Gothics as well.

01-08-2004, 08:22 AM
Where is the Sno-Bird LT?

01-08-2004, 09:14 AM
I think the best way to attack the range peaks is to camp at JBL, then do all the peaks in one day, in the following order: Saddleback, Gothics, Armstrong, then Upper and Lower wolfjaws. If you get an early start, you can be back at JBL early afternoon, and could then move camp to Slant rock. Note that you won't have to carry a heavy pack over all those peaks! From slant rock, you can do Marcy, Skylight, Haystack (from the south side), and Basin in one day. Its a tough day, 1 vertical mile over 10 total miles (average 20 degree grade all day) but it is do-able. I broke these two hikes into two different trips. It is a really great way to spend a couple of summer weekends. Why do the whole range trail in one shot when you can keep coming back for more?
Also note that the south side of Haystack is VERY steep, and quite un-nerving the first time. Oh, and bring lots of water over Gothics->LWJ. There are no water sources in dry weather.