View Full Version : Feldspar to Bushnell?

03-23-2004, 03:40 PM
I'm starting some early planning for summer.

I'm hoping to put together a 5-8 day backpack (if I can spare the time) starting and ending at the Loj. I'd like to take in Lake Colden (and Colden), the peaks near Uphill (Redfield, Cliff) and Feldspar (Gray, Marcy, Skylight), and then move over to the Great Range for 2 days. (if I only have 5 days, I'll skip the Great Range)

1) Is the Hopkins trail a nice backpack route from Feldspar to Bushnell Falls?
2) Is Bushnell Falls a good 2 night base camp for the Great Range?
3) What's the best way to get back to the Loj from Bushnell Falls?
4) Is this too ambitious?

This is certainly not cast in stone, and came out of a 30 minute glance at McNaughton's book and map, so other options/suggestions are welcome. Any other input, or comments is appreciated!

BTW, I want to hold off on the Dixes and Algonquin for different trips.

03-23-2004, 04:43 PM
I can say one thing, you will be one tired soul after that week of climbing.

Go in from the Loj and camp on the opposite side of Lake Colden for the first night, you can climb coldon from there. It is the steepest trail up the mountain.If your going through to BUshnell falls I recommend you start early and carry your packs up from Feldspar and leave them at the base of the side trails for Grey and Skylight. Carrying a full pack up Marcy from Lake Tear will be a bear. The Hopkins trail is the only trail in the High Peaks area I havn't hiked. I use the other from Slant Rock, that one would be fine as well. You could always use the Hopkins trail over to Indian Falls to return to the Loj..

Here's my recommendation. First park at South Meadows and hike the jeep road into Marcy Dam. Do everything as you would over Marcy then; Hike it to Johns Brook Loj instead of Bushnell, it's all downhill for the most part and goes by really quick. From there you can make a nice loop over the Great Range and return to camp. On the day you wish to leave take the Klondike Notch trail back to your car at south meadow. I'll PM you my phone number, just in case you have any questions.

03-23-2004, 05:34 PM
peak_bgr: I looked at the Klondike Notch Trail, and it looked interesting. I don't plan to carry full pack over Marcy, I'm thinking it might be best to spend a second night at Feldspar. The next day, I'd head over to Bushnell Falls. I'll send you a rough idea of what I am thinking about once I firm it up.

The route from Feldspar to Bushnell seems to have little info, so far.

03-24-2004, 07:54 AM
I must be sick in the head or something..cause I've done Marcy with full pack....twice....

Not to mention Algonquin, Dial and the lower range......

Now only if I could spare the time for a trip like this....

03-24-2004, 09:43 PM
Wow Sherpa...now you've got me dreaming of summer hiking plans.

03-25-2004, 06:58 AM
crazymama: right now I'm dreaming of ANY hiking plans! Now if the ADK could just send me my High Peaks book (backordered since December), it would maek things easier!

Hope you consider joining me for parts of my trips!

Doc McPeak
03-25-2004, 03:09 PM
Sherpa, you've gotten some good suggestions so far. I love the Hopkins trail from Marcy back to Bushnell Falls. You get a couple unique and outstanding views of Basin and Saddleback, and it's easy for backpacking (much more than the connector) However getting there from Feldspar may be easier to go over Marcy, since you have to climb back over 400' up to Lake Arnold, then lose some hitting the Indian Falls connector, before climbing back up to the junction with the Hopkins at ~4500', all while adding several extra miles to your trip. Another However ... I would do them as two loops, even in one trip, with a night out to scrape the mud off, soak in a tub, and reload. (But, that's probably me ... for I just can't carry more than 4 nights worth of wine and vittles at a time ;) )

Here's an ambitious 4 night plan:

day 1. Hike in from the Loj MIDWEEK, drop packs at Marcy Dam, fastpack and hit Phelps and Tabletop. night at the dam.

day 2. Hike up to Lake Arnold, drop packs, do Colden. Hike to Feldspar or Uphill for the night.

day 3. Fastpack Gray, Skylight, and Marcy (weather good) and enjoy the magnificent views. Or Redfield and Cliff is crappy day.

day 4. The B-side of day 3. Hike down to Flowed Lands for the night.

day 5. Up and at 'em for Marshall, before hiking through Avalanche Pass and back to the Loj.

days 6 through 10. Various degrees of traction, swedish massage, and every kind of chocolate known to man, all washed down by copious amounts of favorite beverage.

Let me know when you're heading in, I may come in for Redfield or Marshall. Or any of the others...

03-26-2004, 08:07 AM
Thanks for all the info! It's very much appreciated. I will be spending time firming up my plans, looking at maps, doing taxes (wait, how'd that get in there?), working out overnight spots, profiling routes, and adjusting daily mileage.

Doc: I am planning to come back to the Marcy Dam area in the fall, so will likely leave any of the peaks nearby to that trip. With more time, my plan is to get in, climb, move, climb, get out. I unfortunately will likely start on a weekend, as otherwise I'd need to come from Maine. The option to summit Marcy with full pack may make sense, unless I am spending 2 nights at Lake Arnold. If only Lake Tear still had camping options:( that would make it much easier to plan. Flowed Lands is something I had not considered, but will look at more closely. BTW, I'm like you. Anything more than 4 days is a stretch for me. Fortunately, I can live happily on Mountain House for many days! As for days 9-17? Maine!

And then, of course, it will rain:eek:

03-26-2004, 01:33 PM
Man, SherpaK, you've got me all anxious to get out now.

I was planning a solo hike early summer, ambitiously eyeing Gray, Skylight and Cliff (I've got Marcy and Redfield done...). Be sure to post when you're going, maybe I'll run into you.

I was planning on hiking in to Flowed lands, mostly for the scenery and a little rock climbing, making it a 3 day trip.

By the way, the hike up Marshall is one of the most surreal trails I've been on. I can't think of the author, but he was very much on track when he said he half expected to see Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins pop out of the forest. It's also the peak where I was the most spiritually touched by the presence of God in the Adirondacks.

03-26-2004, 01:54 PM

We stayed near the Lower Wold Jaw lean to. There are a few nice camp sites near, but not too close to the lean to. The Great Range is, well, great! I'd love to do it again.

If you want to stay near the JBL, there are some defined camp sites near by, but the bears know your address there. We found some passable, legal sites near JBL. Send me a PM if you want precise location.

03-26-2004, 04:11 PM
Sherpa-- You're book is on backorder because they are revising and doing a new edition. It sould be anytime. You know, like, it's just over that small bump, or just another 5 minutes. Are we there yet, that sort of thing.

03-27-2004, 12:17 PM
peak_bgr: I spoke to ADK yesterday and they said it is absolutely, positively being mailed out be April end. You are right, it is a new edition (sometimes I get lucky, I guess)

03-27-2004, 12:40 PM
My ADK map indicates a designated campsite at about 3800 ft. in the col between Haystack and Basin. I believe this is what is called "tThe Sno-Bird Leant-to site". I would work in a night at that spot if I were doing a range trek. I also camped in the Gothics / Saddleback col twice. Its nice in there. Also, Check out what has been refferred to her as "the Ampitheater" on the back of Basin; It sounds interesting.

03-27-2004, 09:43 PM
Paul-- the Adk book is a nice reference. You should look into the Barbara McMartin High Peaks Guide Book as well. It gives much better discriptions of the "trailless" peaks, and has a nice map showing the locations of the herd paths as well.

03-28-2004, 10:57 PM
I have McMartin's book and map (got it last summer wehn I was nearing the end of the NE100. Gotta keep planning ;)). It's great for some, not so great (to me) for others. I'm finding it tough to estimate distance and times on some of the routes.

03-29-2004, 04:24 AM
A "must read" is Joel Dobson's website, Adirondack Journey. http://www.adirondackjourney.com/ McMartin's book is somewhat dated unless it has been recently, ie. post-Floyd, revised. Joel's site provides a wealth of information and pictures and is up-to-date.


03-29-2004, 09:10 AM
Thanks teejay. I've been looking at the links from the various sites, and use Joel's, Mavs00 (http://www.adkhighpeaks.com/46er-flash/main.htm) , and Jacques et Johanne (http://go.to/adirondack) extensively. Joel's site is a wealth of info, and his parking is something often taking for granted by other sources.