View Full Version : Camping in the Great Gulf Wilderness

03-31-2004, 01:21 PM
I'm planning to do some camping this summer ,and i'm interested in exploring the Great Gulf. What are the rules,if any, about camping in there? I'd like to get in as deep as possible the first day,and set up a base camp. Are there fish in Spaulding Lake? Has anyone ever gone into Jefferson Ravine? Thanks for helping out this newbie to what seems to be a great website.

03-31-2004, 03:06 PM
No fish in Spaulding Lake, as far as I know. many legal campsites in the Great Gulf/Buttress/Wamsutta trail intersection area. This is a good jump off point for Madison, Adams, Jefferson and Washington. I do not believe there are any campsites in Jefferson Ravine.

03-31-2004, 03:15 PM
There are established, primitive, heavily used campsites along the Great Gulf Trail. If you can get access to the Presidential Range map that comes with the AMC's White Mountain Guide prior to the current 27th edition, the locations of these campsites are shown. The current edition does not show them. One or two of the campsites have been shut down.

The Osgood Tentsite is on the boundary of the Great Gulf Wilderness.

Click here (http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/white/recreation/land_above/backcountry_rules.html) to see federal backcountry camping rules, including regulations specific to the Great Gulf Wilderness.


David Metsky
03-31-2004, 04:01 PM
One of the rules is that there is no camping beyond the GG/Sphinx trail junctions towards Spaulding Lake. The link Steve gave has all the details.


03-31-2004, 07:45 PM
robohiker, I did just that last summer, we stayed at a wilderness campsite along the peabody river, we did Jefferson, Adams, and Madison from our base camp one day and then attacked Mt Washington the next. I don't have my map handy but e-mail or PM me and I'll give you the specific location. It was about 4.5 miles in from the trailhead. Spaulding lake didn't look inhabited to me, but the cascades on the brook are awesome. The caves along Jeffersons knee were also very cool. Don't forget the snowfield that is there well into July.

Check out my website for a trip report

03-31-2004, 08:08 PM
I've stayed at a wilderness campsite at the junction of the Six Husbands and Buttress Trails, which is effectively in Jefferson Ravine, right next to Jefferson Brook. It's a wonderful site (shh ... don't tell anyone!) and a great base camp location. I have pictures here (http://hiking.saletnik.org/album/index.cgi?mode=album&album=./Hiking%20the%20Great%20Gulf) .

There are also sites at Clam Rock, at the Bluff, and at the junction of the Great Gulf Trail and the Madison Gulf Trail (the former being rather plain but spacious, the latter small but spectacularly located). The map shows, but I have never been to, sites further up the GG Trail around the 3300' contour.

The closed site was the one off the Wamsutta Trail, and is due to a fir wave.

03-31-2004, 09:41 PM
Went up the Great Gulf last September. Can't help with campsites, but I can remember thinking how suprised I was that Spaulding didn't even look like a lake- just a VERY shallow pond. I had hoped to use it as a spot to rest before attacking the headwall, but moved on since I was dissapointed in the lake. Later wished I had rested more :D

04-01-2004, 01:46 AM
I camped out in the Great Gulf a few weeks ago when I was finishing up my Winter 48. By chance, it happened to be the day after the skier fell to his death into the Gulf.

If you're unable to find any backcountry campsites in the current guide books, they are marked on the maps of the Great Gulf at the trailhead kiosk. The site I stayed at was unofficial and about 100 yards below the junction of Great Gulf and Sphinx trails. The last "official" site I remember seeing I think was about half a mile below this junction.

For kicks, I walked across the snowfield on Jefferson that Charlie refers to and the trail signs and cairns were all completely buried at the time. Hope there's still some snow left when you get there!

04-02-2004, 04:26 PM
Thanks for all the responses. Your help is greatly appreciated. Also thinking on taking some of the family up wildcat mtn,i hear there are some nice views up there toward Mount Washington.
Who's the guy with the sunburn? :)

04-02-2004, 04:46 PM
Robohiker,you will find Pinkham Notch area quite scenic!Bring plenty of quarters,and by the way ,Happy B-Day;) ;)

04-03-2004, 06:04 AM
Don't miss the great view of the Great Gulf from the boulder field at the bottom of the Buttress Trail. Even if you don't hike that trail in its entirety, it's a worthwhile detour.

04-03-2004, 05:19 PM
Robohiker, you ARE new here! Welcome! I had a chuckle when you asked who the guy with the sunburn was. THIS (http://www.cs.dartmouth.edu/whites/) is Dave's site. He knows his stuff!

Nice avatar, BTW!

04-04-2004, 12:37 PM
SherpaKroto, Thanks for the link to Daves site,It's got alot of the info i'm looking for. As for my avatar, i know that i'll never make the cover of G.Q. magazine,but not all of us are graced with the good fortune of looks(i.e.) Dave Metsky, or, being flanked by beautiful women such as yourself.