View Full Version : Haystack, Basin and Saddleback

09-14-2004, 07:00 PM
Looking to hike these peaks in about 2 weeks (9/25-9/26). I'm looking for some input to plan this hike and I have a couple of questions.

1. How difficult are the ledges up Saddleback to climb travelling from Basin to Saddleback? I don't really like open rock climbs but I did OK on the slide up Macomb and I've hiked the ledges on Cliff.

2. Could this be completed as a day trip (Haystack, Basin and Saddleback) or should we make it a two day event. We just hiked the Dix Range in a day starting from the slide on Macomb. Would this be equal in difficulty?

Thanks for the Feedback!

09-14-2004, 09:22 PM
I've done this loop before, and other variations of it (deleting Haystack, adding Gothics, etc.). I did them as dayhikes and pack-in's. Which way depends on your speed and what you want to get out of it.

Alpine got it pretty much right, unless your a real fast hiker, I'd plan to spend a least one night near JLB, particularly if it's a nice day (lots of summit time). If not, bring a headlamp, chances are, you'll be strolling out after dark. I'd say the two (this hike and the dix's in a day) would be comparitive to one another in difficulty.

This cliff is (IMO) more difficult than the Macomb Slide, and by a lot. To be fair, I think it's more of a visual challenge than anything. There is actually a real nice seam in the rock that offers nice hand/foot holes all the way up. Go slow and ignore all that air on either side of you ;) and you'll be fine.

I have all the hikes and info on my site it you want.

09-14-2004, 10:04 PM
An unusually noble summit, Haystack probably should be devoted its own day. After the long walk, the summit and its many perspectives should be long-savored!

09-15-2004, 02:23 AM
Congratulations to Mrs. Alpine Summit and the DoubleAughts (I know, the Duboises)!

09-15-2004, 06:58 AM
Spending a night at the old Snobird shelter site, makes for easy daytrips to all three peaks.

09-15-2004, 08:16 AM
I agree that the dynamics of Haystack make it worth saving a whole day for. However, that is not how I chose to do it. I definately think those 3 peaks are do-able as a dayhike from JBL. If you had an early start, you may even be able to make it out of JBL when you get back.

The ledges up Basin are pretty easily negotiable. I cannot comment on Saddleback, because I hiked it from the other direction.

The other question that I might ask is whether you have been in the John's Brook Valley before. It would be fun to take a day, and see all the cool things on the way up Haystack. Bushnell falls is worth a stop, and if you need to cool off, its hard to find a better place. Slant Rock is also pretty neat. You may even consider taking the Shorey "Shortcut" trail. This is a beautifully mossy, bouldery trail that is hardly a shortcut. Sometimes the hike can be just as good as the destination.

Just a few thoughts.


09-15-2004, 10:36 AM
This is a long day hike, but if you did all five Dixes in one day, there's no reason not to do it as a day trip.

09-15-2004, 12:09 PM
These peaks if done from the JBL area are approximately 11-12 miles, so the distance isn't too daunting. Plan on the climbing adding to the time necessary for this hike though. I would suggest as a dayhike from the JBL/Bushnell Falls/Slant Rock areas.

The ledges on Saddleback & Basin will require some scrambling -- but take it slow and steady and you should be fine.

09-16-2004, 03:22 PM
Great Information - we will be making this a 2 day camp over and will probably go for Haystack and Basin on day 1 and Saddleback on day 2. We have been into Johns Brook Lodge area before when we came down off Big Slide from the Brothers. This weekend its Seymour. We will be visiting our son at SUNY Plattsburgh for Family Weekend and plan on sneeking out for a day hike. Looks like the weather will be good. Thanks Again to everyone for the info.