View Full Version : ADK High Peaks Memorial Day vs. July 4th

04-12-2005, 10:23 PM
We are relatively new to the Adirondacks, having hiked there only once last September. We loved it and can't wait to return! This year we're contemplating trips on Memorial Day Weekend and/or July 4th weekend. Wondering what sort of conditions to expect in the High Peaks region at those times of year (bugs, mud, etc).

04-13-2005, 12:56 AM
Hi A&W. Welcome to the ADKs. You asked about the time period between Memorial Day and the 4th of July and that's pretty close to the black fly season in the Adirondacks. There was a thread just recently where people discussed black flies. It's in the Q&A forum and the last posting was just a few days ago.

As far as other conditions, generally, during that time of year, you might still get some muddy spots from the Spring thaw, but the amount of mud would depend on weather conditions too. There's quite a bit of variance in mud, bugs, etc depending on the elevation, sun and wind exposure, and location. Right now, we're starting with a very dry Spring and if it stays this way, that would affect not just the mud, but the bugs too. Another thing I always consider is the temperature on the peaks. Even when it seems nice and warm at the lower elevations, I always bring enough extra layers with me to prepare for freezing temperatures at the summit. Even if the temperatures aren't freezing, the wind chill factor can have a big impact.

04-13-2005, 06:06 AM
Probably depends on the general weather leading up to Memorial Day. My experience with hiking on MD was a couple of years ago, we did Blue Mountain and then went to the Adirondak Museum (great museum to learn about the adirondaks) as a day trip with the family. I would say the weather could be classified as typical (cool in the morning but warm in the afternoon). We started hiking at about 8:00 and had no troubles with black flies until the way down. It seemed like at about noon, it was warm enough to get the black flies active.

04-13-2005, 06:37 AM
I always thought you were guaranteed some mud somewhere, no matter what the weather or what the season, unless the mud was frozen solid. In fact, I count on a little Adirondack mud to complete my hiking experience!

04-13-2005, 07:27 AM
I would say memorial day is more preferrable. The bugs will not be *as* bad at that time, but you may have some mud. I would plan a hike off the beaten path, as both those weekends are likely to leave the more popular trails crowded.


04-13-2005, 07:39 AM
Your experience would probably be much nicer if you were to go on non-holiday weekends, as the 2 that you mentioned are some of the busiest weekends of the year.
You didn't mention a specific destination, but I am assuming the high peaks. you would likely find Marcy Dam Lake Colden and Flowed Lands completely packed.

Depending on whether you are backpacking or dayhiking, there are a myriad of other places to go where there will be less competition for solitude.

While you wont have much of a problem with mosquitoes in May, the black flies will still be at somewhat of a lower elevation. In June/July you will find typical horseflies and mosquitoes, while the black flies have moved to higher elevations.

Mud? No need to worry - it will still be there regardless of when you go. :D

04-13-2005, 07:41 AM
This year, expect a lot of crowds the July 4 weekend. July 1 (canadian version of july 4) is on Friday, and July 4 is on Monday. Every few years we have one of those double whammy weekends.

The memorial day weekend is less crowded because there is no double holiday. Canadian holiday is a week earlier.

Of course, the weather figures in a lot too.

04-16-2005, 12:53 PM
Excellent, thanks for the info. We'll be looking forward to playing in the mud!

04-17-2005, 09:00 PM
On a long weekend avoid the following:
-Parking and trailheads from the Loj.
These Mountains: Marcy, Algonquin, Colden, Cascade, Giant, Gothics, Phelps. (Unless of course you prefer encountering a lot of fellow hikers - nothing wrong with that).

My recommendations:
Colvin (with essential side trips to Fish hawk cliffs and Indian Head).
East Dix (Grace) via the herd trail and slide.
Rocky Peak Ridge from New Russia (Long day).
Lower wolf jaw via the Bennies brook slide (I would not hesitate to take a young child on this slide and on the East Dix slide)
Porter. Expect hordes on the Cascade trail to the split then tranquility over to Porter which has a mean view of Big Slide and the Great Range.
Lastly: Nippletop which has spectacular views of Dix and the great range.

Don't worry about mud or bugs. They come with the deal and will not impact heavily on your pleasure at that time of year.
Anybody else care to add to that?

04-17-2005, 09:25 PM
Go both weekends, we will be ;).

Other than that, generally, Memorial day might be a tad buggier and wetter than July 4. but it's really yearly dependant. I personally think bugs will be REAL early this year. July 4 & Memorial day WILL BE PACKED. we generally will avoid trails altogether on those days, but absent that, pick some "less typical" peak than the typical ADK hike (see Neil's post).

Other than that. JUST GO. Bugs, mud, it's all part of the whole package. You'll love it either way. Just get out there and enjoy.

Have fun.