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Thread: "Car camping" at Elk Lake trailhead

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    Question "Car camping" at Elk Lake trailhead

    I plan on doing Macomb, South Dix and East Dix next Saturday but will be arriving
    late on Friday night.
    I realize this is all private property over
    there so I'm wondering if it's forbidden
    to sleep in your car at the trailhead.
    I'm asking because I know it's a no-no at most trailheads in NH and I'm not crazy about carrying a full pack just for an hour to get to the leanto.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member peak_bgr's Avatar
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    Should be fine. As long as you don't snore to loud, who's to know.
    "Woods are not like other spaces.Their trees surround you, loom over you, press in from all sides.Woods choke off views and leave you muddled and without bearings.They make you feel small a confused and vulnerable.Stand in a desert or prairie and you know you are in a big place.Stand in a woods and you only sense it.They are a vast, featureless nowhere.And they are alive."Bill Bryson"

    Cheers
    Spence

  3. #3
    Senior Member hillman1's Avatar
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    I did it. I think I was up and moving before any cars came down the road though.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input.

    Spence, actually Nat is the one that snores (but don't tell her I said so).

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rick's Avatar
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    Jean, I have slept in my truck at many of the trailheads in the Daks, including:
    Tahawus,
    the HPIC (The parking lot that most refer to as the Loj),
    Tarbell Road (NLP Trail by Long Lake),
    Ausable Club Lot,
    The Garden, Coreys Road,
    and Averyville road (NLP in Lake Placid).

    I think that if you are quiet, pull in and just crawl in the back and sleep, no one will know and no one will bother you. I think if you made it quite obvious and a ranger came by checking the trailhead (they do regularly) they might say something, otherwise go for it!!!!
    Rick

  6. #6
    Senior Member ALGonquin Bob's Avatar
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    I've slept in my truck at nearly every Adirondack trailhead except for the ADK Loj (they have a campground). I have never had a problem, and haven't seen anybody even checking. One night, when I was getting ready to sleep in the back of my truck at the Roaring Brook (Giant) trailhead, 2 DEC trucks came in to look at the register to check on a missing hiker. They didn't seem to have a problem with my sleeping in my truck.

    Just 2 months ago, I "car camped" at the Elk Lake winter parking area. No problem.

    Why do you suppose that NH cares if you sleep in your car? I guess I should know about that, since I want to hike a little more in the Whites.
    "It's a beautiful day!" - The final words of fellow hiker Shin Murnane (5785W), near Marcy Dam 3/28/09.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    Thanks again for the info. I'm looking forward to completing my 46 this weekend.

    AIG,
    In the White Mountains region it is considered illegal camping to sleep in your car at any trailhead. Rangers will flash their high beams or flashlights inside your car until you actually move out...quite annoying.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ADackR's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Jean
    Thanks again for the info. I'm looking forward to completing my 46 this weekend.

    AIG,
    In the White Mountains region it is considered illegal camping to sleep in your car at any trailhead. Rangers will flash their high beams or flashlights inside your car until you actually move out...quite annoying.
    this is true in NY as well.... notice the now camping rule 150 from roads, trails, water etc..... also many of the popular trail heads have the no camping disc on the trees...

    BUT, sara and i have camped all over as well, just be low profile and all should be fine.....

    the funny thing about this is the POPULAR trail heads do not allow camping but you can find many out of the way trail heads that do... good ole NY....

  9. #9
    Senior Member percious's Avatar
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    I'm guessing the NH thing comes down to money. By banning car-camping, they create revenue with their $16- and up a night camp sites. A bit of a rip if you ask me. I paid it though. Wildwood isnt bad if you are snagging Moose or the Kinsman's. Good stream to clean off in and the poopers are good too. Great, now I sound like an ad....

    -percious

  10. #10
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Originally posted by percious
    I'm guessing the NH thing comes down to money.
    Actually, I'm guessing that it comes from human waste and other trash from folks sleeping in cars, plus liability. I really don't think the FS if attempting to force people to stay in USFS campsites.

    Plus, many of the trailhead parking lots are on private or state land. You can't stay in your car in State Park lots, like at Lafayette Place or Flume. Appalachia is state land, anyone know if it is legal there? There aren't any toilets there. The Ravine Lodge is private land and there's no sleeping in your car allowed there, but there's no camping on Dartmouth land except at the shelter anyways.

    -dave-

  11. #11
    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
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    I think that the actual sleeping in the car is no problem.
    Its what David said. A bunch of folks sleeping in their cars at a popular trailhead would certainly generate lots of waste in even a short period of time. Stepping in car campers' stuff as dayhikers take a quick whizz before setting out on a day hike wouldn't be much fun.

    This is further complicated when the trailheads are on private property(Elk Lake, Loj, Ausable Club).

    That its convenient, handy to the hike, and lots of folks do it when driving in from long distances doesn't make it right.

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