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Thread: Camping in Oakes Gulf, Dry River Trail

  1. #1
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Camping in Oakes Gulf, Dry River Trail

    Thinking about a loop hike in Southern Presis: Start at Dry River Campground, up Dry River trail, camp somewhere in Oakes Gulf. Next day, up to Lakes of the Clouds, and all the way back over Southern Presidentials (Crawford Path) to Webster Cliff trail and Saco River trail. Would make for a pretty good weekend, I think.

    So.....
    1. Is the Dry River trail really that rugged?
    2. My map shows me a nice flat expanse in Oakes Gulf - good places to camp? Water available?

    Thanks!!!
    Sure. Why not.

  2. #2
    Senior Member wardsgirl's Avatar
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    I do that loop all the time. Why not camp at Dry River Shelter #3, then Nauman?

    It's an easy fun loop.

    Plenty of water in Oakes Gulf.
    AMC Adopt-A-Trail Program Region Leader Emeritus: Pemigewasset 1993-2005 Southern Presidentials 2005-2017
    Trail Adopter: Webster Cliff Trail

  3. #3
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wardsgirl View Post
    Why not camp at Dry River Shelter #3, then Nauman?
    I'd like to do it as just a single overnight, if possible (so as not to require vacation days...)

    Are there still difficult river crossings on Dry River trail, or have they all been relocated?
    Sure. Why not.

  4. #4
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerbrian View Post
    Are there still difficult river crossings on Dry River trail, or have they all been relocated?
    The worst ones are gone, but the main brook and side streams can be tough in spring and after rains - Dry River can be flowing more than the Saco where they join

    And the snow that blows off the Presis has to land somewhere - it will linger in Oakes Gulf longer than most of the Whites

    Do this trip in dry season, when a ridge walk would be short of water :-)

  5. #5
    Senior Member swamp's Avatar
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    I backpacked up in there last summer and there were designated campsites on the Dry River Trail about a mile and a half north of Dry River #3 shelter. The night I was there a backcountry ranger camped there also.Nice spot.
    I agree with Ranxerox !!!!

    Swampyankee

  6. #6
    Member BF's Avatar
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    I've done this loop several times and variations of it. The only interesting water crossing was the one right after shelter #3. I crossed it during a downpoor. Not too bad. The water was up to my thighs, but the distance to cross is only about 20 feet.

    If you only have one night, instead of stopping at Nauman, just hike out.

    It's a long day with packs.

    A variation is to hike to the junction of Mt. Eisenhower trail and Dry River. There are numerous primitive camp sites in the area. Spend the first night there. Next day leave your stuff and travel light. Hike the Dry River trail to LOC, cross the ridge to Eisenhower and down Mt. Eisenwower trail. Pick up your gear and hike back out the Dry River Trail.

    Still a long day, but you get to climb and cross the ridge (most of it) without packs.

  7. #7
    Senior Member hikerbrian's Avatar
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    Thanks all. EXACTLY the info I needed, much appreciated.
    Sure. Why not.

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