8/30 - 9/1
Heading up to the Adirondacks for Labor Day Weekend to do the Five Mountain Loop (see description below). This is for intermediate/advanced, requires gear for overnight backpacking, and some experience with rugged terrain.
Itinerary: Saturday: Plan to arrive Saturday afternoon and backpack 3.3 miles to camp out. Sunday: Complete the remaining 14 miles and head to the ADK LOJ wilderness campgrounds to relax. Monday: swimming/canoeing in morning before heading back.
What to expect: You will be going up and down mountains with a backpack and you will be living in a way that is simple, and perhaps not very comfortable. The difficulty level of this hike is 8/10. If you do not hike, run, or do any cardio activities regularly you will not be able to complete this. If you do not really like roughing it in nature, you will not enjoy this type of experience. I will attempt to locate bailout points but you may have to wait many hours to be picked up or attempt to locate a cab.
Suggested items for overnight backpacking: backpack, headlamp, lightweight tent, sleeping bag, mat, hiking boots, midweight socks, sock liners, very small suntan lotion, very small hand sani, very small bug spray, a few baby wipes in a ziplock bag, extra ziplock bag for garbage, stove, water purifier or pills, light fleece for night, water bottles/camelbak, water, food (dinner, breakfast, lunch, snacks) . *** Leave additional items for Sunday night/Monday in your cars. I can not stress this enough: don't bring additional clothes or anything you do not specifically need for the backpacking portion, they will weigh you down and slow you down. Don't forget to bring swim shorts if you plan on swimming or canoeing/kayaking on Monday morning. Please ask me questions about gear - I have a lot of experience with this and can point you in the right direction of quality/cost effective stuff.
Travel: Carpool from NYC. Post whether you need a ride or have a car. I have space for 2/3 people. Directions to trailhead parking lot: http://goo.gl/maps/Rxmgl
Campgrounds: One night at ADK LOJ from Sunday evening to Monday morning. Max 6 people per site and 3 tents per site. Will post a spreadsheet. Campsite has water spigots, bathrooms with showers, firepits, picnic tables, swimming, kayak/canoe rentals. There would be a small fee for one night at the ADK LOJ campgrounds. http://www.adk.org/page.php?pname=wilderness-campground
Description from Backpacker Mag:
Forty-six peaks in the Adirondacks rise higher than 4,000 feet. Locals call them "46ers," and you'll tag five on this 17.3-mile loop. From a parking area on the south side of NY 73, seven miles south of Keene Valley, access the unsigned (and unnamed) but easy-to-spot trail. Head southwest past a killer swimming hole to cross the North Fork of the Bouquet River at mile .7. From here, the trail weaves through ferny undergrowth to another crossing at mile 3.3. Just beyond are three tent sites. Camp here and rest up for a big day two. In the morning, top off your water; this is your last reliable water source for the next 10 miles. The trail gets steeper and rockier and peters out at mile 4.7, at the base of the East Dix slide, where a 35- to 40-degree rock slab leads .3 mile to the open summit of East Dix. Note: If it's raining, skip the steep scramble for a faint path to the right of the slide's base. At the 4,012-foot summit, follow cairns southwest along the ridge for a mile to the top of 4,060-foot South Dix. From here, drop 500 feet to a saddle between South Dix and 4,405-foot Macomb Mountain. A spur leads to Macomb, the day's third 46er. Return to South Dix and head north to 4,400-foot Hough Peak. Beyond, the forest transitions to birch and stunted balsam as you climb steeply toward 4,857-foot Dix Mountain. Reach the Beckhorn (a false summit) at mile 8.9 (10), then continue to the top (11). Descend the steep and rooty Dix Trail 1,600 feet to a traverse of the Dix Slide at mile 9.9 (12). The trail levels out beyond here and reaches the Bouquet lean-to at mile 11.2 (13). Camp here for one more night out (first-come, first-serve). From here, it's a gradual 4.2-mile descent to the road (14), then 1.9 miles east to your car.
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