Current Conditions in the Adirondack High Peaks Region
Compiled on: Apr 17, 2014
: Wilderness conditions can change suddenly. Weather conditions
may change at any time. All users should plan accordingly, including bringing flashlight, first aid equipment, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Weather conditions may alter your plans; always be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods.
Early SpringWeather: Recent very warm temperatures and heavy rains have been followed by a period of very cold weather. The weekend forecast is for daytime temperatures in the mid to high 40s; nighttime temperatures in below freezing; and chance of snow Saturday and clear Sunday. Snow and ice are present in the middle and higher elevations, while lower elevations have little to no snow. Water-proof footwear; cool weather, water-resistant outer wear; extra layers of non-cotton clothing; and hat & gloves are recommended for any outdoor recreation activities. Weather forecasts can change, always check the current weather conditions and forecast before entering the backcountry.
Early Spring Trail Conditions: Trail conditions will vary with changes in elevation and the time of day. Low elevation trails, trailheads and parking areas may have mud, water, hard-packed snow and ice or a mix some or all of those. Middle & high elevation trails have hard-packed snow and ice in the morning which softens in later in the day as temperatures warm. Above 2000 feet there is 18 inches to 2 feet of snow. Water is present below the hard packed snow on many trails.
Snowshoes: Snowshoes are required on all trails in the High Peaks Wilderness and necessary on any trails throughout the Adirondacks with 8 inches of snow or more. Snowshoes are required on trails. Even with snowshoes hikers are sinking knee deep in snow when they step off the trail. Wear snowshoes and don’t posthole. If you don’t have snowshoes, turn back when you encounter snow. The use of snowshoes or skis prevents "post-holing," avoids injury and eases travel on snow. "Post-holing" ruins the trails for other users and makes them hazardous to travel.
Water Levels: Water levels are high in rivers, streams and drainages. Rivers and most major streams have lost ice cover. River & stream crossings may not be accessible, especially in the afternoon. Drainages and stream crossings that are passable in the morning may not be later in the day. Trails adjacent to water bodies may be flooded
Crampons & Traction Devices: Traction devices carried and worn when in low elevation icy areas. Crampons should be carried and worn on summits and other open areas where ice has accumulated.
Ice on Water: Ice is thinning and deteriorating. Water and slush cover ice including on Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake. Ice is breaking up and going out on rivers and streams. No ice should be considered safe at this time.
Prevent Hypothermia: Dress properly, stay dry and add or remove layers to regulate your body temperature. Carry plenty of food and water. Eat, drink and rest often. Being tired, hungry or dehydrated makes you more susceptible to hypothermia. Traveling in snow takes more energy and more time than traveling the same trail on bare ground.
Summits & Other Open Areas: Conditions on and near summits are more extreme - stronger winds, colder temperatures, snow & ice. Snowdrifts and hard ice are present on most summits. Crampons should be carried and use when warranted.
Blowdown: Blowdown may be found on trails, especially secondary, lesser used trails. Prepare accordingly.
Fire Danger: LOW Be careful with campfires. Campfires are prohibited in the Eastern Zone of the High Peaks Wilderness.
Bear Resistant Canisters: The use of bear-resistant canisters to store all food, toiletries and waste is required for all overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness from April 1st through November 30th and is encouraged throughout the Adirondacks.
BE PREPARED BEFORE ENTERING THE BACK COUNTRY:
Know: Your own physical capabilities, knowledge of backcountry recreation and skill level.
The distance you plan to travel and the terrain and conditions you will encounter.
Check: For current information before entering the backcountry (518-897-1300).
Current weather conditions and short-term forecast.
Wear: Appropriate outer wear and foot wear.
Layers of non-cotton clothes.
Carry: Map and compass - know how to use them and use them!
Flashlight and extra batteries .
Plenty of food and water.
Pack: Extra clothes and socks.
Hat and gloves or mittens.
Ensolite pad to rest on and insulate your body from cold surfaces.
Bivy sack or space blankets for extra warmth.
Fire starter supplies - waterproof matches, butane lighter, candles, starter material, etc.
Always: Inform someone of your itinerary and when you expect to return.
Please be aware that accessing the Forest Preserve through the rest areas is prohibited. In accordance with New York State Regulation §156.3(d), vehicles may not be left unattended in the rest area, unless the operator or passenger is within the rest area. Also parking of vehicles for longer than three hours during the hours of darkness is not permitted in accordance with §156.3(c).
Rock Climbing Route Closures: All rock climbing routes on Moss Cliff in the Wilmington Notch and the Lower and Upper
Washbowl Cliffs near Chapel Pond are closed to allow Peregrine Falcons to choose nesting sites.
Trap Dike: The dike is filled with wind blown snow. Climbing the dike is extremely difficult under these conditions. Fixed ropes, harnesses and other equipment are often abandoned in the trap dike. Due to the age, weathering and wearing of these materials, they are unsafe and should never be used.
Closed Campsite: The designated campsite on Big Slide Mountain Brook in Johns Brook Valley near the intersection with the Phelps Trail has been permanently closed due to site degradation. Other designated campsites are located across from the Howard Lean-to and just past Johns Brook Lodge. Signs on the hiking trail direct hikers to these sites.
Elk Lake Trails: The trails through the Elk Lake Easement Lands are reopened to public use. However, the Clear Pond Gate remains closed through the end of spring mud season. This will add approximately four miles to a roundtrip hike, plan trips accordingly.
Corey’s Road: Due to planned logging operations at Ampersand Park the Raquette River Trailhead gate will be closed this winter. Public motorized access will be prohibited beyond there. It is nearly 3 miles from the gate to the Truck Trail Trailhead, plan trips accordingly.
East River Trail is Open: The new bridge on the East River Trail over the Hudson River is complete and the trail has reopened.
Duck Hole-Henderson Lake Trail: A new bridge has been constructed over Roaring Brook near Duck Hole.
Bradley Pond Trail: The first foot bridge on the Bradley Pond Trail has been dropped and is unusable. The stream can be forded /rock hopped most of time on the downstream side of the bridge site.
Klondike Trail: The bridge over South Meadow Brook on the Klondike Trail has been replaced. The trail can now be accessed directly from the end of South Meadow Road.
Hurricane Mountain Trails: A portion of the Hurricane Road on the Elizabethtown (east) side of the Hurricane Mountain is washed out. The Hurricane Mountain Trailhead at the end of the road cannot be reached. The trail from Route 9N is flooded by beaver activity and rains. It is passable if you are willing to wade. Currently the only easily accessible trail to the summit of Hurricane Mountain is from The Crows Trailhead on the O’Toole Road off East Hill Road on the Keene (west) side of the mountain.
Garden Parking Lot: The town of Keene is staffing The Garden parking lot and a $7/day fee is being collected 7 days a week. The shuttle is running from the remote parking area near Marcy Field.
Marshall and Other Trailless Peaks: Many of the herd paths found on Marshall and some of the other trail-less peaks meander around the slopes of the mountain without reaching the peak. Those climbing these peaks should navigate with a map and compass rather than follow the paths created by others.
Northville-Placid Trail: The trail contains a large area of blowdown near the Seward Lean-to. A detour around the blowdown has been marked with pink flagging.
Marcy Brook Foot Bridge: A new bridge has been constructed over Marcy Brook. It is located approximately 200 feet below Marcy Dam, upstream from the low water crossing that had been in use since Hurricane Irene washed away the old bridge over Marcy Dam.
East River Trail: The bridge over the Hudson River is out, use the nearby flagged ford (low water crossing). An ice bridge does not form at the ford, so crossing the river at this point will always entail wading through the water. Crossing when water levels are high or when water temperatures are cold can be risky.
Southside Trail: DEC has closed the Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to John's Brook Outpost and is not maintaining it at this time.
Cold Brook Trail: DEC has closed the Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass and is not maintaining it at this time.
Deer Brook Trail: The low water route through the Deer Brook Flume on this trail to Snow Mountain remains impassable due to severe erosion.
Duck Hole-Henderson Lake Trail: The bridge over Roaring Brook Bridge near Duck Hole is out.
Klondike Trail: The bridge over South Meadow Brook is out. The Mr. Van Trail and the Marcy Dam Truck Trail can be used as a detour to reach South Meadow Road.
Calkins Creek Horse Trail: Two bridges are out - the trail is impassable for horse drawn wagons and difficult for horses.