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charlie_peach
06-09-2010, 07:06 PM
My 17 yr old son & I are planning a 4 day trip in early August - doing the 20 miles +/- from N to S. He is not interested in staying in the huts. I am looking for advice on where to plan our camping. We'll have a 2 man tent. I see some platforms and such, but are we realistic to think we can descend from the ridge trails each night and find either a platform or flat ground to pitch? We are thinking 7-9 miles a day max. Appreciate any advice.

Bill O
06-09-2010, 08:04 PM
Stay in the huts or change your plans. Camping along the Presidential traverse route in the summer is very difficult, even more uncomfortable, and possibly illegal. There are very few legal campgrounds along the route. Many others here will echo my thoughts.

With that said there are other options that have great legal camping and access to much of the Presidential Range.

JimS
06-10-2010, 04:35 PM
Stay in the huts or change your plans. Camping along the Presidential traverse route in the summer is very difficult, even more uncomfortable, and possibly illegal. There are very few legal campgrounds along the route. Many others here will echo my thoughts.

With that said there are other options that have great legal camping and access to much of the Presidential Range.

Basically, due to the rare, fragile, and often endangered vegitation, the ridge is not a good place to camp, and it is illegal to do so. The sides are too steep to find a suitable spot, so you are left to the busy tentsites:

From North To South...
RMC Tentsites for day one,
Hermit Lake for Day 2
Nauman for day 3.

All of these are big drops off the ridge...and the huts are simply much easier...

Stets
06-10-2010, 07:42 PM
This is a remarkable trip. Please go with the huts.

My sixteen year old son and I did this trip last September.

The hut stays are a highlight of the trip.

Weather was good for us but that is not always the case.

Good luck and have fun!



Trip report is here:

http://www.mountwashington.org/forums/showthread.php?t=5457

charlie_peach
06-10-2010, 09:46 PM
Thanks for the posts! We certainly understand the camping rules and would not camp illegally. I may suggest a hut stay for one of the nights - we'll see what my son wants to do (this is his trip!). Stayed at Lake of the Clouds when I was a teen and recall it often. Can I assume the tent platforms are quite busy? What time of day would we need to arrive to get a spot?

Stets - your TR made me want to go now! What weather too.

Bill O - I am interested in ideas on how to use the Great Gulf or other areas with good camping and incorporate the Pres range also. We are getting dropped off and can be picked up at a different location.

Thanks much to all for the help!

Bill O
06-10-2010, 10:15 PM
I hope some others will chime in. I'm not an expert in The Great Gulf or the northern end of the Presidentials, especially when it comes to summer camping locations.

I do know that the huts create some excellent opportunities for covering large distances. Or, if one desires, covering less distance with plenty of time to relax and explore. I empathize with your son's desire to camp and others will hopefully provide some great suggestions with legal camping options.

KD Talbot
06-12-2010, 08:19 PM
There is Osgood Tentsite in the Great Gulf as well as Clam Rock and The Bluff. I am not aware of others, but there could be. The thing to be cautious with in the Gulf is that every climb out of the ravine and up to the ridge involves thousands of feet of elevation gain. With full packs this may be difficult, in bad weather it could quickly be a nightmare. All hikes to the ridge will require rock scrambling over some places that give some people not used to those conditions vertigo.

A trip here requires careful scanning of the map in planning and constant review while making the trek as the trails can be tricky to follow. I highly suggest reading the AMC White Mountain Guide descriptions several times while choosing a route, that goes whether you choose the Gulf or not. There is also a lot of good info about hiking the Presidential Range in the guide that isn't a trail description. It covers weather, preparedness, first aid, camping rules, etc.
More info here:

http://home.earthlink.net/~ellozy/presidential-traverse.html

and here:

http://chauvinguides.com/PresiTraverse/presiescapeguide.htm

KDT

charlie_peach
06-13-2010, 06:14 PM
Good info - loved the links - especially the escape routes. Hope we won't need those.....
If we don't pull together a Presi that works, may consider the Pemi loop. We did Franconia range last summer and always enjoy that. Have never gone more than a day hike there yet. It would be a good option.

charlie_peach
08-22-2010, 09:28 AM
We modified our plans from a Presi to doing a 4 day Franconia to Crawford Notch hike. Fortunate for us, my wife dropped us off and picked us up so we did not need to do a loop. Fortunate for my wife, our daughter flew into Boston and they enjoyed Cape Cod, Plimoth, Marblehead and hotels.

We ascended Falling Waters, traversed the very populated Franconia ridge (Sunday 8/8), 930
then took Garfield Ridge trail 932
to Garfield Ridge Campsite.933
That was a long day for 2 guys from Michigan (no way to prepare for the elevation change of NH and the constant rocks).

Day 2 was over to Guyot Campsite. 53 people and 8 dogs made that night interesting - quite packed in. The caretake told us we were the 1st Michigan folks to stay this year. Why don't people from MI hike in NH?

Day 3 ended at Zealand Falls Hut. We really wanted to hike Bondcliff and the Bonds, then around via Thoreau trail. But that would have been too much. We dropped the packs and enjoyed a wonderful morning atop West Bond. Amazed by the 360 views in the middle of Pemi wilderness.
View back to Franconia Ridge 931
View out across Bondcliff trail 935
Then over to Zealand Falls hut. Did a packless out and back along the amazingly flat and rockless Ethan Pond Trail to Thoreau Falls. The cold clear water was just what we needed. Enjoyed the hut meals and fun.
View in the morning from the porch of the hut. 936

Day 4 was a half day adventure via A-Z trail and Avalon trail to the old Crawford Depot. A-Z was quite wet and narrow (brushed in), but we enjoyed the many faces of that trail thru various types of forests. Would have loved to do Mt Tom or others, but I was wearing down fast (too heavy of a pack).
Sam in one of his favorite poses as we neared the end...934

Overall, the 30 miles and 8 peaks we covered and the time with my 17 year old son was priceless. The Whites are a precious place with so many options. We had rain only at night (imagine that!) and enjoyed sharing stories with folks we met. We would do it again and probably will. Thanks to all for the pre-trip advice and the various other forum posts that added value to our planning.

Snow Miser
08-22-2010, 09:41 AM
Very nice TR and photos! Your photos show that you had pretty decent weather. Glad it only rain in the evenings for you guys. Thanks for sharing!

mtruman
08-22-2010, 12:53 PM
Awesome trip!! We did the same route 2 summers ago except using the huts the whole way (and a Presi traverse with the huts the summer before). Franconia to Crawford is just a wonderful route regardless of where you spend your nights (although your version sounds pretty perfect). Glad you and your son both had such a great time. It will definitely be something that stays with you for a lifetime! And now that this trip is under your belt there are countless more just waiting...