View Full Version : 2 Night Backpacking including Franconia Ridge?
08-02-2010, 08:50 AM
I'm looking for some suggestions about including Franconia Ridge in a two night backpacking trip. I'd like to do the ridge the first day, as we'll be driving through the night and will be able to get on the trail before sunrise.
I'm thinking of hiking the ridge South to North, following Garfield Ridge West to East, then cutting back South via Franconia Brook Trail.
The concern I have is finding a place to pitch two tents on the the first night. Is there anyplace off Franconia Ridge to camp, or towards the end before Garfield Ridge?
Is this a reasonable distance for a two night trip? We're in pretty good shape and experienced hikers. As a benchmark, when we go on single day trips in the Adirondacks, we'll typically go 15-20 miles in a long day.
Thanks for the help!
08-03-2010, 08:50 AM
The Garfield tent sites are your best bet for night one. Depending on total distance per day you're looking for you could either go the Guyot tent sites the second night and then across the bonds and out through Lincoln Woods the last day or for a shorter trip do down to 13 Falls tent sites the second day and out Lincoln Woods. These routes both unfortunately require a car spot since you;d be going in at the Old Bridle Path / Falling Waters trailhead to start and finishing at Lincoln Woods. If you can't do that you can make it a full Pemi Loop. Long for two nights in my opinion (we had it planned as a 4 night last year but got cut short by weather). Starting the loop from Lincoln Woods gives you a few more options if Franconia Ridge is your main goal. You could go up the Osseo to Liberty Springs tent site for night one or go the rest of the way across the ridge to Garfield tent sites. Next night to 13 Falls and then back out on day 3. All very doable days. That was our plan for a shorter trip.
There is info on the tent site locations on the AMC site (outdoors.org) and in the AMC White Mountain Guide (which you need to get if you don't already have it). The main thing to remember for this trip is that for the locations above treeline there is no legal place to camp except the tent sites. Once you are down in the Pemi you can camp off trail (you do need to be at least 200 ft off trail and follow the other restrictions which are posted as well).
This is a great trip if you plan it right. There are plenty of others here with much more experience that I'm sure can help as well. Good luck
08-03-2010, 11:55 AM
If you currently do 15-20 miles, you should be able to do the whole Pemi loop in 2 days. I generally do less than 15 miles per day and can easily do a loop from Lincoln Woods straight up through the Pemi (on Franconia Brook Trail) to 13 Falls Tent site (8-9 miles) and then from 13 Falls Tent site over the Franconia Ridge and back to the car in a 16 mile day. Reverse the trip and you have your 2 day with lots of time to loaf, rest and enjoy the views.
If you have two full days (given your stated ability of 15-20 miles per day), I would recommend a full Pemi Loop. You can use the tentsites (Backwoods near Garfield Pond, Garfield Tentsite, 13 Falls (or anywhere down Franconia Brook Trail or Twin Brook Trail - both of which have nice flat areas) or Guyot Campsite). 5 of the total 32 miles are easy walking (flat with easy footing) and the full loop is a great experience with much time above treeline.
08-03-2010, 02:38 PM
Thanks for the recommendations. I had been thinking about spending the first night by Garfield Pond. Looking at the map, it seems like there some backwoods camping there. If I camped out there, would I need a stove or could I count on building a small fire?
I don't love the idea of spending the night at a shelter or established tent-site, but I guess it's not the end of the world if we have to for one night.
08-04-2010, 05:02 PM
Thanks for the feedback. It is very helpful.
I'm hoping the weather holds out.
08-05-2010, 08:02 AM
I think fires are OK...I'm not 100% up on the fire regs because I don't use one. The Pond is fairly flat around it and I know that to the South of the Trail (at the pond) there is an area that will hold a tent on a reasonably level surface. When I call the area "flat" I'm using my frame of reference which is sleeping without a tent and in some pretty "rough" spots for people used to a tent, so as they say "your mileage may vary".
08-05-2010, 03:32 PM
Checked out the forecast for tomorrow, and it looks like it's going to be cloudy and possible wet. Do you guys think it's still worth heading up there, or would I be better off selecting an alternative (like reversing the route)?
Thanks again for all the help. Exercising good judgment is a lot easier when you're well informed.
08-06-2010, 08:51 AM
This is probably a bit late, but I'm not sure what forecast you saw. Looks like a perfect weekend at this point. Sunny to partly cloudy every day. Hope you can take advantage of it...
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