With 3 friends, I'm planning on following the AT from Crawford Notch, through the Presidentials, to Pinkham Notch. We'd sleep the first night at or near Nauman tent site near Mitzpah hut.
My problem is where to stay the second night. Lakes hut isn't open yet and the park service said that Hermit Lake shelter is usually full and if it is you can't sleep anywhere in that area. Are there any good low-impact sites below treeline (but a reasonable hike down before hiking back up the next morning) between Washington and Jefferson?
I'd love to stay at Hermit Lake and it's the most logical location, but if it's full then we'd be totally screwed. Thoughts or suggestions?