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Mount Marcy

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  • Mount Marcy

    Hey all,

    I am planning a trip to the Adirondacks in mid August. Looking to hike up Marcy and maybe another. I have been trying to find maps with designated first-come, first-serve campsites and I can't seem to find any.

    I came up last fall randomly and played everything by ear and luckily it all worked out. I went to keene valley, saw a pull off near Chapel pond, set up camp at a designated camp spot and hiked up Giant mountain. It couldn't have been a better time.

    This time I would like to see it work out like that again - just with a little more planning.

    Is there a map of some kind where it lists these designated camp spots?
    Also, can I leave my car at a trail head over night and just find a spot off the trail to camp?

    I'd appreciate your help


  • #2
    I recommend and use this one:

    This site also has copies of the map on it, the map does show lean-tos but not necessarily camp sites:

    There are several camp sites near the John Brooks Loj and some more near the Bushnell Falls Lean-tos. I cannot speak for the other lean-tos as I haven't hiked past them yet.


    • #3
      It's covered in the guidebook(s) and DEC site, but be aware that there are a number of unique restrictions in the EHP zone which need to be planned for before leaving including no campfires and the required use of bear canisters. You really don't want to hike into the JBL only to be turned away by a ranger for not having appropriate gear.

      Even if you plan on using a lean-to, it's always best to carry emergency shelter which can be as little as a tarp, paracord, and your trekking poles.


      • #4
        It's always (I mean for at least 30 years) been hard to get current good info about designated campsites. The "reason" for this that I often see is that they change: sites are closed, other sites are designated, etc. But in this information age, change that slow should be pretty easy to keep documented. I think it's just not important to anyone; and there are also folks who would like it to stay that way to retain a "sense of adventure."

        Best bet as Brontide says is to get the hiking guidebook. You will at least have a starting set of locations, plus lots of other good information. Then you'll just have to wing it if you plan on a campsite and find it doesn't exist.

        (It would be a nice project one day to get a really good list and map of these sites, post it, and create a mechanism with DEC to keep it current.)


        • #5
          DEC does keep GIS info that includes designated sites, you can download it from the warehouse if you're GIS-savvy or there's the APRGIS interactive website. It's not 100% accurate, some sites aren't actually there and a lot are not listed, but it's a start. Keeping that data up to date is a bigger task than it seems, especially for an agency stretched as thin as DEC.

          Gjay, check your PMs.


          • #6
            Thank you all very much for your help. This information is a good start!


            • #7
              South Meadow Road

              If you're hiking to Marcy from the HPIC/Loj area, I'd suggest camping at one of the many primitive sites along South Meadows Road (I have found that the sites further in seem to be available more often). There is a good discussion about the camp sites in this ADKHighPeaks thread.

              The road is about a mile north of the ADK Loj/HPIC parking lot. See the location here.

              I believe you can use the coin-operated showers at the ADK Loj if you want to clean up after your hike.