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bbowen 11-14-2015 07:22 PM

Roaring Brook Falls camp sites?

Earlier this apron my dog and I hiked to the base of the falls. As we neared the base of the falls there was a camp site indicator disk pointing across the river. I didn't want to try to go across with the dog. Does anyone know what that site is like? I'd like to go back and hammock camp there. Also, are there other easy to get to sites nearby?


DSettahr 11-16-2015 01:57 AM

I seem to recall another nice site near the top of the falls in addition to the one you noticed.

Be warned that the area is quite popular for camping and gets a lot of use. It is not unheard of for different groups to end up sharing sites at that location during busy periods.

TCD 11-16-2015 09:54 AM

I've never camped at the base of falls site, but a couple years ago I did walk over to it just to look at it, since the question comes up occasionally. It's a nice wooded site, you would have not problem setting up a hammock. Watch where you walk, though; with the base of the falls being a popular destination, I did see some TP on the short walk over to the site.

Also remember that there is a campground with several sites just up the hill on the other side of 73, next to Chapel Pond.

tenderfoot 11-16-2015 09:33 PM

Campsites for Giant
So the up the hill campsites - these are on the way to summit?

Or, better yet, from rt73 how far along the 3 mile to summit are designated campsites? Is this the side of High Peaks where bear kegs are not required?

tenderfoot 11-16-2015 09:37 PM

Ahh, found it. Washbowl is from rt 73 directly. Roaring Brook is a bit farther along

DSettahr 11-17-2015 12:50 AM

Yes, the Washbowl and Roaring Brook trails are two different approaches that meet up partway up Giant. The ADK High Peaks map (as well as the DEC map you linked) does show a site about 0.5 miles above Roaring Brook Falls. There aren't any sites, designated or otherwise, beyond this site or the Washbowl, so those would be the closest you could get to the summit hiking from Keene.

Generally, the Roaring Brook Falls approach starts out less steep but involves more overall elevation gain than the approach from Chapel Pond (although the later approach isn't nearly as steep since it was re-routed about 10 years ago).

The Giant Mountain Lean-to is probably the closest you can camp to the summit of Giant, but that approach is much longer over all, and the trails are more minimally maintained.

And no, bear canisters are not required in the Giant Mountain Wilderness. Proper food handling and storage is still strongly encouraged, however.

tenderfoot 11-17-2015 09:05 AM

Packing in
So on trail to Giant summit we'd be looking to camp sooner rather than later - closer to trail head. Sounds like washbowl is closer but Falls may be easier with packs and offers super close and than ones above Falls.

Yes - we have access to a canister but I hang food everywhere else. My daughter likes the "bear-muda triangle": cook waaay over there, hang waay over there and sleep waaay over there.

We are thinking day after Thanksgiving. Will have zero degree bags, layers and microspikes. Open to any other suggestions - this will be latest we have hiked in the Peaks. I expect ice but not significant snow (happy to turn around).

[My apologies if this is hijacking, happy to start new thread if that is more appropriate and will get some photos if we go to contribute to this thread]

DSettahr 11-17-2015 12:17 PM

A recent post on reddit indicated that there were drifts of snow 1-2 feet deep at treeline on Marcy last weekend. I would at the very least pay attention to trip reports in the week leading up to your trip to see if snowshoes might not be a bad idea to bring with you.

I agree with your assessment that the Washbowl sites are a little bit closer to the summit but that the Roaring Brook Falls sites are a little bit more easily accessible.

One thing to be prepared for is that in cold temperatures, simple chores in camp can take a surprisingly long time if you're used only to doing these things in warm weather. Setting up/breaking down camp, cooking food, going to the bathroom, etc., can all demand twice as much time in the winter as they do in the summer (especially since a good portion of the time is spent repeatedly trying to warm your fingers back up). It'd be good to plan accordingly.

Also, remember that the days are very short. If you can, try to be hiking by sunrise (or as soon as possible after it) to maximize the amount of daylight you have available for your hike.

Two other things to think about: How are you obtaining drinking water (if filters freeze they can break, and chemical treatments aren't very efficient in cold water), and what type of stove are you using (canister stoves are very inefficient in cold weather)?

I hope this helps! :)

tenderfoot 11-17-2015 12:52 PM

Helps a lot. Drifting snow already? I have snowshoes but we are not yet cut out for an ascent in winter. I have no problem walking right up to tree line and saying " yup, it's snow, time to turn back". I have had foul weather sneak up on me on the peaks before but am hoping not enough to dump that amount as a surprise. Makes the lower camping sites more attractive because of course over night that could happen. We are also considering staying at ADK Loj campground. That sounds better and better.

I've snow camped before - aware of some of the complexities it brings but your advice is well headed since my co camper is new to it.

Sawyer filter sleeps with me. Travels in coat pocket. Still, ice crystals would be a concern.

I am using an alcohol stove. Again, fuel bottle is warmed pre-use. It is not the tool to melt snow but still cooks well in winter. Not as well as white gas. I have a propane single burner but should invest in an isoprop as back up stove or my alky would nest nicely in a solo. Or Esbit tabs

DSettahr 11-17-2015 01:18 PM

It sounds like you're generally well prepared. For better or for worse, lot can change between now and next Saturday with regards to snow, so I'd hold off on making any decisions just yet.

Giant really never gets above treeline, although there are a couple of exposed sections along the ridge on the climb (the worst of these, the Nubble, has a bypass trail around it that can be utilized if needed).

And it's good to be mentally prepared to turn back if needed. I don't think I've ever met a 46er who was able to successfully climb all 46 peaks on the first try. Being forced to turn back is a part of the 46er experience, and it is important to look at it as an opportunity to build experience that will serve you well in the future, and not as a failure. When you look at it that way, your trip will be a positive experience to gain more cold weather backpacking skills, even if you don't make it to the summit.

tenderfoot 11-17-2015 01:25 PM

For us success is having fun. Maybe not every step of the way, and we usually are as eager to see the car at the end of the trail as we were to see the trail at the beginning. We will watch weather, probably base camp at Loj campsite and add to our skills.

We cut our last trip short by a day and it was the right decision and we were happy with it. No issues backing off of an ascent so as not to tempt the beast to maul us.

And be back with photos

bbowen 11-28-2015 01:45 PM

Thanks. I thought it was odd that there was a designated site so close to the water.

All Downhill From Here 12-01-2015 06:42 PM

There's at least 2 sites up the RB Falls trail, one looked quite nice near the falls.

bbowen 12-01-2015 06:45 PM


Originally Posted by All Downhill From Here (Post 239289)
There's at least 2 sites up the RB Falls trail, one looked quite nice near the falls.

The one I'm talking about you had to cross Roaring Brook and it was fairly close to the falls. I thought DEC wanted you away from the water.

All Downhill From Here 12-03-2015 09:13 AM


Originally Posted by bbowen (Post 239290)
The one I'm talking about you had to cross Roaring Brook and it was fairly close to the falls. I thought DEC wanted you away from the water.

Per the rules, yeah, but this was a marked site. I recall seeing 2 different places with the yellow plastic 'tent' signs.

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