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mga56grg 12-02-2019 05:46 PM

Allen this weekend? river crossings
Thinking of trying Allen this upcoming weekend 12/6 or 7.

I've never done it in summer or winter. Interested in a remote, short but steep hike w/ my buddy, and seems like Allen could be it.

What are you thoughts on the river crossings?

Lonehiker 12-02-2019 06:13 PM

I wouldn't call that a short hike. It's nearly an 18 mile round trip. It will be remote though.

Woodly 12-02-2019 06:46 PM 'short and steep' do you want? Lonehiker has warned you, Allen is not short.

mga56grg 12-02-2019 10:09 PM

I'll have to reassess my Caltopo line. It looked like it was about 6miles roundtrip from the Opalescent. Is that not where you start?

gebbyfish 12-02-2019 11:48 PM


Originally Posted by mga56grg (Post 279468)
I'll have to reassess my Caltopo line. It looked like it was about 6miles roundtrip from the Opalescent. Is that not where you start?

I think it's 5.5 miles in(and thus out on the return trip) before you start the up from the interior register. It's a 20 mile day or thereabouts.

Makwa 12-03-2019 01:46 AM


Originally Posted by mga56grg (Post 279468)
I'll have to reassess my Caltopo line. It looked like it was about 6miles roundtrip from the Opalescent. Is that not where you start?

No. You start at the parking area for the East River Trail on the road into Upper Works just north of the MacIntyre Furnace. Allen is an 18-mile hike.

If you want short and steep try Adams from that same trailhead. Under 5 miles round-trip with about 1500' of ele gain in the last mile to the summit (approx 1900' ele gain total). STEEP. If you climb the fire tower you are rewarded with one of the better views in the Adirondacks. But you must climb the tower. Summit is treed in.

Lonehiker 12-03-2019 06:35 AM

Yeah, I was getting the feeling that mga was planning to drive through the Tahawus Mine or up the opalescent Rd. I didn't think that was possible or legal to do. I looked it up, because drastic changes have been occurring in the Adirondacks due to acquisitions. Perhaps, I haven't been updated on a new access route. I only found that the east McIntyre Tract was acquired and people in the forum were exploring the lumber Roads along Dudley Brook and Skylight Brook. I also noticed that a Dudley Brook connector between the Boreas Pond and East McIntyre Tract was in the works. That's going to change the playing field in the future. It will run right between Cheney Cobble and Allen.

I saw no change as to the starting point for Allen. As usual you have to park at the East River Trailhead. You have to walk 5.5 miles to the junction for the Allen Mountain Herd Path at Twin Brooks and proceed another ~3.5 miles(Caltopo 3.81mi) to the summit. The Opalescent Crossing is at 3.8 miles (internet pictures of signage at the trailhead). So you have the death march of 5.5 miles (updated High Peaks Trail Map, edited by Tgoodwin), then the herd path approach into Skylight Brook and finally the climb up Allen Brook to the summit. Hypothetically, if you could start at the Opalescent crossing, you still have to walk 1.7 miles to the herd path junction. That's 1.7 miles and ~3.5 miles of herd path to the summit. That's 5+ miles or 10-11 miles round trip. So, if you can do Blue Mountain and Woodhull (7.6 miles one way from Mckeever, NO BICYCLE) in one day, then you can do this hike.

I agree that Adams is a good alternative. I have done Adams. The last section is indeed steep and I did it around this time of year in 2010. I will describe it, but changes could have been made. The approach is 1.1 miles long and the mountain trail is 1.5 (updated High Peaks Trail Map, edited by Tgoodwin). That's a total of 2.6 or 5.2 round trip. It starts by crossing the Hudson and then runs around the northern edge of Lake Jimmy. There used to be a floating log bridge there. That was awesome. After awhile you pass the old observer cabin and reach the junction for Adams at 1.1 miles. You turn left on to the Adams Mountain Trail. It starts out as rolling terrain and begins to climb steadily. Eventually, it levels off temporarily like a switchback. It will then swing up through a steep section and a rocky draw. It swings left again for the final break, then turns straight up the mountain as a steep grand finale and bam there's the tower.

backwoodsman 12-03-2019 09:26 AM

My wife and I climbed Mt Adams in the mid 1990s , before any work had been done the tower or trail . There were quite a few trees down across the trail going up the mountain and the bottom section near the observer's cabin wasn't much , had to really watch the ground to follow it .

Since then the tower and trail have been restored so you can enjoy the hike and view.

At the time we climbed it it looked like repairs on the observer's cabin were being considered (It was cover with a tarp IIRC ). Was it ever restored ?

DSettahr 12-03-2019 09:40 AM

As others have stated, Allen is a roughly 18+ mile day trip. The best (and currently, still the easiest) means of access is from the combined Allen Mountain/Mount Adams Trailhead in Upper Works.

There is a private road that approaches much closer to Allen, by way of the MacIntyre East Tract- but the road is just that, private. It's neither open to public foot traffic nor to public motor vehicle traffic. However, Google maps shows this road- hence the occasional confusion by hikers thinking that they can use this road to drive closer to the mountain. (In any case, this road isn't plowed in the winter.)

Recent state land acquisitions in that area have resulted in new public access to a slightly different foot route to Allen (with the same start point in Upper Works) that is slightly shorter, slightly drier, and has slightly less overall elevation gain than the traditional route. However, it adds at least 1 potentially challenging stream crossing (Dudley Brook). I described the route in detail in a previous post here (2nd reply, scroll down) (I have no qualms about sharing it because it follows well established logging roads 90% of the way, and the last stretch is on a herd path that has existed for decades).

In any case, the bridge over the Opalescent has washed out... again. Without a solid ice bridge to cross on (which does typically form at some point later during the season), this is going to be no easy or simple ford. I'd go prepared accordingly- expect to get wet up to your knees (if not higher).

The Boreas Ponds trailhead does put you closer to the the summit of Allen as the crow flies- but there's still no easier way to get there from Boreas Ponds. You can get maybe about two-thirds of the way on old logging roads (if you know which way to go at each junction) but from there you're faced with a thick bushwhack to the summit. Any advantages of the closer approach would almost certainly be negated several times over by the bushwhack. In the long term, I think it's likely a foregone conclusion that Boreas Ponds will become the new approach to Allen (with camping at White Lily Pond which is small but very scenic), but it's going to take construction of new trails for this to happen. In any case, the road to Boreas Ponds isn't maintained for winter access either so it's really not a shorter approach anyways this time of year- you'd most likely have to hike from Blue Ridge Road which adds 6 miles one way.

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