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Old 08-10-2016, 02:29 PM   #4
DSettahr
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,295
I've done backpacking trips during on Columbus Day weekend for the past 11 years straight. In my experience, Columbus Day weekend is often one of the most crowded weekends in the backcountry of the year. If the weather is nice, it is often even the single most crowded weekend the backcountry, ahead even of Labor Day and Memorial Day weekend crowds.

For many backpackers, Columbus Day weekend is the "last hurrah" of the season, as most don't have the gear or experience to continue backpacking into late Autumn as the weather gets colder. Additionally, Columbus Day Weekend is not a traditional "meet up with friends and family for a backyard barbecue" sort of weekend, like Memorial Day or Labor Day often is.

Car camping campgrounds might not be as crowded, but I think saabrian's advice to make reservations ASAP is well warranted. You may also find that by waiting until Saturday to hike into the backcountry, that most of the choice campsites will already be occupied by the time you arrive.

I would recommend looking into sites at the Wilderness Campground at the Adirondak Loj. I'm pretty sure the campground is open then, and it gives you easy access to many of the High Peaks. Word of advice, though- there is a slim (but greater than zero) chance that you may encounter ice at higher elevations during that time frame. Go prepared for cold temperatures, even during the day, if you plan to climb any mountains.
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