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Old 08-10-2020, 09:10 PM   #3
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,224
Bugs stay pretty bad in the Pharaoh Wilderness through Labor Day. The area is lower in elevation, so the cooler temps that kill bugs elsewhere in the Adirondacks come later. I've even seen mosquitoes out in the Pharaoh area as late as early October.

There's only 1 single designated tent site on the east side of Pharaoh Lake, between Lean-tos 3 and 4- at Wintergreen Point (note that it's the site at the base of the peninsula, not the closed site on the tip of the peninsula). It's a popular spot and there's no other designated tent sites within a short walking distance. Lean-to #3 does have an overflow designated tent site, located uphill to the south of the lean-to (and away from the lake). There's 2 designated tent sites near Lean-to #4 (both are waterfront sites, one is south of the lean-to, the other one is north of the lean-to).

Grizzle Ocean has 1 designated tent site, on the east shore. It's small and located uphill, away from the water, but is otherwise nice.

Clear Pond has 1 designated tent site, on the west shore on the opposite side of the pond from the lean-to. It's a nice waterfront site, although the marked trail passes pretty close to the site (practically through it).

Rock Pond has 3 designated tent sites- one is just north of the lean-to (a few hundred feet), set back from the water but nice, with plenty of flat ground. The second is on the north shore, on the broad peninsula, with a stone table- this one is nicely situated but is somewhat lacking in flat ground. The third site is just north of the outlet on the west side of the pond, set back from the water but also nice, with tons of flat ground.

Expect that you may move a bit more slowly throughout the area (especially with a kid) than you might anticipate. Trails in the Pharaoh area tend to have a lot of small ups and downs that don't show up on the maps. They aren't horrendously rugged by any means, but it's not uncommon that groups find that it takes a little bit of extra time to hike through the area than they anticipated.

As far as crowds are concerned... everywhere is seeing elevated levels of use this year, even mid-week. Definitely plan to be flexible regarding tent site locations. I doubt you'll find it so crowded that every site is occupied but the choicest sites very well may still be seeing some significant competition even mid-week. Try to get to camp earlier in the day if you can, also.
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