High Peaks Bulletin

Department of Environmental Conservation
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The Adirondacks are open for summer recreation, come and enjoy all that our lands and waters have to offer!  Please be advised of the following conditions and prepare for them to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor recreational experience.  This information focuses on the High Peaks Region, for more information or for information on other areas in the Adirondacks visit the DEC trail information web pages at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7865.html 


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Current conditions in the High Peaks Region

Compiled on June 26, 2014


See the High Peaks Trail Information web page (www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9198.html)

Weather: This is the National Weather Service seven-day forecast for the Marcy Dam area of the High Peaks Wilderness on Thursday, June 26. Hikers & campers should expect and prepare for cooler and windier conditions in higher elevations, and more rain. Always check current forecasts before entering the back country as the weather forecast can change.

•    Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 49. North wind 3 to 8 mph.
•    Friday: Sunny, with a high near 76. Northeast wind 3 to 8 mph.
•    Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 46. Light and variable wind.
•    Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 78. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon.
•    Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 56. South wind 3 to 5 mph.
•    Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 79. South wind 3 to 7 mph.
•    Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 57. Southwest wind around 7 mph.
•    Monday: 30 % chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 80. South wind 6 to 8 mph.
•    Monday Night: 30 % chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 62. Southwest wind around 8 mph.
•    Tuesday: 40 % chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 82. South wind 7 to 10 mph.
•    Tuesday Night: 30 % chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 62. Southwest wind 7 to 9 mph.
•    Wednesday: 30 % chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 77. Southwest wind 8 to 10 mph.
•    Wednesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 56. West wind 7 to 9 mph.
•    Thursday: Calm wind.

Backcountry Conditions
Wilderness conditions can change suddenly. Weather conditions may change at any time, check current weather conditions and short-term forecast before entering the backcountry. All users should plan accordingly, including bringing flashlight, first aid equipment, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Weather conditions may alter your plans; always be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods.

Fire Danger: Low. Be cautious with campfires. Campfires are prohibited n the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness.

Trail Conditions: Heavy rain during the week has made trails web and muddy. Low areas and areas along ponds and brooks may be flooded. Some trails may be eroded from runoff during the rain. Wear gaiters and appropriate footwear. Walk through not around wet and muddy areas to avoid further eroding and widening trails.

Stream Crossings:  Water levels are high, but should recede through the weekend. Some stream crossings may be difficult or impossible to traverse. Avoid stream crossings when possible, otherwise use caution when crossing.

Bear Resistant Canisters: The use of bear-resistant canisters is required for all overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness and highly recommended in all other locations. All food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in a bear-resistant canister.

Biting Insects: Black Flies are worse than usual this year! Mosquitoes and Deer Flies are also present in the backcountry. Midges (No-see-ums) will arrive soon. Minimize the nuisance of biting insects: wear light colored clothing, long sleeve shirts and long pants; tuck shirts into pants, tuck pant legs into socks and button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist; pack a headnet to wear when insects are thick; and use an insect repellant with DEET, follow label directions.

Summits: Expect and prepare for cooler temperatures and stronger winds. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits.

Dogs on Leash: Dog owners are reminded that dogs must be leashed in the Eastern Zone of the High Peaks when on trails, at primitive tent sites, at lean-to sites, everywhere above 4,000 feet, or at other areas where the public congregates. It is recommended dogs be kept leashed in most areas for the safety of your dog, the protection of wildlife and as a courtesy to fellow hikers.


Rock Climbing Route Closures: All rock climbing routes on Moss Cliff in the Wilmington Notch and on the Upper Washbowl Cliffs near Chapel Pond are closed to allow for peregrine falcons to nest undisturbed. All climbing routes on Lower Washbowl Cliffs are open. Climbers on the Diagonal Area of Wallface are reporting being dived at by peregrine falcons. Climbers should avoid this area while DEC seeks to confirm the location of the nest site.

Garden Parking Area: The Garden parking area is open and the Town of Keene is collecting parking fees.

East River Trail is Open: A new bridge has been constructed on the East River Trail over the Hudson River to access Mt. Adams and the Opalescent River.

Duck Hole-Henderson Lake Trail: A new bridge has been constructed over Roaring Brook near Duck Hole.

Trap Dike: Fixed ropes, harnesses and other equipment are often abandoned in the Trap Dike. Due to the age, weatherizing and wearing of these materials they are unsafe and should never be used.

Closed Campsite: The designated campsite on Big Slide Mountain Brook in Johns Brook Valley near the intersection with the Phelps Trail has been permanently closed due to site degradation. Other designated campsites are located across from the Howard Lean-to and just past Johns Brook Lodge. Signs on the hiking trail direct hikers to these sites.

Bradley Pond Trail: The first foot bridge on the Bradley Pond Trail has been dropped and is unusable. The stream can be forded /rock hopped most of time on the downstream side of the bridge site.

Klondike Trail: The bridge over South Meadow Brook on the Klondike Trail has been replaced. The trail can now be accessed directly from the end of South Meadow Road.

Hurricane Mountain Trails: Some areas on the trail from Route 9N are flooded due to beaver activity, reroutes have been developed to get around those areas.

Marshall and Other Trail-less Peaks: Many of the herd paths found on Marshall and some of the other trail-less peaks meander around the slopes of the mountain without reaching the peak. Those climbing these peaks should navigate with a map and compass rather than follow the paths created by others.

Northville-Placid Trail: The trail contains a large area of blowdown near the Seward Lean-to. A detour around the blowdown has been marked with pink flagging.

Marcy Brook Foot Bridge: A new bridge has been constructed over Marcy Brook. It is located approximately 200 feet below Marcy Dam, upstream from the low water crossing that had been in use since Hurricane Irene washed away the old bridge over Marcy Dam.

Southside Trail: DEC has closed the Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to John's Brook Outpost and is not maintaining it at this time.

Cold Brook Trail: DEC has closed the Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass and is not maintaining it at this time.

Deer Brook Trail: The low water route through the Deer Brook Flume on this trail to Snow Mountain remains impassable due to severe erosion.