Friday, March 5, 2021

Outdoor conditions (3/5): winter weather continues

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Colden Caretaker Report 03/04/21: Approximately 2 feet 9 inches of snow has accumulated at the Colden Caretaker cabin and 5 or more feet of snow remains on summits. Snowshoes are needed on all trails, starting at parking lots. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen. The trail from Marcy Dam to Lake Colden is skiable.

  • Unstable Snowpack: Recent weather conditions have created unstable snowpack on open slopes. Practice safe travel when crossing exposed areas. Assess the stability of snowpack before back country skiing or hiking on open slides and faces. Be aware of and prepared for avalanche conditions.
  • Cold Weather and Wind Chill: Hikers should expect cold temperatures this weekend with highs forecast to be in the high teens to low twenties at the base of mountains. Temperatures will get increasingly colder as elevation increases. Summits and areas above tree line will be windy, with wind chill temperatures expected to reach -20 to -30 Fahrenheit in some areas.

Grass River Conservation Easement: Snowmobile Trail S84A is closed between Junction 64 and County Highway 27. There are maps and ‘Closed Trail’ signs posted for clarity.

General Notices

Visit the main Adirondack Backcountry Information page for more trip-planning resources, including travel information, weather resources, and seasonally-specific information about Adirondack recreation.

Winter Conditions: Check the forecast for your destination and pack and plan accordingly. Conditions will be more severe on summits, with below freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and strong winds. Take wind chill into consideration when preparing for temperatures. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.

Avalanche Risk: Backcountry downhill skiers, snowboarders, and others who may traverse slides or steep, open terrain in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks should be aware of and prepared for avalanche conditionsAdditional information on avalanche danger, preparedness, and safety precautions is available on the DEC website.

Snow Accumulation: Snow accumulation data is collected every other week at a variety of Adirondack locations. Find the most recent snow accumulation data for the area you plan to visit. Interactive maps are also available on the National Weather Service website.

Ice Safety: A minimum of three to four inches of solid ice is the general rule for safety. Ice thickness, however, is not uniform on any body of water. Learn more about ice safety.

Snowmobiling: Check local club, county, and state webpages and resources, including the NYSSA Snowmobile Webmap, for up-to-date snowmobile trail information.

Lake George Boating Access Survey for Mossy Point and Roger’s Rock Boat Launches: DEC is conducting a survey to elicit public feedback on the overnight gate closure program at Mossy Point and Roger’s Rock boat launches. The information gathered will inform a more permanent program for future boating seasons and support the state’s ongoing efforts to protect Lake George from invasive pests. We encourage boaters that have used either access sites to take a brief survey. The survey and comment period will remain open until March 12, 2021. Comments may also be submitted by email to

Seasonal Access Roads: Most seasonal access roads have closed for the winter season. Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information pages for updates on specific road closures. Some roads may remain open if conditions allow.

Prevent the Spread of COVID-19: COVID-19 continues to spread throughout New York State, including in the Adirondacks. Help prevent the spread and keep yourself safe by continuing to Play Smart, Play Safe, Play Local.

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

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