Friday, April 15, 2022

Outdoor conditions (4/15): Snow and mud

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: Snow Conditions, 04/11: Snowshoes are still required for most higher and north-facing trails where snow remains deeper than 8 inches. Crampons and microspikes are advised for all trails above 2,500 feet. Please avoid all trails above 2,500 feet while DEC’s muddy trails advisory is in effect.

Muddy Trails Advisory: DEC issued a muddy trail advisory for Adirondack trails, especially those over 2,500 feet in elevation. Please avoid the following high elevation trails until trails conditions have dried and hardened:

  • High Peaks Wilderness – all trails above 2,500 feet specifically Algonquin, Colden, Feldspar, Gothics, Indian Pass, Lake Arnold Cross-Over, Marcy, Marcy Dam – Avalanche – Lake Colden, which is extremely wet, Phelps Trail above Johns Brook Lodge, Range Trail, Skylight, Wright, all “trail-less” peaks, and all trails above Elk Lake and Round Pond in the former Dix Mountain Area;
  • Giant Mountain Wilderness – all trails above Giant’s Washbowl, “the Cobbles,” and Owl Head Lookout;
  • McKenzie Mountain Wilderness – all trails above 2,500 feet, specifically Whiteface, Esther, Moose and McKenzie Mountains;
  • Sentinel Range Wilderness – all trails above 2,500 feet, specifically Pitchoff Mountain; and
  • Jay Mountain Wilderness – specifically Jay Mountain.

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.

Know Before You Go (04/14): Be prepared for wet spring conditions at lower elevations and wintery conditions at higher elevations. Expect high, fast-moving water at crossings – do not attempt to cross high, fast waters where there is no bridge. Temperatures will vary depending on your location, the time of day and your elevation. Be prepared with warm, waterproof layers, extra layers, and, depending on the elevation of your hike, proper gear for snow and ice, including snowshoes, microspikes and crampons. Cool, wet weather poses a significant risk of hypothermia, so learn how to recognize and avoid it. Wear sturdy waterproof boots that are already broken in. No ice should be considered safe.

Check the Weather: Check the forecast for your destination and pack and plan accordingly. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for select summit forecasts. Check both daytime and nighttime temperatures and remember that temperatures will drop as you gain elevation. Check wind chill temperatures and prepare for colder, windier summits.

Muddy Trails: Walk straight through mud rather than around it to prevent trail widening and vegetation damage. Opt for low elevation trails until high elevations have time to dry and harden. Follow the muddy trails advisory.

Monorails: Monorails are thin strips of hard-packed snow and ice in the center of trails, surrounded by minimal or no snow on the sides. Monorails can create difficult walking conditions. Microspikes and trekking poles can assist with traction and balance.

Seasonal Roads: Most seasonal access roads are closed for spring mud season. Where seasonal access roads are open to public motor vehicles, the use of four-wheel drive vehicles is strongly recommended.

Fire Danger: Check the fire rating map.

  • Adirondack Park – Low
  • Champlain Region – Low

Water Conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region are average for this time of year. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for stream flow of selected waters. Water temperatures will be very cold. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs aka lifejackets) are required to be worn until May 1. Where bridges are not available, do not attempt stream crossings during periods of high, fast-moving water.

Ticks: Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily. Wear enclosed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants. Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors. Consider using insect repellent. Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails and walk in the center of trails. Avoid dense woods and bushy areas. Additional tips for tick prevention.

Bear Canisters Required: NYSDEC requires the use of bear-resistant canisters by overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 and November 30. NYSDEC encourages campers to use bear-resistant canisters throughout the Adirondack backcountry. Bear canisters should be used to store all food, food garbage, toiletries, and other items with a scent. Canisters should be stored a minimum of 100ft from tents, lean-tos and cooking sites and kept closed whenever they are not being accessed. Learn more about bear canisters and avoiding human-bear conflicts.

Adirondack Rock Climbing Closures: DEC closes certain rock climbing routes in the Adirondacks to protect nesting peregrine falcons. For a full list of closures, visit Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures. Once peregrine nest sites are determined, climbing routes that will not disturb nesting will be reopened. Routes that remain closed will reopen after the young have fledged. Thank you for your cooperation. For more information please contact the Bureau of Wildlife at (518) 623-1240.

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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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