Friday, January 5, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (1/5): Interior gate to AuSable Point campsites locked due to flooding

outdoor conditions graphicThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.


  • Seasonal Road Closures: Additional seasonal closures are now posted. See DEC’s Adirondack Backcountry Information page for specific road conditions and information.
  • AuSable Point Gate Closure: As of 1/2/24, the interior gate to the campsites at AuSable Point is locked. Flooding has covered the loops and vehicle traffic has been restricted to prevent further road damage. Use of the Day Use beach area parking lot has not been restricted and foot traffic is welcome beyond the closed vehicle gate.


  • No updates from last week.

Know Before You Go (as of 1/4):

Know Before You Go graphic

Fire Danger: Due to current and expected weather patterns, the fire rating map forecast has concluded for the 2023 season. Unless conditions change, forecasting will resume in spring 2024.

Temperatures: These are forecast temperatures for base elevations throughout the region.

With temperatures plummeting since last week, this weekend is expected to see highs in the upper-20’s and lows in the low-20’s. Expect up to a few inches of snow from Saturday night through Sunday. Check the National Weather Service’s Mountain Point Forecast for more accurate forecasts at elevation on or near your intended route.

The nor’easter we’re expecting starting this weekend going into next week will likely just miss most of the Adirondacks, but travel from further south may be impacted. Either way, stay tuned for any advisories about trail conditions or closures, and as always, use common sense and be cautious!

Reminder: These forecasts are for low elevations. Anticipate losing 5 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Snow and ice has accumulated throughout the High Peaks, and will likely remain throughout the weekend.

Even with sunny skies, inclement weather is always a possibility and can change very quickly. Remember – hypothermia is always a risk in wet conditions, even when it feels warm outside. Be prepared with extra dry layers and keep an eye on the weather.

Conditions: Trails are very wet and frozen. Snow and ice are present throughout much of the High Peaks Wilderness and surrounding areas, and with the weekend forecast of below-freezing temperatures all day and night, expect the ice to be more significant than last week. These conditions on steep slopes can be unstable and slippery. Hikers should bring microspikes or crampons when heading into the backcountry or above tree line.

Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise = 7:30 a.m.; Sunset = 4:31 p.m. With shorter days this time of year, it’s crucial to pick a timeline and stick to it. Pack at least one headlamp (two headlamps recommended) even if you expect to finish your activity before sunset. Phone batteries drain quickly and are discouraged.

Mount Colden Trapdike: The trapdike is considered a technical climb and not a hike. Climbers should be prepared with helmets, ropes, and climbing gear to ascend this route. Hikers looking to summit Mount Colden should do so via the hiking routes. Attempting to climb the trapdike unprepared can result in a rescue operation, serious injury, or death.

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. Even though canisters are not required right now, bears can be active at any time of year. Therefore, appropriate storage and management of food is always encouraged by NYSDEC for your safety in the Adirondack backcountry. Bear canisters are 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.

General Notices:

Visit the main Adirondack Backcountry page for more trip-planning resources.

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.

Watch for Moose: Motorists should be aware that moose are rutting at this time of year. Moose will be wandering around looking for mates and walking into roads without paying attention to vehicles. Take precautions to avoid colliding with moose.

No Overnight Camping at Trailheads: Overnight camping is not permitted at trailheads or other roadside locations where a camping disc is not present. This includes individuals sleeping in cars, vans, and campers. Campers should seek out designated roadside campsites marked with a “camp here” disc or campgrounds. When camping, always carry out what you carry in and dispose of trash properly. Use designated bathroom facilities, pack out human and pet waste, or dig a cat hole.

Travel: Plan on arriving at your destination early and have several back-up plans in place in case parking at your desired location is full. Check recent notices for road closure announcements.

Water Crossings: Water levels are still above average for this time of year in the Adirondack region, although not quite as high as last week’s. Expect water levels to rise with new rainfall. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for stream flow of selected waters. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs aka lifejackets) are strongly recommended.

Ticks: We do have ticks in the Adirondacks! 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.

Snowmobiles: Visitors are advised to plan ahead and check local club, county, and State webpages and resources, including the NYSSA Snowmobile web map, for up-to-date snowmobile trail information.

Leave No Trace – Hiking with Dogs:

If you’re bringing your canine companion along for the hike, make sure you are aware of how you both can produce as little of an impact as possible.

While your dog may not be able to wear matching snowshoes with you, you can try to keep them to the side of the trail to avoid “paw post-holing.”

We recognize this isn’t always easy to do, but there are other ways to practice Leave No Trace with your dog that are more in your control.

For example, bringing plastic bags to pack out your dog’s waste is a great way to prevent the spread of invasive species and protect the natural environment.

Stay mindful of your impact and have a paw-some time outside!

Follow the Seven Principles of Leave No TraceTM to maintain minimal impact on the environment and the natural resources of the Adirondacks.

"Dog Dogma" (Leave No Trace dog tips)


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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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