Adirondack Backcountry Information

Backcountry Information for The Adirondack High Peaks Region

We get it! Everyone is excited (including us!) to get out and about this time of year and start Hiking, Trail Running, and Rock Climbing. May and June can be some of the best months in the Adirondacks before the summer season is in “full Swing” but please remember a few key point!

Bear Canisters

These are in effect for overnight users 4/1-11/30 (Eastern Adirondack High Peaks).  All toiletry items, food, snacks, deodorant etc all need to be stored in a bear can. A good rule of thumb is to cook in one location, leave your bear can 200 ft away from where you cook, and set up your tent or sleeping area 200 ft away from both cooking and the bear can location. The past few season there have been some human, bear interactions…
Bear Boxer Contender Bear Resistant Canister

The best way to avoid a Black Bear interaction is to keep a tidy camping area. Bears do not want anything more to do with you than you want to do with them. With that being said, bears will come looking for food, especially around large groups and on low rain years. The Mountaineer rents bears cans for $4/night or you can buy one here. Looking for a smaller bear can? Check here

High Peaks Conditions

We’ve been hearing a variety of reports ranging from deep snow to dry trails to ankle deep mud. Yes, these are all true and they’re true every Spring in the Adirondack Mountains. The bottom line is to be prepared! Our take is this: You’ll find 1-3 feet of snow in certain peaks and especially on northern slopes that do not receive much sun light. Above 4,000 ft, there is still a good chance you might run in to snow. 

A good bet, if you’re trying to avoid snow (who isn’t in May), is head for either lower elevations peaks and trail runs or hike a peak that has a trail with a southern aspect (these receive more sun). The presence of mud and snow are common this time of year, please plan on walking through it! DO NOT walk off trail through alpine vegetation- this is bad form and people will look at you funny.


Microspikes are still a good idea to have in your pack. The nights continue to be below freezing at higher elevations and ice will be present in the early A.M. hours. “Monorails” are where most of the surrounding snow has become rotten or melted away and the trail remains a hard packed pyramid in the center, tough without microspikes

Rock Climbing Closures

All routes on the Lower and Upper Washbowl remain closed until further notice.
Rock climbing routes located left and right of the nose on the Main Face of Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain are closed. These are described as routes 33 through 91 on Pages 45 – 69 in Adirondack Rock Volume 1. All other rock climbing routes on Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain are now OPEN! 

Potach Mountain, Routes 18 (Haley’s Nose) and 19 (Goes Both Ways) on Potash Cliff as described on page 86 of Adirondack Rock Volume 2, A Rock Climbers Guide, Second Edition, are now CLOSED. In addition, the 4th class scramble to access the Pitch 1 ledge of most routes, is CLOSED. All open routes must be led ground-up.

For more information on Rock Climbing in the Adirondacks and  how to get involved with the local climbing community visit 

For additional information on notices in the Adirondack High Peaks please visit