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Adirondack High Peaks Wilderness Hiking and Camping Rules

Here is a summary of the rules and regulations regarding hiking and camping in the most popular area of the Adirondacks – The High Peaks Wilderness.

The High Peaks Wilderness has two zones – Eastern and Western. The Eastern Zone is the most heavily used and has the most restrictive rules.

When in doubt, err on the side of caution. Happy Trails.
High Peaks Wilderness Zones - Map

Courtesy of NYSDEC

Group Size Restrictions

  • Day Use – 15 persons max
  • Overnight Camping – 8 persons max
  • Affiliated Groups – must conform to size restrictions AND must maintain a 1 mile distance of separation at all times

Camping Restrictions

  • Tents, tarps, lean-tos, or temporary structures composed of snow permitted
  • No Camping at any location above 4,000 feet in elevation
  • No Camping above 3,500 feet in elevation but equal to or less than 4,000 feet except at a primitive tent site
  • Tents must be within 15 ft of official camping sign or disk
  • Camping within 150 feet of any trails or water is permitted only at designated sites

Campfire Restrictions

  • Eastern High Peaks Zone – NO CAMPFIRES
  • Western High Peaks Zone – NO CAMPFIRES above 4,000 feet
  • Western High Peaks Zone – Campfires permitted 150 feet from any road, trail, spring, stream, pond or other body of water OR at a primitive tent site or lean-to site


  • Sign-in at ALL trail registers
  • Trailhead ParkingGarden Parking and Hiker Shuttle
  • Eastern High Peaks Zone – requires FREE Self-issued permit. Acquire a permit at each registration facility you encounter and keep the permit for the duration of your stay
  • Eastern High Peaks Zone – requires the use of Bear Resistant Canisters between April 1 – November 30
  • Skis or Snowshoes  – required when there is snow-cover of 8 inches or more
  • No Motorized Equipment or Vehicles
  • Have your pet’s vaccination papers
  • Eastern High Peaks Zone requires pets to be leashed on trails, at primitive tent sites, at lean-to sites, at elevations above 4,000 feet, or areas where the public congregates

Special Rules – Adirondack Mountain Reserve aka Ausable Club

  • Park at the designated lot on Route 73 – St. Huberts
  • No Drop-offs at trailhead/gate (.7 mile from parking)
  • It’s your right to use this Public Easement, sign-in at the gate
  • No Dogs, No Bicycles, No Camping, No Fires
  • No Cell Phone usage in public areas
  • No Hunting, No Fishing, No Boating, No Swimming
  • Stay on the trails, respect No Trespassing signs
  • Don’t even pick the flowers
  • Follow the Rules, they have armed security
  • All other NYS regulations apply

Normally I wouldn’t say, but since you’re reading:

  • Use Common Sense and Be Courteous
  • Use designated tent sites and/or lean-to shelters whenever possible
  • Leave No Trace, more at AFPEP

Please read the regulations, all other inquiries: NYSDEC Region 5