Compiled on Thursday April 24, 2014
The following forecast, provided by the National Weather Service (NWS), is based on conditions at low elevations. Hikers & Campers entering the High Peaks Region should expect, and be prepared for, conditions which will likely be more severe than those expressed in a general NWS forecast. Hikers & Campers should check up-to-date forecasts before entering the back country, as weather forecasts can change.
Tonight Mostly clear, with a low around 21. Windy, with a north wind 29 to 34 mph decreasing to 16 to 21 mph after midnight.
Friday Increasing clouds, with a high near 45. North wind 5 to 10 mph becoming south in the afternoon.
Friday Night Rain showers likely before 3am, then snow showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 28. Windy, with a south wind 14 to 19 mph increasing to 21 to 26 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Saturday Snow showers likely before 8am, then rain showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 45. Southwest wind 14 to 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Saturday Night A chance of snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 29. Blustery, with a northwest wind 15 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Sunday Partly sunny, with a high near 37. North wind around 17 mph.
Sunday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26. Blustery, with a north wind 17 to 20 mph.
Monday Mostly sunny, with a high near 42. North wind around 16 mph.
Monday Night Mostly cloudy, with a low around 29. North wind 8 to 15 mph.
Tuesday Partly sunny, with a high near 47. East wind 7 to 11 mph.
Tuesday Night A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35. East wind 15 to 17 mph.
Wednesday A 40 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 50. Breezy, with a southeast wind 17 to 20 mph.
Latest Regional Forecast: National Weather Service – BTV
Wilderness conditions can change suddenly. While believed accurate, weather conditions may change at any time. All users should plan accordingly, including bringing flashlight, first aid equipment, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Weather conditions may alter your plans; you should be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods before entering the back country.
Spring Weather: Warm temperatures and rain have brought about spring conditions in the lower elevations. Late winter conditions remain in the higher elevations. Snow and ice are present in the middle and higher elevations, while lower elevations have little to no snow. Water-proof footwear; cool weather, water-resistant outer wear; extra layers of non-cotton clothing; and hat & gloves are recommended for any outdoor recreation activities. Always check the current weather conditions and forecast before entering the backcountry.
Spring Trail Conditions: Trail conditions will vary with changes in elevation and the time of day. Low & middle elevation trails, trailheads and parking areas may have mud, water, hard-packed snow and ice or a mix some or all. High elevation trails have hard-packed snow and ice in the morning which softens as temperatures warm. Trails through open areas with southern exposures have little or no snow but may be icy in the morning. Snow is still present in the higher elevations.
Snowshoes: Snowshoes are required on trails in the High Peaks Wilderness wherever there is 8 inches of snow or more – snowshoes are required on most trails. Snowshoes should be carried for all hikes above 2000 feet, though they may not be needed at the trailhead or on lower elevation portions of the trail. Wear snowshoes and don’t posthole. If you don’t have snowshoes, turn back when you encounter snow. The use of snowshoes or skis prevents “post-holing,” avoids injury and eases travel on snow. “Post-holing” ruins the trails for other users and makes them hazardous to travel.
Water Levels: Water levels are high in rivers, streams and drainages and water temperatures are cold. Rivers and streams have lost ice cover. River & stream crossings may not be accessible, especially in the afternoon. Drainages and stream crossings that are passable in the morning may not be later in the day. Trails adjacent to water bodies may be flooded.
Crampons & Traction Devices: Traction devices and crampons should be should be carried and worn when warranted.
Ice on Water: Ice is out or nearly out on all but small high elevation waters. No ice should be considered safe at this time.
Prevent Hypothermia: Dress properly, stay dry and add or remove layers to regulate your body temperature. Carry plenty of food and water. Eat, drink and rest often. Being tired, hungry or dehydrated makes you more susceptible to hypothermia.
Summits & Other Open Areas: Conditions on and near summits are more extreme – stronger winds, colder temperatures, snow & ice.
NOTE: Fires are prohibited in Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Zone
NOTE: Group size regulations are in effect throughout the High Peaks Wilderness. Group size for overnight campers is 8 or less and for day use it is 15 or less.
Be Prepared Before Entering the Back Country:
Check (before entering the backcountry)
- Local Forest Ranger for current information.
- Current weather conditions and short-term forecast
- Appropriate outer wear and foot wear
- Layers of non-cotton clothes
- Map and compass and know how to use them and use them!
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Plenty of food and water
- Extra clothes and socks
- Rain gear
- Ensolite pad to rest on and insulate your body from cold surfaces
- Bivy sack or space blankets for extra warmth
Always inform someone of your itinerary and when you expect to return
Please be aware that accessing the Forest Preserve through the rest areas is prohibited. In accordance with New York State Regulation §156.3(d), vehicles may not be left unattended in the rest area, unless the operator or passenger is within the rest area. Also parking of vehicles for longer than three hours during the hours of darkness is not permitted in accordance with §156.3(c).
Garden Parking Area: The Town of Keene has reopened the Garden Parking Area and the road leading to it.
Rock Climbing Route Closures: All rock climbing routes on Moss Cliff in the Wilmington Notch and the Lower and Upper Washbowl Cliffs near Chapel Pond are closed to allow Peregrine Falcons to choose nesting sites.
South Meadow Lane: The road will remain closed through mud season. It will reopen once it has dried, firmed and any needed maintenance is completed.
Elk Lake Trails: The trails through the Elk Lake Easement Lands are reopened to public use. However, the Clear Pond Gate remains closed through the end of spring mud season. This will add approximately four miles to a roundtrip hike, plan trips accordingly.
Corey’s Road: The road is closed at the Raquette River Trailhead. It will reopen once the road has dried, firmed any needed maintenance has been completed. Public motorized access is prohibited beyond the gate. It is nearly 3 miles from the gate to the Truck Trail Trailhead, plan trips accordingly.
East River Trail is Open: A new bridge has been constructed on the East River Trail over the Hudson River.
Duck Hole-Henderson Lake Trail: A new bridge has been constructed over Roaring Brook near Duck Hole.
Trap Dike: Fixed ropes, harnesses and other equipment are often abandoned in the Trap Dike. Due to the age, weatherizing and wearing of these materials they are unsafe and should never be used.
Closed Campsite: The designated campsite on Big Slide Mountain Brook in Johns Brook Valley near the intersection with the Phelps Trail has been permanently closed due to site degradation. Other designated campsites are located across from the Howard Lean-to and just past Johns Brook Lodge. Signs on the hiking trail direct hikers to these sites.
Bradley Pond Trail: The first foot bridge on the Bradley Pond Trail has been dropped and is unusable. The stream can be forded /rock hopped most of time on the downstream side of the bridge site.
Klondike Trail: The bridge over South Meadow Brook on the Klondike Trail has been replaced. The trail can now be accessed directly from the end of South Meadow Road.
Hurricane Mountain Trails: A portion of the Hurricane Road on the Elizabethtown (east) side of the Hurricane Mountain is washed out. The Hurricane Mountain Trailhead at the end of the road cannot be reached. The trail from Route 9N is flooded by beaver activity and rains. Currently the only easily accessible trail to the summit of Hurricane Mountain is from The Crows Trailhead on the O’Toole Road off East Hill Road on the Keene (west) side..
Marshall and Other Trail-less Peaks: Many of the herd paths found on Marshall and some of the other trail-less peaks meander around the slopes of the mountain without reaching the peak. Those climbing these peaks should navigate with a map and compass rather than follow the paths created by others.
Northville-Placid Trail: The trail contains a large area of blowdown near the Seward Lean-to. A detour around the blowdown has been marked with pink flagging.
Marcy Brook Foot Bridge: A new bridge has been constructed over Marcy Brook. It is located approximately 200 feet below Marcy Dam, upstream from the low water crossing that had been in use since Hurricane Irene washed away the old bridge over Marcy Dam.
Southside Trail: DEC has closed the Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to John’s Brook Outpost and is not maintaining it at this time.
Cold Brook Trail: DEC has closed the Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass and is not maintaining it at this time.
Deer Brook Trail: The low water route through the Deer Brook Flume on this trail to Snow Mountain remains impassable due to severe erosion.
Courtesy of DEC Region 5