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What to Know for Hiking in the Adirondacks This Weekend

Hiking Conditions for January 14 - 16, 2022

The weather will be brutal this weekend in the Adirondacks. Read what you need to know for recreating safely outdoors below.

This page was updated on 01/14/22.

forest in winter

Here's the Weather Report (01/14/22)

Extreme Weather Warning

A Wind Chill Warning is in effect for much of the Adirondacks - we've specified predictions below for each area. 

Recreating outdoors this weekend means encountering dangerously cold wind chills as low as 30 to 45 degrees below zero.

  • Crown Point: Fri 26° and partly cloudy, Sat 7° and sunny, Sun 20° and sunny (Wind Chill Warning from 7pm Friday to 4pm Saturday, with wind chills as low as 30 to 45 degrees below 0)
  • Indian Lake: Fri 24° and partly cloudy, Sat 3° and mostly sunny, Sun 21° and mostly sunny (Wind Chill Warning from 7pm Friday to 12pm Saturday with wind chills of 25 to 40 degrees below 0)
  • Keene: Fri 22° and cloudy, Sat 4° and sunny, Sun 23° and sunny (Wind Chill Warning from 7pm Friday to 4pm Saturday, with wind chills as low as 30 to 45 degrees below 0)
  • Lake George: Fri 34° and cloudy, Sat 12° and mostly sunny, Sun 21° and mostly sunny
  • Lake Placid: Fri 20° and cloudy, Sat 0° and sunny, Sun 23° and sunny (Wind Chill Warning from 7pm Friday to 4pm Saturday with wind chills as low as 30 to 45 degrees below 0)
  • Long Lake: Fri 23° and partly cloudy, Sat 2° and sunny, Sun 19° and sunny (Wind Chill Warning from 7pm Friday to 12pm Saturday with wind chills as low as 25 to 40 degrees below 0)
  • North Creek: Fri 28° and partly cloudy, Sat 6° and mostly sunny, Sun19° and mostly sunny
  • Old Forge: Fri 19° and cloudy, Sat 1° and mostly sunny, Sun 22° and mostly sunny (Wind Chill Warning from 7pm Friday to 12pm Saturday, with wind chills as low as 25 to 40 degrees below 0)
  • Saranac Lake: Fri 19° and cloudy, Sat 0° and sunny, Sun 22° and sunny (Wind Chill Warning from 7pm Friday to 4pm Saturday, with wind chills as low as 30 to 45 degrees below 0)
  • Ticonderoga: Fri 25° and partly cloudy, Sat 5° and sunny, Sun 18° and sunny (Wind Chill Warning from 7pm Friday to 4pm Saturday, with wind chills as low as 30 to 45 degrees below 0)
  • Tupper Lake: Fri 19° and cloudy, Sat -1° and partly cloudy, Sun 21° and sunny (Wind Chill Warning from 7pm Friday to 4pm Saturday, with wind chills as low as 30 to 45 degrees below 0)

Check the forecast for your destination and pack and plan accordingly. You can see select summit forecasts at the links below. Check for both daytime and nighttime temperatures, and remember that temperatures will drop as you gain elevation.

See the National Weather Service for the Northern Adirondacks >>

View the National Weather Service for the Southern Adirondacks >>

Snow Report for the High Peaks Wilderness

As of January 7, 2022, the Van Ho Trail has light snow coverage but is skiable. There is decent snow coverage for skiing on South Meadows. Both Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen. The trail to Marcy Dam has roughly 3 inches of snow. There is approximately 19 inches of snow at the Lake Colden Outpost. At higher elevations, like Algonquin, there is approximately 3 feet of snow.

Note, conditions may have changed since this was last recorded.

Avoid the High Peaks This Weekend

Please note that DEC Forest rangers are advising avoiding the High Peaks this weekend due to extreme conditions predicted, with daytime temperatures as low as -35 degrees F with wind chill on High Peak summits.

What to Expect With Snow Depths

Current snow and cold weather are providing good conditions for winter outdoor recreation, providing you wear the right clothing and adequately prepare for the conditions.  

Snow depths range greatly throughout the Park. The deepest snow is in the higher elevations in the High Peaks region, and on mountains over 3,000 feet. Snow depths are thinner in the southeastern and northwestern Adirondacks. 

Below is the snow depth data from January 4 and 5, 2022:

  • Northwoods Club Rd, Minerva: 5in
  • Goodnow Flow Road, Newcomb: 5.5in
  • Tahawus, Upper Works, Newcomb: 7.2in
  • Lake Colden Caretaker Cabin: 15.7in
  • Cedar River Road, Indian Lake: 5.2in
  • Sagamore Road, Long Lake: 5.2in
  • Haskell Road, Ohio: 2in
  • North Lake Road, Ohio: 3in

Ice is also present on high elevation trails, as well as many low-lying trails.

Ice is Out on Ponds - But May Not Be Safe

Ice has formed on ponds, bays of lakes, slow-moving streams, and backwaters of rivers. Not all ice is safe at this time. Remember that ice that can hold the weight of snow may not be able to hold the weight of a person.

Always test the ice before putting full weight on it. Ice is thinner where there are springs or other moving water, including the mouth of tributaries, near inlets and outlets, and along shorelines.       

Beware of Snow Squalls

It is unlikely at this time that you'll get caught in an avalanche, unless you're recreating in deep backcountry. However, there may be a snow squall, which can eliminate vision and create slippery surfaces. Squalls tend to be brief, so stay put if you're caught in one.

Bring the Right Gear

Carry snowshoes and trekking poles and use them when snow depths warrant. Snowshoes or skis make traveling on snow easier, and prevent post holing, which can cause dangerous falls and injuries.

Crampons or other traction devices should be used on icy portions of the trails, including summits and other exposed areas. An ice axe may be necessary above tree line.

Snowshoes or skis are required in the High Peaks Wilderness where snow depths exceed eight inches. The DEC strongly advises using snowshoes or skis at this time, as current trail conditions will make travel difficult without them.

Layer Up Those Clothes

Temperatures can still change significantly depending on where you are, the time of day, and your elevation. Stay safe and warm by wearing non-cotton, moisture-wicking base layers, insulating layers, and waterproof, windproof outer layers. Bring additional layers.

Wear a hat and mittens or gloves, and a buff. Gaiters can help keep your lower legs warm and prevent snow from getting in your boots. Wear sturdy, waterproof boots that are already broken in. 

Thoroughly Research Your Hike Every Time

Research a variety of hikes and pick one that is appropriate for the physical abilities and experience of every person in y our group. Estimate how long the trip will take and make a realistic timeline. Remember that hikes take longer when going through snow and winter conditions, than they otherwise would at the same location in summer weather.

Research the route using reliable sources. Share your plans with a reliable friend or family member who can report you missing if you do not return on time.

Mange Your Time, Bring a Headlamp

Look up the sunrise and sunset times and plan for your hike accordingly. Start long hikes early to maximize sunlight hours, and always bring a headlamp. Set a turnaround time and stick to it.

Bring extra batteries or a backup headlamp or alternative source of light. Even if you plan to be done before sunset, bring a headlamp in case of emergencies or unexpected delays. Don't rely on your phone's flashlight, which can drain the batter quickly, leaving you without a way to call for help.

Share the Trails, Please

Many multi-use trails are being enjoyed by a variety of users in the winter. Please be respectful of other outdoor recreationists and follow winter trail etiquette.

Wear snowshoes to prevent postholing and keep ski and snowshoe tracks separate when you can. Let faster users pass and yield to downhill skiers as they have built up momentum. Move to the side of the trail to let snowmobiles pass, and snowmobilers slow down when passing skiers and snowshoers.

Please pick up after yourself and your pets.

What's New With Trail Notices From the DEC

As of 01/14/22

Highlands Conservation Easement

The gate to Barnes Pond Tract is closed for the season to all vehicle traffic. Hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing in are allowed.

Silver Lake Wilderness

West River Road, which provides access to the Northville-Placid Trail in the Town of Wells, will remain unplowed and unmaintained for the duration of the winter. Seasonal access will reopen after spring mud season, usually in late May.

Ferris Lake Wild Forest

Powley Road is closed to all motor vehicles except snowmobiles for the duration of the winter. The road will re-open for motor vehicle access after spring mud season.

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest & Debar Mountain Wild Forest

The C-7 Trail (known locally as the Pole Line) is open from Lake Clear to Mountain View.

Moose River Plains Complex

Snowmobiling gates are open, though conditions are marginal.

Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest

The Campsite Road gate providing access to the Santanoni to Lake Harris snowmobile trail is now open with 5 to 7 inches of hard pack snow.

All other gates in the unit will remain closed until conditions improve.

The gate on Newcomb Lake Road is closed.

As of 01/07/22

Boreas Ponds Tract

Work on three bridges along Gulf Brook Road is now complete. Due to weather conditions, the road is closed for the winter season to motor vehicles, but skiing and snowshoeing is allowed. The road will be open to public motor vehicles as far as the Fly Pond Parking Area after the spring mud season, generally in late May.

Washington County Grasslands (Fort Edward)

Parking is limited in the winter at the Washington County Grasslands. Avoid parking along roadways, parking in a way that blocks the roadway, and parking in private driveways. Visitors can park in the designated area off Blackhouse Road.

Archer Vly/Lake Desolation Road Tract

Motor vehicle access is not open to passenger vehicles as there is snow and ice on the road. Snowmobile season will open in this area when sufficient snowpack accumulates.

Speculator Tree Farm/Perkins Clearing

Roads are closed to passenger vehicles as limited snowmobiling is now open.

Upper Hudson Woodlands Conservation Easement, Dennie Road Tract

Winter use ski and snowshoe trails are now open. There is limited snow and no grooming at this time.

Save This Number to Your Phone

If you get lost or injured, keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service, call 911 or the DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch at 833.697.7264.

On Twitter? Follow This DEC Account

Hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts can follow @NYSDECAlerts on Twitter for real-time updates to help you better prepare for your outing. This account provides updates for DEC-managed lands throughout the state, including the Adirondacks.

This page was updated on 01/14/22.

View more current notices from the DEC >>

Make sure you Leave No Trace >>

See this week's news and events in the latest roundup >>

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