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Ready for Winter Camping in the Adirondacks? Here's Where to Go

Camping: It's not just for the summer. Check out where to go camping in the winter in the Adirondacks and make sure to stay safe out there - winter camping presents more effort and challenges than in warmer weather.

a snowy campsite

Places to Winter Camp

We asked our Facebook fans where their favorite winter camping locations are in and around the Adirondacks, and here are the results.

  • Long Lake, NY
  • Tug Hill, NY
  • Cranberry Lake, NY
  • Marcy Dam/Avalanche Pass (access via Adirondack Loj site)
  • 8th Lake Northern Lean-To (between Inlet and Raquette Lake)
  • Deer River State Forest (in Dickinson Center)
  • Puffer Pond (in Siamese Ponds Wilderness)

Find more camping spots in the Adirondack Park »

Winter Camping Lean-tos

The Adirondack lean-to is a three-sided log structure with an overhanging roof. Lean-tos are scattered across the Adirondacks and can be found near trails, in wilderness areas, and around campgrounds.

If you would like to go winter camping in an Adirondack lean-to, then you'll want to remember the following rules:

  • Lean-tos are first-come first-served.
  • You must share a lean-to until capacity is reached (7-8 people usually).
  • No plastic can be used to close off a lean-to.
  • No permanent fasteners can be used to attach a tarp.
  • No tent can be pitched inside a lean-to.

Winter Camping Shelters

If you're planning on camping in a tent, make sure that it's a double-walled, four-season tent. Four-season tents tend to have stronger poles, which help to hold snow loads. There are also several factors you must look into before determining the best tent for winter camping:

  • Strength - Your tent needs to be able to withstand both snow and wind. Therefore, a four-season tent is your best bet.
  • Ability to Shed Snow - You want your tent to have a roof that allows snow to fall off in order to prevent potential overload and collapse.
  • Size - It's essential to have a tent that can fit all of your camping gear and supplies. Having a significant amount of room ensures that you have plenty of space for everyone.
  • Rainfly - A good winter camping tent has a rainfly. By having a breathable inner tent wall with a waterproof fly outside, you can reduce condensation in the tent. Condensation can pose a huge issue, as it can freeze into ice. Having a rainfly can provide better insulation by increasing unmoving air space layers.

Winter Campsite Tips

  • Look for a campsite that is a short hike from the parking area.
  • Choose a site that has easy accessibility to firewood.
  • Avoid low lying areas as this is where the coldest air will settle.
  • Find a site to camp with a deep and durable snow surface.
  • Watch out for dead, hanging branches near your campsite.
  • Avoid ridge tops and open areas where wind can blow down tents and create drifts.
  • Leave no trace - dispose of waste properly and leave the camp area as you found it.

Check out the Adirondack Hiking Guide »

« Back to the Winter Camping Guide

« Back to the Winter Guide

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