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  1. #1

    Exclamation The 2019 SoBo’s Guide to Baxter and Katahdin

    The 2019 SoBo’s Guide to Baxter and Katahdin
    You’re not going to climb on May 15th, the traditional date for the park to open to overnight camping.
    The Park closes to all hiking in April and trails will not open to Baxter Peak until late May.
    February 1st is fast approaching - why is that an important date for SoBos? Because Baxter's rolling reservation system works on a four month lead time. Want a site June first? Call or use the online system on February 1st!
    When did the Hunt Trail (The Park's name for this section of the Appalachian Trail) to Baxter Peak open last year? May 24th with a major section of Park road still closed. May 27th in '16 and '17.

    Most all AT info is focused on northbound hikes and so, with help from my friends, I've have been putting SoBo specific info together for several years. Hope this helps this year's southbounders! Good luck and have fun!
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  2. #2
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    Getting pretty close to perfect. I noticed a spell check error on your comment about Dudley, Hint "indefinitely"

    IMHO I would not wait for the AM weather forecast to head out if the prior days day ahead forecast is good. In June its light out long before the morning forecast is issued. The weather is generally better in the AM and if a hiker gets going really early and get up near treeline the morning light is generally the best. That is one big bummer about not being able to do a walk over form the Roaring Brook side of the mountain (due it not being open and logistical issues). Its a lot easier to get above treeline quickly on Helon Taylor trail and the morning light on the east wall of the mountain is hard to beat on nice day.

  3. #3

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    Hopefully I'll see you out there Teej. Thanks for the info!

  4. #4

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    Have fun, C4!

    SoBos, I suggest calling HQ instead of using the online tool to male your reservations.
    The people there are the finest kind, wicked nice, and very knowledgeable.
    Let 'em know you're a SoBo, and they'll answer all your questions.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  5. #5

    Default The 2019 SoBo’s Guide to Baxter and Katahdin

    Thank you so much for putting this together! My husband and I will definitely be utilizing this for our thru this year.

  6. #6

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    Baxter's online rez tool just got a major overhaul.
    If it's your first visit to Baxter, I suggest calling HQ between 8 and 4 to reserve. Let them know you're SoBo. 207-723-5140.
    The SoBo 2019 Facebook group is closing in on 600 members.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  7. #7

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    The link didn't go anywhere for me but that could be my old computer.

    When talking about reservations, you're talking about campsite reservations, correct? Or is a reservation required to hike Katahdin? I thought a check-in was required to hike but didn't realize a reservation was required.

    My thought has always been to stay in town, take a shuttle to BSP, hike Katahdin, shuttle back to town. Then the next day shuttle to BSP and hike about 11-12 miles which according to the map I looked at should put me 3 or so miles into the 100 Mile Wilderness.
    Am I overlooking something?

  8. #8

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    Campsite reservations. No reservation needed to climb.
    The AT Lodge shuttles SoBos in first thing in the morning. There's no afternoon shuttle back out.
    If you're staying with the Lodge, I suggest reserving a campsite at Katahdin Stream for after your climb.
    If you're not staying with them, two nights, before and after your climb.
    After Katahdin, the hike out to Abol bridge is a smooth run, with a high water blue blaze many take.
    The store at Abol bridge has cold beers, but very limited resupply.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  9. #9

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    Is there taxi or Uber in the area?

  10. #10

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    deleted double post
    Last edited by perrymk; 03-24-2019 at 17:03.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by perrymk View Post
    Is there taxi or Uber in the area?
    Not one you can summon from inside the Park. No phones, no cell signal.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  12. #12

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    Thank you for the information. I’ll have to adjust my plans accordingly.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ aka Teej View Post
    Not one you can summon from inside the Park. No phones, no cell signal.
    People have called the AT lodge in past from summit of katahdin and ask to be picked up at x time. The guy has been kept waiting before and left after an hr when no one showed. ....telling rangers to call the person a taxi . Doesnt like doing that for obvious reasons he told me. Closing time is a limitation too.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 04-02-2019 at 15:49.

  14. #14

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    Are you saying there are taxis serving the area? I didn’t find any when I checked online. If that is the case I could just pre-order a pickup.

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    This is a SOBO hikers specific thread. Unless a SOBO decides to quit after the first day, they have no need for a shuttle out of the park. There is only one daily bus that services Medway (the closest that the bus gets to BSP). It arrives from Bangor way too late in the day to get to the park so the vast majority of folks book a shuttle and overnight stay at the AT lodge in town so they get dropped off at Katahdin Stream in the AM. There are no taxis that I am aware of in the Millinocket area. Realistically 99% of the traffic leaving the two Katahdin trailheads are heading to Millinocket when the leave the park so if for some reason a person needs to go that way its usually an easy hitch.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    This is a SOBO hikers specific thread. Unless a SOBO decides to quit after the first day, they have no need for a shuttle out of the park. There is only one daily bus that services Medway (the closest that the bus gets to BSP). It arrives from Bangor way too late in the day to get to the park so the vast majority of folks book a shuttle and overnight stay at the AT lodge in town so they get dropped off at Katahdin Stream in the AM. There are no taxis that I am aware of in the Millinocket area. Realistically 99% of the traffic leaving the two Katahdin trailheads are heading to Millinocket when the leave the park so if for some reason a person needs to go that way its usually an easy hitch.
    Some people summit, then spend another night at AT lodge. Particularly if no space at ksc.

    If you are to believe ATC and BSP propaganda, a few naive sobo do quit every year after attempting to summit katahdin as well.

    A problem with calling for ride out of park, is a struggling hiker likely wont be down until after gate closes

    images.jpeg
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 04-02-2019 at 17:50.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    This is a SOBO hikers specific thread.
    Indeed it is. June isn't September.
    June: AT Lodge daily drop off at 7:30ish. Usually plenty of spots for ATers. Light traffic out of the park.
    September: AT Lodge almost daily pick-up around 4. Abol and Katahdin Stream usually sold out. Tote road busy.
    It's not the Ranger's job to call you a taxi.
    Also, not propaganda: several southbounders will end their hikes before they get to Abol Bridge every year.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  18. #18

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    2020 SoBo planners - are you reading the SoBo 2019 Facebook page? There's lots going on to learn from.
    First major issue so far is many folks not planning ahead for their start at Baxter. You really should set a start date well in advance, and reserve a spot at Baxter for either the night before and after your climb, or if staying with the AT Lodge, the night after you climb.
    Second major issue is the bus connection from Bangor to Medway - it leaves at 6:30 PM, is the only bus, and gets in too late for you to make it to Baxter that night.
    At least 40 SoBos have bailed already this year between Katahdin and Monson, several after the first day.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

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