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  1. #1

    Default Crystal Mtn Campsite

    This is a rather uninspiring campsite about half way between Dalton and Cheshire. It consists of a large clearing in some 3rd growth softwoods and a privy.

    There are a couple of fire rings and obvious tenting areas. Water is available at a stream crossing the AT just north of the blue blazed access trail that climbs east of the AT up a slight hill for about 100yds to get to the privy.

    I've camped here a couple of times (it makes a good first stop for a weekend "Greylock Traverse", about 16 miles south of Wilbur Clearing). It's nice enough, 'tho there is no mountain, and no crystals.

    It was created to provide a campsite near (ish) to the overused and inappropriate Gore Pond which is about a half mile north. Perhaps someday we will build a shelter at the site, but we are more likely to install some tent platforms that will expand the number of tent sites. As you may be able to tell, I'm not a big fan of building shelters--I view them as management headaches, infrastructure that needs lots of care and feeding. I'd rather invest volunteer time and labor in well designed tenting areas (which this one is not).

    Cosmo

  2. #2
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    Default

    I camped here a couple of weekends ago, on a surprisingly warm early November Saturday (reached 70 degrees, or near it). Tented on the hill looking down on the big fire ring near the privy--a very nice site, esp. with all the recently fallen leaves to soften the ground. In fall, with the leaf change peaking, this is a great spot--

    what's the deal, though, on the Gore Pond tentsite? It's not shown (at least any more) on the AT map, and it's not mentioned in handbooks etc. But there's a register there. So it seems to be unofficial and official at the same time--is that b/c it's being phased out?

    For my money, the Crystal Mtn site is a lot more appealing than Gore Pond anyway--

  3. #3
    Section Hiker 350 miles DebW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascader
    what's the deal, though, on the Gore Pond tentsite? It's not shown (at least any more) on the AT map, and it's not mentioned in handbooks etc. But there's a register there. So it seems to be unofficial and official at the same time--is that b/c it's being phased out?

    For my money, the Crystal Mtn site is a lot more appealing than Gore Pond anyway--
    Gore Pond is not a campsite. A register box does not imply a legal campsite - there are a number of register boxes in MA that are not located at overnight sites. A legal campsite would have a privy. Camping in MA is allowed only at shelters and official campsites with privies. Gore Pond has been overused and needs to recover. Besides there is an ATV problem there.

  4. #4
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    I stayed there last year, late August or early September. It's a nice site, but it's been heavily used and the soil is compacted.
    I guess the rational is that the wear gets concentrated in one area.
    It's funny, an above post mentioned that there are no crystals, and no mountain there. There is a word for the kind of name "Crystal Mountain" is, but I can't remember it. The word is used to describe names like "Ridgewood", ( a town with no ridge, and no woods) or "Glendale" ( a town with neither glen nor dale).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebW
    Gore Pond is not a campsite. A register box does not imply a legal campsite - there are a number of register boxes in MA that are not located at overnight sites. A legal campsite would have a privy. Camping in MA is allowed only at shelters and official campsites with privies. Gore Pond has been overused and needs to recover. Besides there is an ATV problem there.
    Deb W, you get no argument from me--I was not interested in camping at Gore Pond nor would I be. But people I met on the Trail were definitely camping there earlier this fall thinking it was OK. I think the register box there is confusing--esp. when you open it and find entries from people who tented there. I would recommend removing the register box--that would help the area recover. Or at least, put a "no camping" notice above the register box.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by cascader
    I camped here a couple of weekends ago, on a surprisingly warm early November Saturday (reached 70 degrees, or near it). Tented on the hill looking down on the big fire ring near the privy--a very nice site, esp. with all the recently fallen leaves to soften the ground. In fall, with the leaf change peaking, this is a great spot--
    I stayed here with my son on a section hike in early August. We also camped at the "upper" site. It was less used than the "lower" site and the one in front of the privy.

    There was a reallly nice breeze the night we were there and no bugs.

    Since I'm a hammock camper, I care about trees, not ground. The upper site had much better ground cover for my son's tent and better placed trees for me. The site in front of the privy was very compacted and looked like it would be a river/pond during heavy rain.

  7. #7

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    Camped here Sat 5/24 with 3 other people. water is running and the place is pretty buggy. We also used the "upper" spot slightly away from the privy. I like the site lots of jack in the pulpit about got some very awesome photos of the plants!!

    made for a great jumping off point to greylock and wasn't over crowded!
    ~Christy

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    Default Trip this May

    I plan on using this site in May. My son's first backpacking trip with me! We'll set off from Dalton for an easy day to get there. The next day is my birthday and I turn 50. Can't think of a better way to spend it.

  9. #9

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    For anyone interested. Here are the coordinates for the campsite.

    42.515453, -73.159271

  10. #10

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    Update 7-10-12: This campsite is now sporting a shiny new bearbox and picnic table. We hauled them up the power line from the road. See link to blog below. Earlier, one Ridgerunner reported an encounter with a bear and two cubs harvesting not-yet-ripe blackberries at the nearby power line. No incidents reported in the register. Water is still flowing in the stream to the north despite our ongoing dry spell. Privy is in good shape w/plenty of capacity remaining.

    Cosmo

  11. #11
    lemon b's Avatar
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    Have hauled alot of trash outta there. The water is better to the west,

  12. #12
    Registered User coach lou's Avatar
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    No tent platforms?

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by coach lou View Post
    No tent platforms?
    No tent platforms, but many places to tent. Just a privy and picnic table. It's our "primitive" site. Water should be fine (on AT just north of the blue-blaze access trail), after all this rain.

    Cosmo

  14. #14
    Registered User coach lou's Avatar
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    Thank You! Biathalon Weekend with Overload! Hike & Bike

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