|Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it
cost to stay at your shelters?
Are there mattresses
at the cabins?
Do I need to bring
Are the shelters
open year 'round?
Can I make a reservation?
Where can I find
more information on the Bio-Sun composting toilets?
What are the times
to avoid at the cabins - when are they the busiest?
Who runs the stove
at Gray Knob? How warm should I expect it to be up there?
How can I find
out about the trail conditions now?
How long does
it take to get up there?
What trails should
I use in the winter?
What about avalanches?
Planning Your Trip
Where can I pitch
a tent in the area?
Is there a group
size limit at the camps?
What are the U.S.
Forest Service rules and recommendations?
When is peak foliage
time in the White Mountains?
When are the bugs
How can I volunteer
for the club?
Can I really work
for the RMC?
What are the GPS
Coordinates for shelters, summits, and points of interest in
the Randolph area?
does it cost to stay at your shelters?
||New Overnight Fee
Structure - Effective April 1, 2013
||Day-Use at All Shelters
Fees are collected by the RMC caretaker, who will visit each
shelter daily. If you do not see the caretaker during your stay,
please mail your dues to: Treasurer, c/o Randolph Mountain Club,
P.O. Box 279, Gorham, NH, 03581. You can also pay here on our website!
Please visit our Stuff
We Sell page and provide a donation for the amount you owe.
Every year, several backcountry enthusiasts find a way to stay at our
facilities for "free"... we appreciate your honesty!
For more information, please
visit our About
Our Shelters page.
mattresses at the cabins?
Yes, mattresses are available at
Crag Camp and Gray Knob. However, it is good practice to always
carry a sleeping pad with you when hiking in the backcountry.
Do I need
to bring a stove?
Yes, you will need to bring your
own cooking stove, fuel, pots/pans, and utensils. Counter space
and stove boards are provided for cooking. For your own safety,
please do not use backcountry stoves in the bunkrooms.
Are the shelters
open year 'round?
Yes, all of the RMC's shelters
are open year 'round.
Can I make
No, usage is on a first come, first-served
basis. At times when a shelter is full, the RMC caretaker may
ask some guests to relocate to another RMC facility.
I find more information on the Bio-Sun composting toilets?
You can find more information at
web site and at compostingtoilet.org.
the times to avoid at the cabins - when are they the busiest?
The camps are extremely busy on
Washington's birthday, Victoria Day (Canadian holiday), Memorial
Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day weekends. The cabins also fill
up most weekends in July and August.
the wood stove at Gray Knob? How warm should I expect it to be
The RMC caretaker is in charge
of the stove at all times. Even with the stove running, do not
expect temperatures above 40 degrees inside the cabin. This is
due to humidity problems if temperatures are too high, and the
fact that we only have a limited amount of wood to last the entire
For more information, see our
page on What
to Expect at Gray Knob During a Winter Overnight Stay.
How can I
find out about the trail conditions now?
Trail conditions on Lowe's Path
are posted here
every Thursday. You can also find trail conditions posted at
the Appalachian Mountain Club's web site.
Another option is to call either
the U.S. Forest Service, at (603) 466-2713, or the AMC Front
Desk, at (603) 466-2721.
does it take to get up there?
From Randolph East to the summit
of Mt. Madison via Howker Ride/Osgood Trail: 4 hr 30 min (4.4
From Appalachia to Crag Camp: 3 hr 10 min (3.3 m).
From Appalachia to the summit of Mt. Madison via Valley Way/Osgood
Trail: 4 hr 15 min (4.4 m).
From Appalachia to the summit of Mt. Adams via Air Line: 4 hr
30 min (4.5 m).
From Lowe's Store to the Log Cabin: 2 hr 10 min (2.5 m).
From Lowe's Store to Gray Knob: 3 hr 10 min (3.3 m).
From Lowe's Store to The Perch: 3 hr 20 min (3.8 m).
From Lowe's Store to the summit of Mt. Adams via Lowe's Path:
4 hr 35 min (4.8 m).
From Bowman to The Perch: 3 hr 20 min (3.8 m).
From Bowman to the summit of Mt. Jefferson via Castle Trail:
4 hr 30 min (4.8 m).
Travel times vary greatly among
individual hikers. We use the long standing AMC formula: 3 miles
per hour on roads, 2 miles per hour on ordinary trails, plus
3 minutes for each 100 feet of vertical ascent. Qualitatively
estimated extra time is added for unusually rough trails or very
steep ascents and descents, such as ravine headwalls. This formula
gives an approximation of the time required by a large and diverse
group of hikers who travel at a comfortable, steady pace.
Information was taken from the
should I use in the winter?
In general, you can only count
on Lowe's Path and Valley Way for being reliably packed out by
snowshoes. And, if there has been a snowstorm in the past several
days, it's quite possible that those trails will also be untracked.
The vast majority of the other trails in the area receive only
sporadic use during the winter months.
Regardless, it's always wise
to bring both snowshoes and crampons. Even if you're planning
to stick to well-travelled paths, weather and events can conspire
against you, and having crampons and snowshoes will increase
the options available to you. Crampons are often a necessity
on Lowe's Path, as well as above tree line.
As with any other area with the
right mix of terrain and snow, avalanches do occur in the Northern
Presidentials. They most often occur in King, Cascade and Castle
Ravine, but have been known to occur on slopes as low angled
as the Randolph Path. If you do not have avalanche training,
avoid the ravines and use commonly used paths like Lowe's Path
or Valley Way. It's always wise to check the current avalanche forecast before departing.
I pitch a tent in the area?
The Perch offers four tent platforms
for public use. There is a fee of $8 per person, per night (for RMC
members) and $10 per person, per night (for non-RMC members) at
The U.S. Forest Service tent
platforms, off the Valley Way on Mount Madison, is another available
option. No fee is required.
a group size limit at the camps?
Group size is absolutely limited
to ten. Splitting a larger group among RMC's facilities does
not satisfy this requirement.
the U.S. Forest Service rules and recommendations?
The U.S. Forest Service Backcountry
Camping Rules can be found at their web site (Adobe PDF file).
For more information, please
read the Leave No
Trace principles for RMC trails and shelters.
peak foliage time in the White Mountains?
Of course, the answer varies from
year to year. But, in general, you can count on the foliage being
at or near peak in the Northern Presidential area around the
last week of September, through the first week of October.
the bugs bad?
To some, all the time. To others...
hardly ever! Seriously, the worst time of year seems to be late
May to mid June, though that time can vary significantly depending
upon the timing of frosts, cold snaps and other weather conditions.
I volunteer for the club?
Just drop us an e-mail!
Write to the RMC chair person you think is most appropriate.
The best way to find out about volunteer opportunities, however,
is simply to join the RMC. On our web site and in our newsletter,
we post information
about upcoming camps and trails work projects, and other
volunteer needs. We look forward to meeting you!
Can I really
work for the RMC?
Yes, you can! Please see our Mountain Jobs page
for more information on seasonal employment with the Randolph
the GPS Coordinates for the shelters, summits, and points of
interest in the Randolph area?
Gray Knob - N44.33272 W71.30957
Crag Camp - N44.33498 W71.30260
The Perch - N44.32392 W71.31205
Log Cabin - N44.34030 W71.31538
Mt. Adams - N44.32067 W71.29198
Mt. Madison - N44.32872 W71.27728
Mt. Jefferson - N44.30420 W71.31720
Adams 4 - N44.32522 W71.30098
J.Q. Adams - N44.32432 W71.28828
Mt. Bowman - N44.33200 W71.34370
AMC's Madison Spring Hut - N44.32777 W71.28362
Pond of Safety - N44.40985 W71.34202
Mt. Randolph - N44.38828 W71.31855
Mt. Crescent - N44.40435 W71.29455
Lookout Ledge - N44.38052 W71.30837