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 Sawyer Pond 
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Flatfoot
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 Sawyer Pond
Two weekends ago I hiked out to scout the camping conditions at Sawyer Pond, I had never been there so I wanted to see what I was in for. This past weekend some buddies and I hiked out and decided to spend the night. What a difference two weeks makes! The first time I had gone there, there wasn't a soul around, the place was clean and peaceful with plenty of firewood around. This past weekend, we left the trailhead early Saturday morning with the intentions of staying the night. Upon arrival to the pond there was only one open site. And you could definately see and hear the impact of other campers in the area (noise and litter pollution). I couldn't imagine what that place must be like between Memorial Day and Labor Day! There was a fine mist all day Saturday but the sky finally cleared and let the stars shine through late that night. We were entertained by the calls of a coyote all through the night coming from a ridge across the pond. We packed up early Sunday morning and hit the trail to avoid the traffic jam of hikers.

All in all, it was a great time, although next time we'll be looking for somewhere a little less populated.


Wed May 19, 2010 10:46 am
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If you're trying to avoid crowds it's aweful tough at established campsites in the Whites from Memorial Day to about Columbus Day. If you're in that area again try a bushwack out to Carrigain pond if that's in your skill set. You wont find it too crowded there.

It always amazes me how one can decide to hike miles into the woods/wilderness or up a mountain or both to a place like Guyot or 13 Falls and have a bunch of other people who had the same idea already there. There's really nowhere in the Whites, especially on a weekend, that's isolated and quiet anymore.

We stayed at Guyot once and arrived fairly early on a Saturday afternoon in late September only to find all the platforms full, the shelter full of sleeping bags, the lower overflow sites were packed and to top it all off two a-holes had managed to take up the whole upper area with just two strategically placed tents for the two of them. Their stoves and gear was sprawled out everywhere. They never even asked if we wanted them to organize it and make room, just told us there might be a spot in the woods nearby :evil: We wound up just putting down out bags on the ground at a clearing off in the woods and tying the rainfly to the trees above us for the night, and of course still had to pay the caretaker who tracked us down off in the woods like a bloodhound. The silver lining, if you can call it that, was we got such a bad night sleep we got up early and had the mountains to ourselves for most of the morning until the crowds passed us on our way back to Zealand.


Last edited by Granite Guy on Wed May 19, 2010 1:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed May 19, 2010 1:36 pm
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That's the reason I'm pretty much only interested in stealth, backcountry camping.

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Wed May 19, 2010 1:40 pm
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Nice report. I've wanted to check out Sawyer Pond for an overnight too, but I'm not too crazy about the idea of all that crowding.

I'd also like to do a Bonds backpack sometime this year, but Granite Guy's story is one I've heard before. Makes me think it'll be a mid-week trip to avoid the crowds. I've never even seen the Guyot tentsites, there was no reason to stop there on my one and only Bonds trip, but I've heard that they can often get crowded like that.

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Wed May 19, 2010 2:56 pm
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My first time to the Bonds, my wife and I only saw the caretaker for two days. The hitch, we arrived on Monday and left on Tuesday.

Midweek is the way to go if you want no crowds at the campsites. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, midweek can even get some crowds at the more popular sites. August and September also have increased traffic due to the AT thru-hikers coming thru.

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Wed May 19, 2010 3:43 pm
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..


Last edited by woods dweller on Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.



Wed May 19, 2010 3:51 pm
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It's a great spot if you can either get there when it's quiet or have considerate campers there with you. We managed, on a weekday of course, to get it to ourselves for a few hours once. Tried our luck at fishing, which was no luck at all that day, but I've heard there's some big trout in there. This post reminded me that getting to the top of the cliff that overlooks the place is on my to do list. Owl's Cliff I believe off the Tremont Trail but I'm not sure of that. Maybe I can get there this summer.

Here's a scan of a slide of mine from Sawyer Pond before digital came along.
Image


Wed May 19, 2010 7:59 pm
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Granite Guy wrote:
Owl's Cliff I believe off the Tremont Trail but I'm not sure of that. Maybe I can get there this summer.


Yes that's Owl's Cliff...I did Mt. Tremont last fall and it was close by. If you don't want to have to go up and over Mt. Tremont to get there, you can get there by the Brunel trail. The summit is wooded but there's supposed to be a fairly easy bushwhack to a ledgy viewpoint. Probably wouldn't be a bad day if you did both peaks, but Mt. Tremont itself is a tough little hike, and there's a lot of elevation to lose and regain between there and Owl's Cliff. I didn't have it in me that day...

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Thu May 20, 2010 8:37 am
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If I'm backpacking solo, I don't mind the crowd if it's not too crazy and prefer the established sites for security reasons.
But if I'm out with others, then it's stealth for a cool site.
I haven't been to Sawyer in ages....might have to change that soon. Great picture Granite Guy!

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Thu May 20, 2010 11:06 am
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The topic of stealth camping did arise a few times throughout the night while we sat around the fire (at times literally having to yell over the noise from kids 2 platforms away and the rowdy bunch at the shelter).

I have gone low-impact/backcountry camping a few times, just haven't done it in a very long time. My next trip will be more of the stealth variety I think.


Fri May 21, 2010 9:30 am
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I heard this makes for a great little snowshoe in the winter and a great place for winter camping as well. I've been wanting to get out there to check it out. Thanks for the report.


Fri May 21, 2010 7:42 pm
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 Saywer Pond Area Camping?
Thanks for all the info. I've been scoping out this place for sometime and have yet to go? I was looking at the arial view and it looks like there is a clearing on the opposite corner of the lake from the tent platforms. Has anyone hiked to that area. I was wondering what the terrain was like?

TIA


Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:58 am
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 Re: Saywer Pond Area Camping?
evs wrote:
Thanks for all the info. I've been scoping out this place for sometime and have yet to go? I was looking at the arial view and it looks like there is a clearing on the opposite corner of the lake from the tent platforms. Has anyone hiked to that area. I was wondering what the terrain was like?

TIA

I did a little exploring. The "trails" around the pond are wet and might actually be animal paths. There's no maintained trails anyways that I remember. I don't recall any clearings either but I was just looking for a spot to toss in a line and not really paying attention to much else. The clearing you see might be Little Sawyer Pond, in which case it would be wet also :D


Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:09 am
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Yeah, beware of what appear to be clearings in Google Earth, they can be bogs. Usually, looking at the terrain around it will give you an idea of which.

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Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:50 am
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 I second the Winter idea
For a couple of years, I have thought about going there once Sawyer River Road was closed and there was enough snow on the ground for my pulk, but I always decide that I need more winter hiking and camping experience first.

I think that shelter would make an excellent base camp for a winter day hike to Greens Cliff or for exploring the ravine and notch southwest of Carrigain Pond.

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Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:58 pm
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