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Backpacker Magazine – September 2012

Easy Epics: 17 Drive-up Campsites a Backpacker Will Love

Combine the best of car camping (spacious tents, comfy chairs, frosty margaritas!) and the best of backpacking (deep solitude, outrageous scenery, swimming holes!) with these 17 accessible hideaways.

by: Jim Gorman

Near Gardner Creek (Abraham Karam)
Near Gardner Creek (Abraham Karam)
Crazy Jug Point (Ed Callaert)
Crazy Jug Point (Ed Callaert)
Slicerock Sanctuary, Lake Powell (Justin Bailie)
Slicerock Sanctuary, Lake Powell (Justin Bailie)
Outside of Breckenridge (Andrew Bydlon)
Outside of Breckenridge (Andrew Bydlon)
Falling Water Falls (Superstock/AGE FOTOSTOCK)
Falling Water Falls (Superstock/AGE FOTOSTOCK)
San Rafael Swell (Kennan Harvey)
San Rafael Swell (Kennan Harvey)
Little Rock Pond (Lisa Densmore)
Little Rock Pond (Lisa Densmore)
The Galiuro Mountains (Abraham Karam)
The Galiuro Mountains (Abraham Karam)
Hurricane Creek (Steven McBride)
Hurricane Creek (Steven McBride)

Green Mountain National Forest
Forest Road 10

Trek Vermont’s classic trails to private swimming holes.

We have nothing against dairy cows and picturesque villages, but the best of Vermont lies above these quaint scenes. Ascend Forest Road 10 east of Danby into the Green Mountains, and explore the backbone of Vermont. Past the intersection with the Appalachian Trail/Long Trail, the road becomes gravel and the plush pull-off campsites with flat tenting atop veritable mattresses of duff much less frequented. Hike the AT/LT north from the road two miles to reach prime swimming on the west shore of Little Rock Pond, surrounded by gentle oak and maple hills and large boulders. Continue to VT 140 as you pass the blinding quartzite outcrops and big views atop 3,176-foot White Rocks Mountain for an 11-mile round-trip. Next day, hike the 10-mile Old Job-Long Trail loop beside Lake Brook and up Baker Peak’s rock slabs (located off the McGinn Brook Crossing, south of the campsite). Chill out with a swim in crystalline Griffith Lake at the halfway point, or wait until trail’s end for Big Branch’s bracing pools.

Get there From VT 7 in Danby, turn east onto Brooklyn Rd. (FR 10) and drive approximately 3.5 miles to the Appalachian/Long Trail crossing.
UTM 18T 0665028E 4804233N
Map Vermont’s Long Trail ($10, greenmountainclub.org)
Permit None required below 2,500 feet.
Contact greenmountainclub.org; (802) 244-7037




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Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star
azcamper
Mar 25, 2014

Gardner Canyon is a beautiful area but it was quite busy and lots of quads motorcycles etc. Not the serene place described in the article.

Star Star Star Star Star
Greg Gilbert
Mar 14, 2014

The lake pond wetland around the Hopkins Prairie campground has big alligators.

Star Star Star Star Star
AZ Hiker
Mar 07, 2014

Thanks JQ and wyatt, for keeping us on track. Learn how to stay found by paying attention to your surroundings and using a compass. Read "Felix the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart" (Amazon). Remember to calibrate your compass to the declination at your camp site or hiking trail (http://magnetic-declination.com). A compass doesn't need satellites, a signal, or batteries and works in all types of weather, day or night, but you need to know how to use it and this book makes learning how to use a compass easy. Learn how to orient yourself using a compass, a compass and a map, no compass and a map, no compass and no map. The ability to know your way and know where you are is something we all need in any survival situation not just while hiking and camping. Learn what to pack for a day-hike, trail ethics, what to do if you get lost, how to get rescued, and survival packing (for the car and for the trail) just in case your camping trip extends into more nights than you planned on. Buy it on Amazon, "Felix the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart".

Star Star Star
DUNK
Mar 06, 2014

Potentially a good article but so confused by the pictures not matching the write ups.

Star Star Star
metalhead 360
Dec 10, 2013

It would be nice if the pictures matched the locations described.

Star Star Star Star Star
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Aug 07, 2013


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watson
Jan 08, 2013

thanks for the corrections guys!

Star
wyatt
Dec 07, 2012

JQ 11/24/12 is all over this one, right on, good call! Some of us do read these comments, and unlike BM (the former Backpacker Magazine), most of us can probably read a map. Editing and fact-checking by BM is cost prohibitive maybe? Nah!, dunno. Compass point directions (north, south, east, west) are strictly optional for BM, just drive for hours in the wrong direction, it's OK you'll get there someday, right? Maybe they do it to keep the riff-raff out?, yeah that's it. Similar to this Gardner Canyon location, the directions to the Galiuro Mtns. destination was off by 180 degrees. Page 66 of the AZ DeLorme clearly shows Gardner Canyon Rd. heading WEST into the EAST side of the Mount Wrightson Wilderness. They are celebrating Amendment 64 a little early down in Boulder and now BM just can't be trusted any longer, too bad, they were the bible once. Take the suggestions and recon it yourself.

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I'm not sure if anybody reads these comments, but just a few corrections that should be pointed out for the trip to Gardner Canyon in AZ. First, Gardner Canyon is actually on the Side of Mt Wrightson. Second, the directions are not completely accurate. The author states "From Sonoita, take AZ 83 21 miles to Gardner Canyon Rd". The directions should say from Vail, take AZ 83 21 miles south. Gardner canyon road is actually about 9mi north of Sonoita. The reason this is important is because is you take AZ 83 about 25mi south, you will see a road called "Garden Canyon Rd" down by Fort Huachuca which is not where you want to go. This would be an easy mistake for somebody to make if they were not aware.

Overall camping in Gardner Canyon is just as they say. Plenty of hiking, even some places for some pretty good off road driving if your vehicle can handle it. Campsites are awesome, and complete solitude. All the joys of backpacking and car camping put together into one.

JQ
Nov 24, 2012

I'm not sure if anybody reads these comments, but just a few corrections that should be pointed out for the trip to Gardner Canyon in AZ. First, Gardner Canyon is actually on the Side of Mt Wrightson. Second, the directions are not completely accurate. The author states "From Sonoita, take AZ 83 21 miles to Gardner Canyon Rd". The directions should say from Vail, take AZ 83 21 miles south. Gardner canyon road is actually about 9mi north of Sonoita. The reason this is important is because is you take AZ 83 about 25mi south, you will see a road called "Garden Canyon Rd" down by Fort Huachuca which is not where you want to go. This would be an easy mistake for somebody to make if they were not aware.

Overall camping in Gardner Canyon is just as they say. Plenty of hiking, even some places for some pretty good off road driving if your vehicle can handle it. Campsites are awesome, and complete solitude. All the joys of backpacking and car camping put together into one.

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