I figured I'd start a new thread for those planning on getting to the Mt Rogers / Grayson Highlands Hangout & want to do a few miles with some "wilderness" camping thrown in.
My plan, & this does not need to be a group hike or hang, it's just what I want to do:
Park at the hikers parking lot on the campground road & hike N from parking lot on (Blue Blazed) Rhododendron Trail
Straight at 4way following Rhododendron Trail
L onto AT
Head N, crossing Four other trails within next 400 ft.; follow white blazes, leaving time to take in views to S
Pass thickets of Catawba Rhododendron; head W on Appalachian Trail, away from Crest Trail and Pine Mountain Trail to NE
Past Thomas Knob Shelter (water behind in fenced area, privy a few yards S on AT on right)
R @ T onto Mt. Rogers spur trail; gentle 300 ft. climb to summit
Mt. Rogers (5,729 ft.) VA’s densely wooded high point.
I have been to the turn of & the shelter, but didn't have the oomph to hike any further that day, in fact, getting water later was a grand effort on my part. Note that there is no views from atop Mt Rogers, but there are plenty along the way.
The "Plan" for me anyway is to arrive at the ranger's station around 10:00 AM & pay my respects & say "Thanks!!!!!!!!" then go back to the parking lot & hike in. I am going to take my time hiking up, as last time through there I was doing my 3rd 16+ mile day in a row & I did hurry quite a bit so missed a lot of killer views & I regret that. Also only took about 3 pictures so want to fix that also.
According to the guide I have it's 7.2 miles RT, so 3.6 miles in. I'm looking to take 4 hrs to hike in, maybe longer if I find a good place or 3 to sit.
So, there it is. Join me or don't. The shelter is HUGE with a 2nd floor if that is what you want to do. There are some nice hanging sites at Rhododendron gap & surrounding if that is all you want to do. The hike in is all up hill, but I remember it being a moderate climb (I was descending at the time I hiked it last) with views that make the effort well worth it!
If hiking to Mt Rogers by a different route, post that here also.