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Thread: Mt. Rogers

  1. #11
    Senior Member Krissa's Avatar
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    I mapped out a tentative trip. I actually mapped out two of them but the first was a bit too ambitious (5 days at 12 miles a day was a bit much lol). I also marked out all the water sources.

    So here is what I have planned:

    According to Cooldays suggestion we will park at Massie Gap and hike Big Pinnacle to Twin Pinnacles because they sound interesting. Then along the Stampers Branch Trail for a stop off in a campground for a water refill. Then up the Wilson Trail to the Orchard Seed Trail. Then we will hop onto the AT and head east and turn onto 4607. We will then take the Kabel Trail and camp near the Little Wilson Creek. Is this a reliable water source in early May? I have this to be about 7.5 miles.

    Day 2: Fill up water and finish the Kabel Trail, turning north on the First Peak Trail. We will follow this trail to the intersection with the AT at Scales. If we really need water we will head down the Scales Trail to the spring otherwise we will follow the AT north and pick up water at the Old Orchard Shelter. We will camp somewhere between the Old Orchard Shelter and the intersection with Old Orchard Trail. I have this to be around 8.5 miles.

    Day 3: We will continue along the AT north to Fairwood and get water at the restroom or at Fox Creek on the other side of the road. Does anyone know if Fox Creek is a reliable water source? Then we will jump on 301 and go west to Flat Top. There we will pick up 340, which looks like a road and follow 340 to SR603. Crossing SR603 we will take 166 to the Mount Rogers Tie Trail and get water at the campground restrooms. (And get some ice cream if there is any for sale). We will hike back out along the Tie trail to 166 (Mount Rogers Trail) and camp along it. If anyone knows of a nice spot along this trail we would love to try it. I have this at around 7.7 miles.

    Day 4: We continue south along 166 to Deep Gap and get back on the AT heading east. We are going to follow the AT to the Mt. Rogers spur trail and summit then grab some water at the Thomas Knob Shelter (thanks for the tip not to stay there Cooldays). We will follow the AT to Rhododendron Gap and then grab the Crest Trail to Rhododentron Gap Trail because Cooldays said it was awesome. When this intersects with the AT again we will camp before we get to the VA Horse Trail to stay outside of Grayson. I have this at around 9 miles.

    Day 5: Hike the rest of the AT into Grayson Highlands and the Appalachian Spur Trail. Time for the drive home while my hubby and the dog sleeps. I have this at around 2 miles.

    I would love some info about the water sources along my route - if anyone has found them to be unreliable I'll have to carry and extra water bladder. We will be using an MSR filter and tablets (the 4 hour ones - I can't remember the active ingredient right now). We go through a lot of water because my dog drinks like a fish.
    As you grow older, you'll find the only things you regret are the things you didn't do. ~Ernest Hemmingway

  2. #12
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhock83 View Post
    I am getting ready to take a trip to the same area in 2 weeks. I was wondering if there were any good hangs near thomas knob. My trip takes me from fox creek to damascus.
    From what I remember, there's not much to hang from right around Thomas Knob Shelter, but there are good places between Thomas Knob Shelter & Rhododendron Gap.
    But beware, that whole hill side tends to be exposed when the wind is blowing, even with the trees it has.

    There are lots of nice woods south of Thomas Knob, but water becomes a little sketchy. I know there is at least one good stream after passing the Mt Rogers Spur Trail (that goes to the top of MR), & I think the AT crosses it again at least a time or two.
    But once you pass the intersection were the Mt Rogers trail (coming from road 603 & Grindstone Campground) there may not be much water for a ways.
    But lots of great woods to hang a hammock in.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  3. #13
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krissa View Post
    I mapped out a tentative trip. I actually mapped out two of them but the first was a bit too ambitious (5 days at 12 miles a day was a bit much lol). I also marked out all the water sources.

    So here is what I have planned:

    According to Cooldays suggestion we will park at Massie Gap and hike Big Pinnacle to Twin Pinnacles because they sound interesting. Then along the Stampers Branch Trail for a stop off in a campground for a water refill. Then up the Wilson Trail to the Orchard Seed Trail. Then we will hop onto the AT and head east and turn onto 4607. We will then take the Kabel Trail and camp near the Little Wilson Creek. Is this a reliable water source in early May? I have this to be about 7.5 miles.

    Day 2: Fill up water and finish the Kabel Trail, turning north on the First Peak Trail. We will follow this trail to the intersection with the AT at Scales. If we really need water we will head down the Scales Trail to the spring otherwise we will follow the AT north and pick up water at the Old Orchard Shelter. We will camp somewhere between the Old Orchard Shelter and the intersection with Old Orchard Trail. I have this to be around 8.5 miles.

    Day 3: We will continue along the AT north to Fairwood and get water at the restroom or at Fox Creek on the other side of the road. Does anyone know if Fox Creek is a reliable water source? Then we will jump on 301 and go west to Flat Top. There we will pick up 340, which looks like a road and follow 340 to SR603. Crossing SR603 we will take 166 to the Mount Rogers Tie Trail and get water at the campground restrooms. (And get some ice cream if there is any for sale). We will hike back out along the Tie trail to 166 (Mount Rogers Trail) and camp along it. If anyone knows of a nice spot along this trail we would love to try it. I have this at around 7.7 miles.

    Day 4: We continue south along 166 to Deep Gap and get back on the AT heading east. We are going to follow the AT to the Mt. Rogers spur trail and summit then grab some water at the Thomas Knob Shelter (thanks for the tip not to stay there Cooldays). We will follow the AT to Rhododendron Gap and then grab the Crest Trail to Rhododentron Gap Trail because Cooldays said it was awesome. When this intersects with the AT again we will camp before we get to the VA Horse Trail to stay outside of Grayson. I have this at around 9 miles.

    Day 5: Hike the rest of the AT into Grayson Highlands and the Appalachian Spur Trail. Time for the drive home while my hubby and the dog sleeps. I have this at around 2 miles.

    I would love some info about the water sources along my route - if anyone has found them to be unreliable I'll have to carry and extra water bladder. We will be using an MSR filter and tablets (the 4 hour ones - I can't remember the active ingredient right now). We go through a lot of water because my dog drinks like a fish.
    Wheew... I hope you two have got better trail legs than I do Of course that's not unlikely since I've been slack on hiking for a while now.

    You may want to drive on up the main park road & see the elevation gain you would do if you hike up to Big & Twin Pinnacles from Massie Gap.

    I & others will check out your other trail plans, ask questions & make suggestions, but right off here are my two biggest thoughts.
    1)... I think a good way to start out there is something like Cooldays suggested. You'll get much better views (weather permitting). A fair amount of the trails you listed for day one will be woods hikes w/ more limited views (except the views from on top of Big & Twin Pinnacles).
    2)... Look for multiple options on that section of the map (w/ water sources in mind of course). You may find that your first choice of trails are too much or not enough & having alternative trails is a good thing

    I would defiantly want to treat all my drinking water w/ all the hoofed animal activity there (horses, ponies, deer, even cows).
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  4. #14
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    I'll be honest...while i've been there a lot by the time you finish you will have to tell me about your favorite places you hung. You are mentioning trails that are not familiar to me by name at least.

    I don't think it matters so much if you stick to your itinerary or find new places to go and stay. Just a few more things...if you go to the scales its a big open field good for tents but not too good for hanging. Also it gets a lot of car campers so you lose a little wilderness feel camping around trucks. The water at thomas knob is down the hill a ways as it is at rhodo gap. Mount rogers itself doesn't really have a view but is in the forest. enjoy! It sounds wonderful!

    Say hello to the horses for me.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Krissa's Avatar
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    We wanted to see as much of the area as possible - this is going to be our big trip for the year and its a long drive to get there so we probably won't drive back for years. I have the trip set up to allow us to stay an extra night in case something happens.

    After reading the responses I think I'll carry the extra water bladder and just grab everything we come across. I've hiked thirsty once before, it is not fun. I have a feeling we will be choosing trails by water availably. I am a Microbiologist so our water WILL be treated, probably double treated and I have great sterile technique so nothing will get cross contaminated.

    I wrote down the areas that won't have good hanging trees in my trail notes so I remember them when we hike into the area. My husband is a 'achievement' type of person - he likes big climbs and difficult trail, I am a 'just hike' person - I just don't want the trail to end, so I think the area will make both of us happy. (The dog is a 'lets go now' type, she just wants to do anything). He likes the views, I like the deep woods. I'm hoping to see a lot of plant life variety since it will be early summer, I love botany.

    We are going to do two trips in April to 'step up' to this one - a two nighter and a three nighter to make sure we are ready. Lucky I normally go crazy working out in the winter so I'm always in my best shape in spring. We just need to get the dog used to carrying her pack full again.

    After this Mt. Rogers trip I start a 15-month accelerated Nursing School program for my master's degree so there won't be any long trips for awhile (not to mention a lack of money).

    Thanks for all the info everyone, we are really excited about the trip. Any more ideas or information are welcome.
    As you grow older, you'll find the only things you regret are the things you didn't do. ~Ernest Hemmingway

  6. #16
    Senior Member Krissa's Avatar
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    One more thing - we will be there the first week of May, how are the temperatures in the area? I have heard that the weather there can change fast.

    We will be testing our hammocks in the cold as soon as I finish our hammock socks in my parent's backyard. I was planning on using a 30 degree sleeping bag (but its a cheap one), DIY a fleece bag liner, a thermorest pad between the hammock layers and a hammock sock. This will be our first year backpacking with the hammocks and we be doing several test hangs over the next month.
    Last edited by Krissa; 03-12-2011 at 07:21. Reason: I fail at punctuation :)
    As you grow older, you'll find the only things you regret are the things you didn't do. ~Ernest Hemmingway

  7. #17
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Sounds like that hammock set up should be fine.
    Late spring/early summer the temperatures can vary quite a bit of course but they should be very manageable. Just about the perfect time to be out there IMO.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  8. #18
    Senior Member Krissa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    Sounds like that hammock set up should be fine.
    Late spring/early summer the temperatures can vary quite a bit of course but they should be very manageable. Just about the perfect time to be out there IMO.
    I love backpacking before the summer heat sets in - and the dog likes it too.
    As you grow older, you'll find the only things you regret are the things you didn't do. ~Ernest Hemmingway

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