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  1. #11
    Senior Member Yosef's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    Charlotte, North Carolina
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    I didn't carry my cell phone on my last trip but one in our group did make a phone call at Ivestor gap and sent texts at a few other points along the way. I believe he had Verizon.

    Good luck you will definitely enjoy yourself. The trail is well marked and easy to follow just about everywhere and should be easy enough to solo. The most confusing point is at Shining Rock. There are about 6 trails and none are marked. I have done it twice and both times ended up on the wrong trail but it still leads to the same place, ivestor gap.

    I might also recommend 2 maps. The Shining Rock Middle Prong map is much more detailed but only has half the trail on it and the larger Map that has the entire trail is obviously a must.

    The best water source of the trip is off the black balsam spur trail that goes to the parking area. Its a steep hike but there are some drop toilets there and if you make a right on the road about 200 yards down there is a pipe with spring water that doesn't need to be filtered.

    Good luck!

  2. #12
    Senior Member Carolinahammockhanger's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    NC
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    Thanks Winger and Yosef! I can show my family this and ease their minds. I hike solo most of the time, and they don't mind if I have cell coverage. I know they can fail. The more good post like these the more likely I'll get to go. Thanks for the water tips too!

  3. #13
    Senior Member Hangin' Burrito's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
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    In the North Carolina mountains!
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    I've not been south of the Parkway, on the Art, but north is EXCELLENT!! The Shining Rock area is just my personal favorite. Solo is cool, but I like the company of a pal to share the experience, and if something was to happen, at least you got someone going for help. I guess being older and a father of 2, I've gotten perhaps overly cautious.
    It is an incredible trail, hope your navigating skills are polished up!!!

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