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  1. #41
    Crash's Avatar
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    Where are we parking?
    "Courage Grows Strong at a Wound" - Stewart Clan Motto

  2. #42
    Senior Member Ewker's Avatar
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    if everyone is camping at the camp site past Wise Shelter you can park at the parking lot across from the general store. This is down by the RV/tent campsite at GHSP. It is a short hike from there to where they will be camping. You could park at the backpackers lot and take the spur trail up to the AT then go North towards Wise Shelter. Once you pass the shelter you will cross a creek. the campsite is straight up the little hill on your left.

  3. #43
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    Ewker - I am not sure that parking lot near the store is going to be accessable - there is a gate that closes the road to that area just past the big backpacker's parking lot and I suspect that in Jan that area will be closed - at least campsites in that area are listed as closed on the reservation system for those dates. Given all that however I would suggest if the gate is closed just park in the big lot and road walk to the store - its only about a mile and is basically level. There is also a horse trail that heads that way but I would not recommend it - rather muddy in spots - on the other hand if the temp is right all that mud will be frozen. If on the other hand one wants a little exercise then by all means go up the AT spur trail and head to Wise that way.

  4. #44
    Senior Member Ewker's Avatar
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    HOI, I forgot about that gate. Thanks for the reminder

  5. #45
    Senior Member Bird Dog's Avatar
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    Slow Hike, you know what store theyre talking about? Ive been past Wise shelter, doing the loop from Elk Garden past Wise and the scales, then back up the Pine Mtn trail to Elk Garden, but not quite sure exactly which lot everyone is refering to without diggin out the maps and researching. BD
    Just Jeff made me do it

  6. #46
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    i went ahead & called GHSP park superintendents office (276-579-7092)
    to ask about closing gates in winter & told her a small group had plans to hike in & camp near wise shelter in late jan.
    she said they no longer close gates (i believe she said they no longer have those gates?), but there are occasions when the weather conditions are bad enough (a certain temp & wind speed) that they "close trail heads in GHSP".
    she said it`s not often that they do that, but it would be a good idea to watch the weather systems as that week end approaches & call ahead.
    she said they close trail heads by posting signs at the trail heads.

    they`ve been doing that for a couple years now due to a situation w/ some boy scouts that had to be rescued. i remember that.
    i asked if it would be illegal to park there & use the trails any way. she said that would be up to the offers on duty.

    she did say that this was only trail heads in the state park, so it might be good to have a plan b.
    the old orchard shelter is not a long hike, but i believe the spring was dry a while back & i`m not familiar w/ the water sources there.
    and then there are some great looking, open forest along the AT trail not far from the elk garden parking area. i saw blue blazed side trails & was told by a ridge runner that those were water sources, but there again, i`ve not been through there but a couple times. ...tim
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  7. #47
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    You guys are starting to scare me. All this talk about 4wd vehicles and such.

    Are the chances high that there is going to be a lot of snow? How much? What are normal temps at that time of year? I wanna be prepared for this.

  8. #48
    Senior Member Ewker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by headchange4u View Post
    You guys are starting to scare me. All this talk about 4wd vehicles and such.

    Are the chances high that there is going to be a lot of snow? How much? What are normal temps at that time of year? I wanna be prepared for this.


    count on it being cold, very cold. I have been there in July when it got down to the 30's at night.

  9. #49
    Senior Member Just Jeff's Avatar
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    Ewker...what about snow and snowshoes? Or is it just cold?
    “Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.” ~Judge Joseph Story

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  10. #50
    slowhike's Avatar
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    don`t let that stuff keep you away. not trying to scare anyone, just being realistic about possible conditions.
    there could be little or nothing on the roads, but i`ll be surprised if there`s not at least a little snow around.
    i`ve seen winter days that were almost spring-like, but probably not likely at that elevation, even if we happen to hit a mild week end.
    i went to GHSP one febuary & there was very little on the road before the park entrance, but it`s all up-hill from there & roads got whiter as we went.
    one important thing to remember is that we`re aiming for a protected site, so wind will hopefully not be a major factor. ...tim
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

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