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  1. #1
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    Mt. Rogers NRA - need suggestions for wilderness camping

    Hey all,

    I'm new here & this is my first post.

    I was wondering if anyone is familiar enough with the Mt. Rogers NRA to give me some suggestions on where to camp for a week? Wife & I are not true backpackers, but we do want to hike in a few (2-3) miles to get away from the crowds. Established Forest Service or State campgrounds are not what we are looking for.

    Once a year we abandon the State parks and do the rough-it thing for a week to celebrate our anniversary. Different state every year, and this year it's Virginia. We'll set up a base camp & take days hikes, play in the streams, look at waterfalls, or whatever fills the time between sunup & sundown.

    Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions.

    Thanks in advance,
    -Jeff

  2. #2
    New Member Toothless's Avatar
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    There is a campground in the park that would serve well as a base camp. Short drive to access trail to the AT also. Wild ponies and beautiful part of VA. You could hike in either direction and be back to relax same day.
    Toothless

  3. #3
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    The ATC puts out a surprisingly decent map of the area, it is the "Virginia section #1" map". I know it's aval at the Mt Rogers Outfitter in Damascus. It shows all (Most?) of the side trails in the Mt Rogers area. There is a great campsite just trail North of the Thomas Knob shelter with water avalable at the shelter [100' or so behind the shelter]. The Mt Rogers area has ample places to park, and as mentioned above, you could "base camp" at the campground, which is a easy hike from the Wise shelter.
    Based on my recent hike there, the map is quite accurate.
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

  4. #4
    Kanguru's Avatar
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    I suggest Rhododendron Gap area.

    http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_pa...s/graysonh.pdf

    About 2 mile hike from GHSP Massie Gap parking area. You can camp anywhere once you leave the SP boundries. Lots of good hiking choices from there.

    Enjoy the week whever you go!
    Gentle raindrops and mighty oceans...neither can exist without the other.
    Time heals all wounds...but it usually leaves a pretty big scar.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rstms View Post
    I suggest Rhododendron Gap area.

    http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_pa...s/graysonh.pdf

    About 2 mile hike from GHSP Massie Gap parking area. You can camp anywhere once you leave the SP boundries. Lots of good hiking choices from there.

    Enjoy the week whever you go!
    That would be my suggestion too.
    There's a spring there for drinking water (be sure to filter w/ all the wild ponies & horseback riders around),
    You'll be near several trails, so you'll have plenty of options for day hikes.
    There are peaks near by too that are great for views, including sunsets (& sunrises if you're an early riser... or so I've been told<G>).
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  6. #6
    Kanguru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowhike View Post
    That would be my suggestion too.
    There's a spring there for drinking water (be sure to filter w/ all the wild ponies & horseback riders around),
    You'll be near several trails, so you'll have plenty of options for day hikes.
    There are peaks near by too that are great for views, including sunsets (& sunrises if you're an early riser... or so I've been told<G>).
    And the spring has a fence around it to help it stay clean. Still need to treat or filter.
    Gentle raindrops and mighty oceans...neither can exist without the other.
    Time heals all wounds...but it usually leaves a pretty big scar.

  7. #7
    slowhike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rstms View Post
    And the spring has a fence around it to help it stay clean. Still need to treat or filter.
    Yep... there's always an up-hill side to that little "keep the ponies out of the spring" fence, were the ponies are free to roam
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys.

    I really appreciate you all sharing your knowledge of the area.
    I'll have to take a look at my park map tonight and see where exactly you're talking about.

    Warning... I may be asking more questions tomorrow!

    Mmm... pony poop flavored water

    -Jeff

  9. #9
    slowhike's Avatar
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    It's actually some great tasting water... after it's been run through a filter<G>.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  10. #10
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    Hi, It's "The Wife". Does anyone know anything about the Elk Garden area? Balsam Mountain? There are a few trails there I'm interested in. Helton Creek Trail, Sugar Maple Trail. Somewhere, someone said these were "lightly used" and it looks as though you have to cross Helton Creek a few times. We are really not interested in camping at the state park, we do that enough throughout the year.
    Thanks in advance,
    "The Wife"

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