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  1. #1

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    Where are trees in Grayson Highlands?

    I want to plan a 3,4, or 5 day trip in Grayson Highlands and the surrounding trails. I hiked the AT through the Highlands several years back, but didn't think about trees because I was a tenter back then. Now I hope some members have hiked some loops there and can give advice about good places to hang. One loop I am thinking about for 2 days and one night would be from Massie over to First, Second, and Third Peaks and up to Scales. Then Pine Mt. or Crest Trail back to Rhodo Gap, then back to Massie Gap. Which trail has the best views, Pine Mt. or Crest trail? Any places to hang on them? I don't remember much about near Scales and know nothing about the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd peaks trail. Any tips about the Iron Mt. trail? I know there are trees near the AT shelters, but want other options. Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Doctari's Avatar
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    While not EVERYWHERE, trees are plentiful in & around Grayson!
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

  3. #3
    DivaB's Avatar
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    Almost every direction you look. You certainly won't have a problem hanging your hammock. I love that area so much!!

  4. #4
    Doctari's Avatar
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    Sorry, had Grandson wanting my attention (he's 4) & was on puter that it's hard to type on.

    Better answer:
    The route you list will go through a few areas that are seemingly treeless, but you will always be in sight of trees to hang from.
    At the Scales, just go across the road NOBO on the AT & there will be trees galore.
    I just passed through, but I saw a few good sites at Rhododendron gap.
    Don't remember the various numbered peaks you mention, but as Diva & I stated above, you got plenty of trees.

    As to "best views" um, wow! Talk about Sensory OVERLOAD, Yea, views will not be a problem. That is provided that the weather allows, but this is the price we pay for outdoor activities.

    I have not done the Pine Mt. or Crest Trail yet. But based on the Rhododendron trail, the AT & a side trail or two: I wish I could join you!! IMHO there is no such thing as a bad hike in the area! In fact, my plan is to retire to the area in 6 years 4 months & 5 days*.

    IF planning a side trip to the summit of Mt Rogers, there is no view at the summit.




    *Give or take a few days. PLUS: OMG I'm getting OLD!!!!
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

  5. #5
    TallPaul's Avatar
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    Has anybody done the trail that goes by Firat, Second, and Third Peak?

    I'm also curious about water sources near Scales. I read there was a water source there but it might be better to get water elsewhere.

  6. #6
    Doctari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TallPaul View Post
    Has anybody done the trail that goes by First, Second, and Third Peak?

    I'm also curious about water sources near Scales. I read there was a water source there but it might be better to get water elsewhere.
    There is a spring flowing pretty good at the Scales, across the gravel road going NOBO on the AT. When I was there, the horsemen had a hose run across the road to a trough for the horsies, I filled up from that hose (not the bucket ) Don't know the reliability, it had rained pretty good during the week it took me to hike there on the AT.
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TallPaul View Post
    Has anybody done the trail that goes by Firat, Second, and Third Peak?

    I'm also curious about water sources near Scales. I read there was a water source there but it might be better to get water elsewhere.
    Looks like no hammock hangers have done that trail to the three peaks. We may have to check other backpacker forums for info on that trail.

  8. #8
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    First, Second & Third Peaks is a lower elevation, single track horse trail and with as much precipitation as we have gotten this winter, will likely be a muddy mess. The first time I hiked it, I thought the mud was going to suck my boots off my feet.

    A popular hike is to do the loop to Scales, come back along Pine Mtn. or Crest Trail to Rhododendron Gap, hit the AT and come back to Grayson. That is about 14 miles, but you could easily add on miles by continuing on the AT past the Mt. Rogers Spur. About half a mile past the spur, the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail parallels the AT less than 100 yards down hill. You can hop over and take the VHHT back to the left to go straight to Grayson Highlands or you can take the VHHT to the right, turn left Cabin Ridge Trail and head back toward the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail and Grayson Highlands.

    If you don't have a good topo map, we sell them at all retail locations at Grayson Highlands.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MLHolland View Post
    First, Second & Third Peaks is a lower elevation, single track horse trail and with as much precipitation as we have gotten this winter, will likely be a muddy mess. The first time I hiked it, I thought the mud was going to suck my boots off my feet.

    A popular hike is to do the loop to Scales, come back along Pine Mtn. or Crest Trail to Rhododendron Gap, hit the AT and come back to Grayson. That is about 14 miles, but you could easily add on miles by continuing on the AT past the Mt. Rogers Spur. About half a mile past the spur, the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail parallels the AT less than 100 yards down hill. You can hop over and take the VHHT back to the left to go straight to Grayson Highlands or you can take the VHHT to the right, turn left Cabin Ridge Trail and head back toward the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail and Grayson Highlands.

    If you don't have a good topo map, we sell them at all retail locations at Grayson Highlands.
    Thanks ML, That's the kind of info I was hoping for about the 3 peaks.

  10. #10
    TallPaul's Avatar
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    Any feedback on the following route(s)?

    Day 1 - Elk Garden past Thomas Knob, then left on Pine/Crest... overnight either near the spring close to where Pine/Cliffside trail intersect or on to Scales
    Day 2 - Pine/Crest spring past the Wise Shelter then back up to Thomas Knob (overnight)
    Day 3 - exit to Elk Garden

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