View Full Version : Sam's Gap to 19E Section

04-21-2015, 22:32
Hi Fellow Hikers,

I am setting out in a couple of weeks on my first section hike of the year Ė about 73 miles from Samís Gap (I-23 trail crossing) to US 19E. Iím planning to stay at a shelter (but not necessarily IN the shelter) each night, and just wondered about a couple of things.

Iím hoping to stay at No Business Knob shelter the first night. Donít know much about it, but it looks like there are no roads nearby so that avoids lots of potential problems.

Second night, Iím hoping to get to Cherry Gap shelter, but thatís a 23 mile day. Backup plan is to stop at Deep Gap, which is 5 mile earlier. My guidebook indicates that there is camping at Deep Gap, but I was wondering if anyone has camped there, or remembers what it was like.

Third night, I am aiming for Roan High Knob shelter. Since itís at 6200 feet, though, am I going to freeze my butt off in mid-May?
Appreciate any info that you may have. Looking forward to my first journey through the Roan highlands!

04-21-2015, 22:46
There's plenty of tenting areas ay No Business.

Deep gap is beside the road. Get your water there and camp on top of Unaka. It's a great spot!

full conditions
04-22-2015, 07:35
Those are some big mileage days through tough country you've got planned - but, you know your own abilities far better than anyone else and I'm sure you've looked at the trail profiles. May is a beautiful month to be on that stretch of trail - cool nights, warm days and plenty of wildflowers. The likelihood of seriously cold weather on Roan is fairly low in May - it could happen - just not likely. Be prepared for lows in the 40's and you'll be fine.

04-22-2015, 07:40
I did this section last May. The temps at night were right around 40 deg. There is also camping half way up roan mountain if you decide to cut that day a bit shorter. Water was available down a hill at the campsite. The hike up roan put a whooping on our entire group but we drove down late the night before and only had 3-4 hours of sleep.

The Cleaner
04-22-2015, 07:41
Right now and I'd expect for the next month or so the trail south of Damascus is very crowded and staying at shelters could be a problem.Most fill up quick and many of those there are staying up past hiker midnight doing all kinds of things that you may not like.Many shelters have quite a bit of litter and privies that are overflowing.So while you may be able to find some solitude while hiking I'd avoid shelters for camping. Many just use the water source and hike past a ways and stealth camp to avoid the parade of fools currently hiking.....

map man
04-22-2015, 08:29
I hiked this section in May two years ago. I was prepared for occasional sub-freezing overnight temps but fortunately didn't have any. I stayed in the vicinity of shelters but not in them for most of my nights and never had any trouble with noisiness after dark keeping me awake, even at the very crowded Overmountain Shelter area. There are no privies at any of the three shelters you mention so "overflowing" privies won't be a problem (TEHCC doesn't believe in privies -- the only one between Spivey Gap - which you will pass on your first day of hiking -- and US 19E is at Overmountain Shelter). There was plenty of space for tents near all three shelters you mention. It is a beautiful section of trail.

04-22-2015, 08:34
Privy at Overmountain Shelter...it aint much.30616

Tennessee Viking
04-22-2015, 08:39
Deep Gap has its pros/cons. Pros: Awesome views and piped water source. Cons: Its right next to the Unaka Mtn forest road. Its not heavily traveled but expect a few vehicles.

The good thing about Unaka is that there is plenty of campsites through here. If the Deep Gap site is claimed, you can retreat back south to the previous open field or Beauty Spot. Or continue north to summit. There is a small saddle, then Low Gap (water source down hill next to a forest road). Then onward to Cherry Gap.

The climb up Roan is easier now with switchbacks. Ash Gap is a good check point if you want to camp or not. But if you continue to Roan High, expect anything. If its stormy, hit the shelter,

I have been at the Barn in June, and it was pretty cool at night (50s) then warmed up quick.

04-22-2015, 09:19
I've been on roan in July and it got down in the 30's. Tonight it might get down in the upper 20's. It will be in the 20's for sure tomorrow night. So, watch the weather close before you go. Have Fun!

04-22-2015, 13:38
Yeah we are experiencing a chill from the previous couple of weeks. Hopefully it will warm back up to what it was before you head this way. Chances are though it will still be pretty chilly up on the Roan.

04-22-2015, 20:05
Did this exact stretch the first week of May last year. Perfect weather although one of the warmest on record. I was prepared for and hoping for much cooler weather.

04-22-2015, 21:58
Just left that way on sat. Very crowded south of 19E.

04-23-2015, 10:19
As others have said, avoid Deep Gap if you can. I camped there last June and 3 or 4 times during the night cars drove by and woke me up. There was one guy with a diesel truck who thought he was in a race or something. About busted my ear drums :eek: Go on up to the top of Unaka, it's an awesome place to camp.