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pilgrim1
04-26-2015, 12:16
planning to do the 105mile trip.averaging about 10 miles per day.but noticed the campsites don't workout good doing 10 miles per.some folk hav mentioned the terrain in places would be hard to camp.so I guess my question is do we need to change mileage or is this really nothing to be concerned about.also in august will water be a problem to find or maybe have to carry a lot of water? thanks for any info

Francis Sawyer
04-26-2015, 13:08
Skyline drive has lots of access to park facilities so water shouldn't be an issue.

Damn Yankee
04-26-2015, 13:49
Also plenty of places to camp

jimmyjam
04-26-2015, 16:24
Plenty of places to camp between shelters or at shelters. I've done all but the last few miles of the park with zero nights in a shelter.

johnnybgood
04-26-2015, 21:12
planning to do the 105mile trip.averaging about 10 miles per day.but noticed the campsites don't workout good doing 10 miles per.some folk hav mentioned the terrain in places would be hard to camp.so I guess my question is do we need to change mileage or is this really nothing to be concerned about.also in august will water be a problem to find or maybe have to carry a lot of water? thanks for any info

I you were hammock camping , there are no shortage of trees, so it doesn't factor in. Some places along the AT you will find the terrain unsuitable with thick forest understory , just keep a keen eye while you hike beginning an hour before wanting to pitch your tent.

Slo-go'en
04-26-2015, 21:22
Yea, it looks like you'd have to "average" more like 12 miles a day, but that really isn't a big deal. I don't know how dry it would be in August, but I do know the water is often a goodly ways down the side of the ridge. I think it was Rock spring hut which had the water at the bottom of 382 rock steps.

jimmyjam
04-26-2015, 22:17
Water is usually not a problem although some creeks will get very low in the late summer. Rock Spring hut is just north of Big Meadows and the spring is about 200 feet in front of the shelter. No 300 rock steps to go down.

Slo-go'en
04-26-2015, 22:58
Water is usually not a problem although some creeks will get very low in the late summer. Rock Spring hut is just north of Big Meadows and the spring is about 200 feet in front of the shelter. No 300 rock steps to go down.

I'm sure it was Rock Spring hut. The guide says water down steep trail and I remember there were a LOT of rock steps to get down to it. Someone counted them and the number 382 sticks in my mind. I'll be back there again soon, so will recount them :)

jarofkla
04-27-2015, 06:43
I hiked the Southern District in 2011 and Central in 2012 and if i remember correctly, camping wasn't much of an issue, but we did tent next to shelters. I think we averaged around 12 - 15 a day. I do remember a stretch of 13 miles in the south that was dry and this was Memorial Day weekend, so you may run into the same issue especially if your trip is in August.

Good luck!

Donde
04-27-2015, 08:47
You should be okay on water, and you can engage in dispersed camping as long as you are not too close to a rd or facillity etc. you should be fine.

johnnybgood
04-27-2015, 09:06
If I remember the water source is 75 ft. on a path to the right side of Rock Spring Cabin which sits below the shelter.

Studlintsean
04-27-2015, 10:56
If I remember the water source is 75 ft. on a path to the right side of Rock Spring Cabin which sits below the shelter.


That is correct.

Hnsnhiker
04-27-2015, 17:11
Some water sources can get low that time of year. A few years back during summer hike the small streams from Calf Mtn shelter to Blackrock hut were dried up and we carried extra water during that 13 mile stretch. Check the shelter journals as most hikers will post whether this is the case for your time frame.

Fredt4
04-27-2015, 17:45
I usually cook dinner an hour or two before I reach my campsite, therefore having water at the site isn't a big issue as you'll pass water along the way after dinner or carry it from your dinner site.!

jarofkla
04-28-2015, 06:56
Some water sources can get low that time of year. A few years back during summer hike the small streams from Calf Mtn shelter to Blackrock hut were dried up and we carried extra water during that 13 mile stretch. Check the shelter journals as most hikers will post whether this is the case for your time frame.

This is what I was eluding to in my post above. We had a 13 mile dry stretch near Calf Mountain. Just be prepared.

shelb
04-28-2015, 23:37
Go for 8-15 miles per day. This is quite doable in SNP.

fredmugs
04-29-2015, 07:23
Plenty of places to camp between shelters or at shelters. I've done all but the last few miles of the park with zero nights in a shelter.

Unless things have changed I'm pretty sure you can only over night at shelters or the lodges. Anywhere else can get you booted from the park.

fredmugs
04-29-2015, 07:24
Plenty of places to camp between shelters or at shelters. I've done all but the last few miles of the park with zero nights in a shelter.

Unless things have changed I'm pretty sure you can only over night at shelters or the lodges. Anywhere else can get you booted from the park.

jimmyjam
04-29-2015, 08:56
Unless things have changed I'm pretty sure you can only over night at shelters or the lodges. Anywhere else can get you booted from the park.

You are wrong. Read your permit, it clearly states where you can and cannot camp. Here are the rules:9) No camping May Occur:

...within 10 yards of a stream or other natural water source. Protect streams and the fish in them from water quality deterioration due to erosion.
...within 50 yards of standing building ruins including stone foundations, chimneys, and log walls. The park has a rich history. Camping in the area of former homesites can damage these remnants of our past. Practice the Leave No Trace Principle of “Leave What You Find.”
...within 50 yards of another camping party or "no camping" post or sign. Preserve the solitude of others and respect areas that are closed to allow recovery from overuse
...within mile of a paved road, park boundary, or park facilities such as a campground, picnic area, visitor center, lodge, wayside, or restaurant. Backcountry camping requires that you get off the beaten path. If you do not want to travel the required distance, consider a front-country campground (https://cms.ner.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm).
...within 100 yards of a hut, cabin, or day-use shelter. You may camp in a hut or cabin as described in this bulletin, or in a designated park-constructed campsites at Appalachian Trail huts.
...within 20 yards of trails and unpaved roads.

shelb
04-30-2015, 23:27
We stayed in or around Shelters. Our milage was between 8-16 miles per day. This is a great hike!

Skyline
04-30-2015, 23:50
Along most of the AT in SNP, you should find ample places to tent or hang. Near overnight huts or in between. But you may need to be flexible/creative. Same with water.

I think the most challenging stretch for camping is between Calf Mt. and Blackrock Huts.

Skyline
09-26-2016, 13:51
Aside from the section between Calf Mt. Hut and Blackrock hut, there are water sources noted in all guidebooks. In drought periods, some of these may be low or non-existent. It's best to check with Rangers at Byrd Visitor Center for specific advice close to your start date.

It is possible to cache water in jugs almost anywhere there is a vehicle-accessible road crossing. It takes some planning, time, and a vehicle. I've done this on the AT in SNP and also the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, using store-bought gallon jugs that can be easily cut up later and packed out (not thick plastic). Both trails have frequent enough crossings. A few pointers...

1) Place the jugs of water yourself, so you know exactly where to find them. As a backup, make notes about where you hid water.

2) Hide your water so no one else will find it.

3) Affix labels to your water jugs, explaining that you intentionally left them for your own use while doing a long backpacking trip, with the dates of your hike and your name. Request that anyone who finds them leave them alone, as you are desperately depending on these water jugs and went to a lot of effort to place them there.

4) Once you have reclaimed your water while hiking, DO NOT leave the empties behind. Cut the empty jugs up, pack it out. Trail managers and volunteers are depending on it, as is the environment. Future hikers might find authorities cracking down on water caching if you contribute to littering.

marilandica
09-26-2016, 14:43
Don't forget to consider camping options not immediately on the AT. The AT is positively hatched with blue blazed trails throughout SNP, and there are many nice primitive camp sites just a short hop down a blue blaze from the AT.

Odd Man Out
09-26-2016, 15:20
I know this is an old thread, but in case someone else comes across it looking for info:

Last summer I found a good campsite near the intersection of the AT and Jeremy's Run Trail. It's not far SOBO from Elkwallow Wayside plus there is a spring/creek nearby.

There was also a good campsite near the intersection of the AT and the Crusher Ridge Trail. No water. About half way between Little Stony Man and Pinnacles Picnic area.