View Full Version : Section Hike Advice Needed

El Gallo
02-11-2016, 21:44
I am a newbe to backpacking but not camping. I have done many long distance motorcycle trips so I have some idea of the camping part of a trip. My base weight is around 13 lbs with no food, clothes or water. I have done a few overnighters. Thinking about doing a section hike from Elk City to Damascus in mid-May. I am thinking my total wgt will be around 25 lbs. Plan to resupply in Hampton (Browns Grocery?) Any tips on shelters, weather prep and suggested distance per day would be very helpful. I plan on staying at shelters if possible but dont mind camping if I need to.

02-11-2016, 22:19
You mean Elk Park? That's a reasonably easy section as far as sections go. It's a fair climb up out of US19E but then rolls along nicely. Be sure to go over to Jones falls along the way to Mountaineer shelter which is nice. Stay at Kincora Hostel and Bob will drive you into town to go shopping at Browns. Pond Flats is a serious PUD (pointless up and down) and then the climb up to Vandeventer shelter will get your attention but it has a fabulous view from the rocks behind it (and one of the only views on that stretch of trail, the other being at the top of the climb up out of US19E). From Vanderventer its smooth sailing in to Damascus.

02-12-2016, 09:55
I hiked this section close to your timeframe - it was one of my favorite section hikes of the entire trail. I resupplied at Bremer Castle in Hampton (my hike actually started north of Hot Springs).

Keep in mind that the trail will see plenty of thruhikers during this time so don't plan on shelters every night. On the (easy) stretch from Hampton to Damascus, twice I cooked a late afternoon dinner at shelters, then hiked a few more miles and set up my tent.

02-12-2016, 11:51
Oh yea, if your thinking of hiking to Damascus for Trail Days which is the 2nd weekend of the month, lots of others will be doing that same thing. Forget about staying at Kincora then too, it will be full up for the week before and week after trail days.

"Hard Core", a week of trail work is based out of Kincora the week after Trail Days, but otherwise, the trail south of Damascus will be mostly empty after Trail Days week.

02-12-2016, 17:59
If you're planning on resupplying in Hampton then have Sutton Brown,owner of Browns Grocery shuttle you to the trail. He also owns the town's Hostel ,Braemar's Castle .

El Gallo
02-12-2016, 21:23
Thanks for the advice. Seems like I made a good choice for a section hike. Mid-May appeared weather wise to be not too cold and not too hot but just right. I get the feeling Trail Days is like Spring Break in Ft. Lauderdale. I don't mind people but not a big fan of crowds. Maybe I will start the week after Trail Days. A nice cigar at the end of the day is more my style these days.

02-12-2016, 23:36
Maybe I will start the week after Trail Days. A nice cigar at the end of the day is more my style these days.

That would be prudent. There will be some stragglers on that section, but it won't be nearly as crazy as the week before and the week following Trail Days.