View Full Version : Exit 451 to Hot Springs, NC

07-06-2016, 08:40
I'm hiking this section on Labor Day weekend and would appreciate any info on the shelters along that stretch. Also is there water at each shelter?

07-06-2016, 13:47
wait, wait, wait... there can't be two TNHikers. I think you guys need to spar.

07-06-2016, 16:14
Did Standing Bear to HS in mid May this year. I stayed at two shelters: Groundhog Creek and Walnut Mtn. They were not what I was used to, both in rough shape. Walnut Mtn was made of logs and had little if no chinking...and the wind was blowing bigtime. I imagine with the drought and all, water may be an issue. It was flowing well for me back in May. :)

map man
07-06-2016, 18:53
I have no memory of Groundhog Creek Shelter.

I stayed at Roaring Fork Shelter in 2015, which is close to halfway between your start and end point. Roaring Fork is pretty new, in good shape and has bear hoists, which is convenient. There is not water right at the shelter. If you walk a couple tenths of a mile NOBO on the AT you will cross a stream, and that is your closest water source. It's a decent sized stream so I am guessing it's fairly reliable.

Walnut Mountain Shelter had water down a blue blaze trail and my memory of that blue blaze is that it was a couple tenths of a mile walk from shelter to water. The shelter is pretty old but I didn't take a close look at it to see if it might be comfortable or not.

Deer Park Mountain Shelter seemed ok to me. At the point on the AT where a NOBO heads right onto the path to the shelter, if you go left instead that is the path to water -- or so the sign said. I didn't get water there so I don't know haw far down that path you need to go to the water source or how reliable it is.

07-07-2016, 07:22
It didn't seem that far from WMS to the water source. It was a small stream. WMS's floor has a bad case of swayback...not being very level. The water source at Deer Park Mountain Shelter was maybe 2 tenths of a mile down hill as Map Man describes. It is a good sized, lazy flowing stream. Didn't take the time to look at DPMS...Hot Springs was calling my name. :)

10-27-2016, 16:16
I stayed at Walnut Mountain shelter one night in late November 2014. The mice there bordering on "dangerous".

10-28-2016, 08:30
Did NFG to Max Patch 3 weeks ago, stopping short of Hot Springs due to reports of little to no water. Painter's Branch 3 miles north of I-40 had a very small puddle someone had dug out, could be dry now. Groundhog Creek Shelter is in a beautiful spot with plenty of nice camping/hanging but the shelter itself is yucky. The water source there again was a puddle someone had dug out. I don't recall much if any water from there to the stream just at the bottom of Max Patch, which was flowing well. I asked some SOBOs that day about water between Max Patch and Hot Springs, which I had already heard was iffy, and none of them could confirm decent water. I wasn't ready to carry the water I needed to dry camp and knew I couldn't knock out the whole 18 miles in one day, so I stopped at Max Patch.

I would call Bluff Mtn Outfitter in Hot Springs and ask what they've heard in the past week or two. The area is in an extreme drought, wells drying up, etc., said my shuttler. Just make sure you have the capacity to carry plenty, and have a great hike! Snowbird and Max Patch were beautiful!

My trip video: