View Full Version : Mountaineer Shelter, TN (near 19E Mountain Harbor Hostel)

12-31-2016, 17:48
Whats the area around Mountaineer Shelter like (near 19E/mountain harbor hostel)? I'm thinking of hitting that section next week when it's around freezing, possible snow. I heard a tree was across mountaineer, its okay because I have a hammock and stuff, but hows the area, and the section between Moreland gap and 19E? Any decent views? Is the trail terrible through there when its cold and possibly snowing? Ive done most of NC and TN but I'm missing the 35 or so miles between 19E and Watauga Lake.

map man
12-31-2016, 18:11
I can't speak to current conditions or winter hiking on that part of the trail, but you ask about any "decent views" between Moreland Gap and US19E: Jones Falls is a short blue-blaze off the trail (my memory is that it is no more than a tenth of a mile) and that was my scenic highlight for that section, so you won't want to miss that. For a northbounder, Jones Falls is after you cross Campbell Hollow Road, but before you get to Mountaineer Falls Shelter.

01-01-2017, 11:02
It dropped into the 20's with 4-6" of new snow the night I camped at Mountaineer, heading south the next morning to 19E. It is an easy hike, with little elevation change but not much in the way of views that I recall. Unless you were post-holing I don't think you would have a problem covering this section in light snow.

Heading south, there were two less obvious turns off the "beaten path" 1-2 miles north of 19E. A SOBO thru-hiker ahead of me missed the left turn off of a woods road into a field. Once in the field, we both missed a right turn that eventually takes you back into the woods and over a ridge to 19E (the hostel will be to the right about a quarter mile once you hit the road).

01-01-2017, 14:02
There's a bit of a steep climb out of 19E up to the ridge, but after that it mellows out and is basically an easy walk through the woods with modest ups and downs to Denise cove Rd and the Kincora hostel. The only view is from the top of the climb out of 19E and then Jones Falls is the only notable attraction in that section which is a short blue blaze off the AT.

If you continue on from Denise cove road to Watauga lake, that is a real pain in the butt. The stream crossing down at Laurel falls could be tricky if it's icy (and it well could be). You could end up in the drink if your not real, real careful. There is short section which has the river on one side of an narrow path and a rock wall on the other side. Then there is a big climb over Pond Flats.