View Full Version : Dick's creek to NOC how many days?

04-14-2017, 13:27
This will be my 3rd section, also how hard is it compared to getting there?
I missed last year completely, but I'm going again. Late April/early May I hope
I'm not in as good a shape as I was the first time I went, but if I don't go now, I may never.


04-14-2017, 13:34
I'm planning on doing Deep Gap to the NOC the week before Memorial Day weekend. I'm 58 and in average shape. Will be allowing 5 full days for this 50 + mile section. I would guess seven days to do your section. Enjoy! ��

04-14-2017, 13:45
Thanks, I have 7 days of food. Its more than I have ever carried, The pack is Heavy

04-14-2017, 13:49
I did that section a couple of summers ago.

Here's my daily mileage for comparison:
Day one: Dicks Creek Gap to Bly Gap (started mid afternoon)
Day two: BG to Carter Gap Shelter
Day three: CGS to Wallace Gap/Standing Indian Campground. Left the trail at Wallace Gap and made the 1-2 mile road walk down to the campground. Walked back up the next morning. The shower was worth it!
Day four: SIC/Wallace Gap to Wayah Shelter
Day five: WS to NOC

Overall I'd agree with others who've noted in other threads that the climbs & descents in NC are gentler than GA, but they're still pretty intense. I'll never forget Albert Mountain, for example.

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04-14-2017, 15:28
How did your other sections go for time? I think if I were going for 5 days, I'd get to Muskrat Creek shelter that first day, or at least Sassafras Gap. Reason being to churn as much of the initial intense climbing in Ga and beg of NC out of the way at first, giving you the ability to get some real mileage in the next 2 days over the easiest terrain of that section. Something like...
Day 1 - DCG to MC shelter 11.8m
Day 2 - to Betty Creek Gap 16.2m
Day 3 - to Siler Bald trail (go opposite direction for decent hanging, gas up at shelter) 15.9m
Day 4 - to Cold Spring shelter (leaving time for enjoying Siler Bald and Wayah Bald) 12.1m
Day 5 - to NOC 11.5m
The larger mileage days here aren't terrible. Easy hiking from MC shelter to Winding Stair Gap. (except for small hump at Wallace Gap)

Otherwise, over 6 days is plenty with the beg and end days being half days of hiking, averaging 13.5m per full day.

04-14-2017, 16:11
5-6 days easily.

Also, don't forget that you can resupply in Franklin if you wanted to remove 2.5 days of food. Easy hitch down into town and if you stay the night in town there is a free shuttle back to the trail. Otherwise hitching back isn't that hard depending on where you are.

map man
04-14-2017, 19:01
Whatever daily mileage you were comfortable with from Springer to Dicks Creek Gap should serve you well through the NOC -- the difficulty level will not be dramatically different. Since you say you will not be in as good shape as your first AT hike lean toward dialing down the daily mileage slightly rather than dialing up.

Dan Roper
04-15-2017, 00:45
Weather and time of day (beginning, middle, end) makes a big difference in how the miles strike us - what's agonizing at 4 p.m. in July at 90 is a breeze at 10 a.m. in October at 50.

That said, Approach Trail to Neels Gap in 2007-08 was harder than anything I did after that up through Damascus last year. The most memorably tough climb after that first section was Jacob's Ladder, just past Stekoah Gap. There have been many other tough miles, but usually because of heat or exhaustion rather than toughness of the terrain. Heck, they've even re-routed the climb up Roan Mountain from Hughes Gap, turning what was a fearsome grade into a run-of-the-mill switchbacked climbed.

As for Albert Mountain, it's short (1/3rd mile) and novel enough to be more fun than exhausting.

My third section was Dick's Creek Gap to Rock Gap in July 2009. The weather was fairly moderate for July, partly because the elevation is considerably higher. The climbs up As Bald and Courthouse Knob were pretty stout that first day (we stayed at Muskrat Creek Shelter), but Standing Indian is so well-graded that it seemed pretty easy on a coolish, cloudy summer day. And Brier Knob (it should be "Knobs") in the Great Smokies kicked my butt, but it's depicted as merely a pinprick on my elevation guide - supposedly much easier than Rocky Top and other stouter climbs.

And there's the opposite end of things: for years, I looked at elevation profiles from Hump Mountain all the way to Damascus and thought, "Man, that's going to be some easy hiking!" Well, the elevation profiles lied...partly because of heat, humidity, epidemic deadfalls climbing from Watauga Dam, etc. There really aren't any easy miles in summertime, at least at my age and weight.

Have fun challenging yourself, making memories, and laughing about remembered hard climbs, bugs, rain, misfortunes, etc.