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View Full Version : Anyone have any input on Iron Mtn Gap sobo to hot springs mid November.....



saltysack
10-24-2017, 16:26
Looking to go sobo from iron mtn gap to Hot Springs in few weeks. As usual my time off is limited so will plan on lil over 4 Days to do the 88 miles. Iíll likely start afternoon/evening on a Wednesday after shuttling from hot springs. Day one Iíd like to do the 10 miles to Beauty spot and camp first night. Any tent/ stealth spots or shelters worth hitting if miles work out? Shuttler recs other than Bluff Mtn outfitters? Water? Difficulty? Etc????


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JC13
10-24-2017, 16:32
I really like the guys at Bluff Mountain but for another price, call Jeff at Laughing Heart, he has some buddies that shuttle. I got a shuttle from John this summer and he cut a really good deal.

Mr. Bumpy
10-24-2017, 18:24
Looking to go sobo from iron mtn gap to Hot Springs in few weeks. As usual my time off is limited so will plan on lil over 4 Days to do the 88 miles. I’ll likely start afternoon/evening on a Wednesday after shuttling from hot springs. Day one I’d like to do the 10 miles to Beauty spot and camp first night. Any tent/ stealth spots or shelters worth hitting if miles work out? Shuttler recs other than Bluff Mtn outfitters? Water? Difficulty? Etc????


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Heading south, just as you come off Unaka Mountain there is Beauty Spot Gap which is the dirt road that goes up to beauty spot. Cross the road to the water source and camping area. Water is year round and reliable. But, yes this is next to the road, It IS is one of the few places that I would consider camping at so close to a road, and in fact I did just that on a week night this past August. I don't think I'd do that on a weekend. Beauty Spot Gap is a long mile short of the bald. If you felt uncomfortable there you can find several places between the gap and the bald to tent - more if you are hanging. Just on the other side of Beauty Spot there is a place to camp right at the tree line, but once you start going down the mountain you would be hard pressed to find anything for a long time. Maybe at the power lines.

Mr. Bumpy
10-24-2017, 18:27
An aside - that is a very difficult section for four days especially during this time of year with the restricted daylight. Personally, I couldn't do it. You can cut some miles after Rich Mountain by going down the side trail (named something I can't remember). Another option for cutting miles if you had to is that when you hit Erwin/Uncle Johnny's you can get someone to shuttle you up to Sam's Gap.

Dan Roper
10-24-2017, 18:53
Short daylight hours really do impact mileage considerably this time of year. And if it's cloudy, more so.

Abundant leaf fall can make footing considerably more difficult - sometimes treacherous - on steep grades. If it's wet, multiply that x3.

Cold and snow are possible, cold and wet are more possible, lovely and sunny are possible.

Watch out for the Firescald Balds heading south, between the Interstate and Allen Gap. Tough, technical walking through rock ledges makes for slow going. There is a blue-blazed side route that avoids this tough stretch.

Durunner
10-24-2017, 19:38
Just finished NB from Sam's Gap to 19E. Took me 5 full days to do 72 miles. Losing more and more daylight is tough. Unkana Mountain will be a really early butt kicker going that direction.

Gambit McCrae
10-24-2017, 20:19
Salty i have heard in past that buety spot can be a locals party spot. Just a heads up.

Your mileage per day will walk the same in the dark as it does in the day :) lol
have a great trip

Slo-go'en
10-24-2017, 20:26
You can camp on top of Beauty Spot, but it also has a parking lot on top and that can be a problem, especially on a weekend. There have been incidents up there.

This section is really bumpy with some long ups and downs. 88 miles in 4 days is going to be a challenge given the limited hours of daylight. You will end up doing a lot of it by headlamp. It will be really tough if you get any inclement weather. Yea, Firescald Balds is a trip even on a good day.

saltysack
10-24-2017, 21:01
An aside - that is a very difficult section for four days especially during this time of year with the restricted daylight. Personally, I couldn't do it. You can cut some miles after Rich Mountain by going down the side trail (named something I can't remember). Another option for cutting miles if you had to is that when you hit Erwin/Uncle Johnny's you can get someone to shuttle you up to Sam's Gap.
MB...thx for the info. Iíll shoot for 10 miles day 1, then 19-20 mpd but if running short Iíll bail. I donít mind lil night walking as I seem to do it on every trip....I never learn to slow down but would rather walk than get to camp and sit around.


Short daylight hours really do impact mileage considerably this time of year. And if it's cloudy, more so.

Abundant leaf fall can make footing considerably more difficult - sometimes treacherous - on steep grades. If it's wet, multiply that x3.

Cold and snow are possible, cold and wet are more possible, lovely and sunny are possible.

Watch out for the Firescald Balds heading south, between the Interstate and Allen Gap. Tough, technical walking through rock ledges makes for slow going. There is a blue-blazed side route that avoids this tough stretch.
Dan...I prefer the cooler weather but I realize it can definitely slow the pace...donít mind snow but ice is an arse kicker! Canít remember a trip that didnít involve some night hiking....


Just finished NB from Sam's Gap to 19E. Took me 5 full days to do 72 miles. Losing more and more daylight is tough. Unkana Mountain will be a really early butt kicker going that direction.
Good thing is I would be fresh on day one. I did a short 2 day trip from iron mtn gap to 19e in early February few years back...slow going....solid ice and had no traction!

Salty i have heard in past that burty spot can be a locals party spot. Just a heads up.
Thx..I heard was a party spot on weekend but I would be there on a wed night so wouldnít think would be bad.
Your mileage per day will walk the same in the dark as it does in the day :) lol
have a great trip
[emoji23]true...I carry a good headlamp for a reason.


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