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marquiri
10-27-2017, 09:23
Good morning all,

I live in Florida, and my wife and I are looking for a 20-30 mile loop that we could do during Thanksgiving week. I had been thinking either Standing Indian Mountain or Grayson/Mt. Rogers. I know it will get cold, and we would be prepared for that. I'm wondering if anyone has any feedback on any other loops of interest that would be somewhere between Georgia and the Grayson area. I appreciate any feedback that you all can share. Thank you.

Gambit McCrae
10-27-2017, 09:28
Hard to beat the Grayson area. Its always my first suggestion to folks looking for a A+ scenery and memories. Creating a loop in the smokies or Pisgah is always a good option as well...

Slo-go'en
10-27-2017, 10:10
Loop hikes are difficult to find on the AT, since it is a linear, point to point trail. Which is why section hikers are always looking for shuttle drivers to get back to their car. You have identified the two practical loops in the south which have the potentual for hiking from and back to the car, Standing Indian and Grayson Highlands.

Of the two, the Highlands is easier to make a loop out of, since there are many trails which cross the area and it's relatively easy hiking. While it's possible to make a loop out of the Standing Indian campground (we're assuming you want to hike from and then back to your car), it is a significantly more strenuous hike since the campground is down the bowl formed by Standing Indian and Mt Albert.

Of course, coming from Florida, Virginia is a much longer drive then southern NC.

marquiri
10-27-2017, 10:22
Actually, from my front door Grayson Highlands State Park is 10 hours 41 minutes and Standing Indian Campground is 10 hours 16 minutes, so not too much of a difference there. I've done an elevation profile of the Standing Indian loop that I'm looking at, and it looks like the better option is to do the loop clockwise, as you avoid the half mile or so stretch up to the summit of Mt. Albert that's about 30% grade. It's a bit more gradual coming from the other direction.

martinb
10-27-2017, 10:32
Check out the Joyce Kilmer - Slickrock wilderness area, too. Get this map: http://www.nationalforestmapstore.com/product-p/nc-5.htm

There are an abundance of trails you can join together for a week-long loop. Also, I know you mentioned you are prepared for cold. Keep in mind that Grayson is exposed and while the "low" might be 30, the wind chill might be 12.

saltysack
10-27-2017, 12:01
Both great choices....Iíd get a shuttle from Damascus to fox creek and do AT south about 40 miles back to the car. Iíve done the SI loop several times due to simple logistics for an easy overnighter, itís good but it doesnít compare to the scenery of the highlands imo. I was supposed to do Grayson section again a few weeks back with the wife but something came up. Iíll be back this winter.


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marquiri
10-27-2017, 13:09
Thanks Salty. How busy would you anticipate it being over Thanksgiving week? Think a bag rated to 20 degrees would do the job?

saltysack
10-27-2017, 14:01
Thanks Salty. How busy would you anticipate it being over Thanksgiving week? Think a bag rated to 20 degrees would do the job?

With a good pad and base layer Iíd assume youíd be fine.


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marquiri
10-27-2017, 14:13
Right now I have the neoair XLite. I suspect that would probably be cutting it close as far as comfortable nights go.

HooKooDooKu
10-27-2017, 14:22
Since you are going at the start of winter, I think the XLite will be good enough. I've noticed over the years how different the temperature of the ground seems to be at the start and end of winter even when air temperatures are similar.

saltysack
10-27-2017, 15:57
Right now I have the neoair XLite. I suspect that would probably be cutting it close as far as comfortable nights go.

Simply add a sheet of reflectix


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daddytwosticks
10-27-2017, 16:10
Do the SI loop. Just remember, days are very short that time of year. :)

johnspenn
10-27-2017, 16:20
If you're up for a challenge the Georgia Loop is 50ish miles of fun hiking. There's some good info on it on this site under "Other Trails" and also at the BMT website.

u.w.
10-28-2017, 06:11
Also, this time of year, depending on where you're at, there are hunters in the woods. So having/wearing some blaze orange might not be a bad idea.

u.w.

blw2
10-28-2017, 06:28
How long is this standing indian loop you're looking at? I'm also from Fl & considering loops to make next spring or summer. I'm looking for something that'll take 3-5 nights to allow for travel time back and forth

saltysack
10-28-2017, 08:48
How long is this standing indian loop you're looking at? I'm also from Fl & considering loops to make next spring or summer. I'm looking for something that'll take 3-5 nights to allow for travel time back and forth

22-24 miles


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blw2
10-28-2017, 09:20
ok, I'm intrigued...... I see where the AT passes fairly close to the North of that CG, and that hiking Southbound will hook back around sorta near Standing Indian CG to the South, I assume that's roughly what you mean.....but where's the connecting trail? I'm looking just on google at the moment not at a proper trial map....

I keep coming back around to the idea of just starting at amicalola and going North to Neels or?...and catching a shuttle back, but do like the idea of a loop.... so I'm always open to options for my future hike..... Thanks, I'll be following your discussion

Slo-go'en
10-28-2017, 11:18
ok, I'm intrigued...... I see where the AT passes fairly close to the North of that CG, and that hiking Southbound will hook back around sorta near Standing Indian CG to the South, I assume that's roughly what you mean.....but where's the connecting trail? I'm looking just on google at the moment not at a proper trial map....

There is a trail at Deep Gap called the Kimsey creek trail which goes down to the campground. On the north end, the AT crosses the road at the start of the access road to the campground.

saltysack
10-28-2017, 11:48
Google standing indian loop....tons of info


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Uncle Joe
10-28-2017, 13:54
Actually, from my front door Grayson Highlands State Park is 10 hours 41 minutes and Standing Indian Campground is 10 hours 16 minutes, so not too much of a difference there. I've done an elevation profile of the Standing Indian loop that I'm looking at, and it looks like the better option is to do the loop clockwise, as you avoid the half mile or so stretch up to the summit of Mt. Albert that's about 30% grade. It's a bit more gradual coming from the other direction.

That's odd. Grayson Highlands is a considerable distance north of SI but maybe the interstate drive makes up some of that time but that would be surprising. SI is about 2hrs from me while Grayson Highlands is more like 6.

I've done a number of hikes around SI. There are several trails that come off the AT and go down to or towards the campground. I have some maps I've used as well. If you have any questions feel free to hit me up in msg. It's one of my favorite areas to hike.