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ReachELS
01-02-2019, 19:16
New member - 1st post.

My wife and I are planning to do the 4-day / 3-night inn-to-inn hike in the SNP in May. Swift Gap to Lewis Mtn to Big Meadows to Skyland to Thornton's Gap. Looking forward to the hike.

My question is parking at Thorntonís Gap. We want to drop off a shuttle car before driving back to Swift Gap to start our hike.

There appear to be two parking lots at Thorntonís Gap - one is accessible from Skyline Drive; the other from VA 211.

With the government shutdown, I cannot find anyone at a ranger station to ask my question: Can I leave a car for 4 nights at the lot off VA 211? Hoping someone here knows?

map man
01-02-2019, 19:34
Here is a link to the section covering Thornton Gap at a very informative web site dealing with AT parking:

http://rohland.homedns.org:8008/at/state/state_detail/AT_state_detail.aspx?stateID=11%20&sectionID=135

The description for Thornton Gap is lengthy and detailed and there is a link to a map to help you visualize what is being said in the text.

And :welcome to Whiteblaze.

chknfngrs
01-03-2019, 10:19
You can definitely leave a car in the lot accessible via 211.

Gambit McCrae
01-03-2019, 11:31
Welcome! :welcome

Thornton Gap Satellite view (https://www.google.com/maps/place/Thornton+Gap+Entrance+Station/@38.6605476,-78.3219645,496m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x8d26610f40fc6ccd!8m2 !3d38.6624106!4d-78.3208103)

ReachELS
01-03-2019, 13:54
You can definitely leave a car in the lot accessible via 211.

Can I assume that I can leave for 4 nights?

I am hoping to avoid paying a park entrance fee simply to park the shuttle car. Point-to-point hikes in the SNP can be challenging when the NPS only allows one car in on our senior pass.

Gambit McCrae
01-03-2019, 14:01
Can I assume that I can leave for 4 nights?

I am hoping to avoid paying a park entrance fee simply to park the shuttle car. Point-to-point hikes in the SNP can be challenging when the NPS only allows one car in on our senior pass.

Yes. Both of my trips to SNP I explained to the entrance ranger I was hiking and no fee was required by me. My information is from 2015 so current info may vary

chknfngrs
01-03-2019, 14:56
Use prudence and good judgment, don’t leave anything visible in the car to tempt a thief in an easy pickings environment and you should be ok.

Gambit McCrae
01-03-2019, 15:35
Use prudence and good judgment, don’t leave anything visible in the car to tempt a thief in an easy pickings environment and you should be ok.

As well I will add, that parking inside of the ark boundaries does give more protection to your stuff seeing as how motorists have to pay to enter the park. At lease it did for me while parking at bootens gap for a grand total of 13 nights

ReachELS
01-03-2019, 16:27
As well I will add, that parking inside of the ark boundaries does give more protection to your stuff seeing as how motorists have to pay to enter the park. At lease it did for me while parking at bootens gap for a grand total of 13 nights

Good advice. I will ask the ranger if I can drop off a shuttle car.

If "yes", I will use the upper lot. If "no", I will use the lower lot. I am leaving a 1998 Subaru...might be a blessing to have it stolen!

Thanks everyone for your feedback. While only a "slack-packer", I am enjoying browsing the forums.

Gambit McCrae
01-03-2019, 16:40
How undermining the word "Just" can be.... (https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/125745-How-underminding-the-word-quot-Just-quot-can-be?highlight=)

Don't sell yourself short, slack packing is hard word! Lots of driving, hard to stay in good hikin shape, gotta go back to work on Monday... I saw your "only a slack packer" and it made me think of this thread. Enjoy :)

ReachELS
01-03-2019, 19:39
How undermining the word "Just" can be.... (https://whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php/125745-How-underminding-the-word-quot-Just-quot-can-be?highlight=)

Don't sell yourself short, slack packing is hard word! Lots of driving, hard to stay in good hikin shape, gotta go back to work on Monday... I saw your "only a slack packer" and it made me think of this thread. Enjoy :)

An interesting perspective. To be honest, we are really (just :)) "day hikers" here in the US but "slack-packers" overseas where inn-to-inn hikes are very common (especially in the UK). We did the West Highland Way in May and was in a cozy bar every afternoon and a comfy B&B every evening. It was heaven on earth (especially if you like scotch).

That said, I have great respect for the thru-hikers...whether they make it or not. Seeing the thru-hikers on our day hikes here in the valley makes one regret not trying themselves when one could.