View Full Version : 5 day in Shenandoah, VA -- water sources?

tiny turtle
08-22-2007, 21:17
Hey there folks, I'm heading out for my first solo trip (usually I drag the boyfriend) to Shenandoah National Park. I plan to stick to the southern area, working my way up the side trails and the AT when I need to, and then heading back down via the AT. I've been to the park a few times but only for 2 night stays. My question is this: does anyone have experience or have any idea as to how easily I will be able to locate water sources, especially when I'm up in the mountains on the side trails? Looking at the map they supply online I see a couple of marked streams, but springs and whatnot are not indicated.

I'm probably just worrying needlessly, but.. just a thought!

08-23-2007, 04:06
I am not sure which map you are looking at - hopefully it is the PATC map for the South District. Most reliable source of water will be the streams you see on the map or the developed campgrounds such as Loft Mtn. and Dundo. There are dry sections to the AT - notably Jarman Gap to Blackrock and the spring at Blackrock is questionable. It sounds like you will be down on the side trails mostly - if so you will probably be OK in Big Run area and Moorman's River area for water. If the spring at Blackrock Hut is dry you may be able to find water by going further north on the AT to Black Rock Summit parking area - from the parking area go across Skyline Drive and go north slightly to a fire road - follow the fire road 50 yards or so bearing left at fork in fire road to a spring/pump house area - with a bit of luck there will be some water there.

08-23-2007, 20:44
The water in the south section was marginal when I went through about the 13th and 14th of this month. Every shelter spring was running but Blackrock was a trickle. Calf Mtn was better but we saw a decline in flow overnight, Pinefields was slow but adequate, High top at the shelter was good but the box spring on the trail was full, slightly scuzzy and not overflowing.

The temps were in the 90's and most folks were finding 2 to 3 liters across the dry sections a necessity for adequate hydration.

I think there have been some decent rains there since then but be prepared for low flow. Have a great trip.

08-24-2007, 20:39
another for sure water hole is the ranger station a few miles north of loft mountain - it has a spigot straight up the road after you turn in to it. The AT crosses the skyline drive right at the entrance road to the station.

08-24-2007, 22:56
I am in agreement with Hog, the map by PATC has reliable water sources marked on it. There is a whole book/map packet sold together, the book describes the side trails ( blue blazes) and water sources in it. I can't speak about what water sources I know of unless you specify where you are going.
THe rangers ( if you can find them) have some maps free, and sell some PATC maps when you enter the park during business hours.

08-24-2007, 23:16
Dundo Group Campground should be on your map in the southern third of the park…water taps there saved me in September 01 after spending a day and a half passing dry springs on the AT.

tiny turtle
08-25-2007, 15:34
Ahhh thanks for the suggestions. I'll definitely have to jot those down so I don't forget! I wasn't expecting such specific answers -- I really appreciate the advice.

I plan to park at Wildcat Ridge and hike the Rip Rap trail because I LOVE that one. From there I plan to head north and hit up all the side trails on the West side as far north as I can make it, hopefully around Two Mile Run Overlook, and then head South on the AT itself for the last day and a half.

I have all my stuff packed for the most part, just to make sure everything fits. (It does! And it's surprisingly light! Yay!) I'm leaving at the crack of dawn on Monday. ::crosses fingers::

08-25-2007, 16:31
I'll be making just about the same run 2 weeks after you......So leave me some gifts along the trail..lol..thnx..

tiny turtle
08-25-2007, 23:24
Oh wow! That's really cool. I'll be sure to leave you a million dollars somewhere. =P

tiny turtle
08-25-2007, 23:25
What route are you taking, by the way? I'm trying to figure out what to do when I get furthur north.. I might just have a couple of plans and then wing it.

08-26-2007, 22:13

When I was through the middle of the month there was a fire burning somewhere down in the Riprap area. The Wildcat and Riprap trails were closed at the time for safety reasons and for the firefighters to have unrestricted access. The rangers can probably tell you if it is a place you will want to hike through or just avoid if it is too stinky and messed up.

08-27-2007, 07:05
per PATC news item the fire was only 5 acres and the Riprap trail and trailhead are now open : http://potomacappalachian.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=370&Itemid=2

08-27-2007, 08:05
We've been getting some nice rains in the SNP region the past few days--really strong in one place and barely measureable just five miles away. But I think everyone's received some decent rain at one time or another.

Still, we are running a precip deficit for the year so most of those "iffy" water sources are probably still dry. The good news, however, is that you will likely find enough water in the more reliable locations--and the developed sources--to suffice.

08-27-2007, 08:31
What route are you taking, by the way? I'm trying to figure out what to do when I get furthur north.. I might just have a couple of plans and then wing it.

I gonna park @ RipRap & do the loop via WildCat....From there, head north twds Loft Mtn via Doyles Rvr....spend a night or 2 @ the Loft Mtn Camp, then head back to the RipRap parking area...
You needn't leave a million on the trail....I'll be quite content w/a 100k..:D

08-28-2007, 03:19
Hello Tiny Turtle,

I will be hiking the AT in Shenandoah next month with my trusty canine companion. Please let me know how you made out with finding water sources. Thanks!

08-28-2007, 03:21
River Warrior,

Don't know when you will be hiking in Shenandoah, but I will be there with my sweet pooch around the middle of September. If you go before I do and have any tips for me, please let me know, i.e., water sources, trail conditions,.... Thanks!