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Former Admin
09-29-2002, 22:43
Info, questions, comments, experiences (good or bad) regarding - Whitley Gap Shelter

Past/Present hikers - what can future hikers expect here? Have any good stories or memories from here?

Future hikers - any questions?

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Hammock Hanger
09-30-2002, 08:30
I have hiked the GA section of trail numerous times over the years and never went the 1.2 miles to the shelter. I hear it has a nice view but I don't hike 2.4 round trip off the trail for a shelter. I would rather do the AT miles and find some trees. ***** of a climb up there when you are tired and full after Neels Gap. Hammock Hanger

Singletrack
10-11-2002, 17:36
Its a long way down to this Shelter (1.2 Mi.) Downhill all the way. Uphill back up. Alot of groups and Boyscout troops use this shelter, but will probably be empty during the Spring hiking season. Water source is good, with usually a good flow through a PVC pipe, another good ways from the shelter. Shelter is similar to Tray Mt. Bears frequent this shelter, so bring your camera, you might have one come into the shelter, like a couple did a few years ago. This place is pretty, and quiet.

bretb
01-18-2003, 11:29
Last year we were there in January. There was a large pile of Bear scat just outside of the shelter itself. We didn't see any bears while we were there however. The water source is a bit of a way from the shelter so if you are tired and arrive late as we did be prepared to hike a bit more to the water.

Bret

SGT Rock
01-18-2003, 11:55
In the summer of 2001 I didn't see a single bear in two weeks. A couple of guys on the trail with me had a tent failure, so they decided to do the 1.2 miles there, then back again the next day. I ran into them at Walasi-Yi and they said they saw a bear and got a picture. It was the only confirmed bear sighting of that trip.

Maybe there is a local bear.:eek:

Happy
01-21-2003, 13:56
I went to the Whitley Gap shelter on a dayhike in December 02,
and was reading the register. On December 12th, a couple from Florida had a bear come to the shelter 3 times during the night trying to get their foodbag.

I heard that in December 01, that numerous bear dens where confirmed in the valley between Hogpen Gap and Cowrock mountain so that is probably why you have so many bear visits at this shelter.

Youngblood
06-22-2003, 11:10
http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=352&papass=&sort=1

FatMan
01-31-2004, 20:02
Was at the shelter today and someone left trash everywhere.:mad: I took what I could in my day pack and placed the rest in the fire ring. If anyone is nearby in the next few days you might want to help and carry some of it out.

This happened this week. I was there last Saturday and it was very clean.

Happy
02-01-2004, 00:37
FatMan, you are right, they do a great job of keeping that location clean...to Hell with the campers who dare to do this to an AT location. I guess it is too far off the trail to monitor frequently. One great thing is it is probably the best location in GA to spot a bear!!!

MtnTopThinker
01-04-2006, 23:42
I took my yearly New Years hike this year from Unicoi Gap to Neels Gap (I thank Curt "Corsican" for the shuttle). It was a beautiful hike, but after walking the fourteen miles to Hogpen gap and with both foul weather and darkness closing in, I decided to hike down to the shelter for the night rather than trying to sleep out in the storm.

The shelter is in good shape (if you discount the graffitti). There is a new moldering privy. The water source is excellent and its not really too far away from the shelter. No bears. No mice. No other people. It would have been a quiet night except for the frontal system that roared through.

The hike out the next morning though quickly burned up the breakfast I had eaten!

general
01-30-2006, 11:26
the crest of wildcat mountain, before you get to the shelter on the shelter trail, is one of the most beautiful spots in GA. large rock and nice view. it is close to the road and can be crowded in the summer on weekends. i have heard of a small bear hanging out in the shelter on several occasions. from what i understand however, it scats pretty quickly when confronted. nice camping near the shelter as well, but not as nice as the top of wildcat.

Hikes in Rain
01-30-2006, 13:17
Back in August 2000, when I spent the night there, the shelter register mentioned a bear, not at all afraid of humans. Great, I thought, just saw my first bear in Georgia the day before, just hiked in from Woods Hole in a drought so severe the only water source running was at Walasi-Yi so I added a couple of gallons to my load there (oof!), and still it's raining 24-7 so I'm soaked to the skin?? Oh, and the spring here is flowing nicely, so I didn't need all that water after all. Now a bear? And I'm alone in the shelter, with heavy fog rolling in.

A memorable night. Let's just say advil and brandy can occasionally be a good combination.

Phreak
01-30-2006, 16:27
Spent last night at the shelter. There were 3 guys camping at the top of the mountain but we had the shelter to ourselves. Very cozy and comfy camp site.

Bear cables are little too close to the shelter for my liking but we had no issues with any bears in the night.

Doughnut
10-14-2007, 07:13
10/12/07 My son and I hiked in to spend the night,
there are EXCELLANT tent sites about 75 yards in front of the shelter, the spring was DRY, and we saw no bears or mice. Actually the shelter is very clean and someone left about a half gallon of water (trail angle).
It was cold and windy, and beautiful fall weather.

Overall a great short hike, and a wonderful introduction to hiking for my son!!

El Toro '94
06-10-2009, 07:10
I remember doing my first 0 day here in '94. Came out of Walasa Yi in a light drizzle, then the wind picked up and it started to rain. Tent blew out when I tried to camp, so I slogged it down to the shelter and what is for me, the worst memory I have of my thru-hike. Stayed a full day trying to dry out with temps in the forties and a north wind howling. Wearing mostly cotton like a [email protected]#$. Then had to walk back up that hill. Wet, cold, fat and out of shape, it was miserable. The locals can have this place, I have no intention of revisiting, and I would advise thruhikers to avoid it, unless they are real masochists. Nothing really wrong with the shelter itself, just the pointless 2.5 mile grind to get there and back to the Trail. Sure seemed a helluva lot farther than 1.2 miles. Should have just sucked it up and gone on to Low gap, it wasn't that much farther. Got to say that was the only 3 days that stood out as a negative in 7 months of hiking. That and the fact my boot soles started delaminating about the time I crossed the GA state line.

thelowend
07-13-2010, 09:16
SPent the night there two nights ago. Had a lone bat visitor once it was dark but otherwise, I was alone. Shelter is in great shape and honestly, I didn't mind the extra 2.4 because I only hiked from the Bryce Reese memorial so I was only going about 15 miles total anyways. Everything was in good shape, except the privy was surrounded with what looked like unused handiwipes?.. Usually I am one to pick up any trash I see if I have a way to carry it with me but I wasn't about to get down and dirty with some potentially used wiping material. The water source is not to far down the hill behind the shelter and was flowing fast which was nice because three of the water sources on the way there, sucked.. one was stagnant and the others were bone dry.

B.B.
07-21-2010, 19:56
Just got back from hiking from Springer to Deep Gap, NC last week-- My first section of the AT. Stayed at Whitley Gap on 7 13-2010. Long day from Wood's Hole shelter. Poured down rain on us from Tesnatee Gap. Blue Blaze trail to shelter is pretty long (over a mile) and mostly pretty steep heading down to shelter. Probably awesome views from on top of the mountain before heading down, but with clouds, rain and lightning we traveled pretty fast through that part as it looked like a place you didn't want to be in a thunderstorm. Shelter was in good shape. Loved the remote location. No trash when we were there and mice weren't particularly bad here. Water was pretty convenient and there was plenty of it. Overall one of the better shelters we stayed at--probably second favorite, with Plumorchard being the best.

Pedaling Fool
07-21-2010, 20:14
I wonder how much traffic this shelter sees.

Anyone ever look at the register to see gaps in dates to get a feel of # of visits per month or whatever?

B.B.
07-21-2010, 20:25
Think someone had been there a couple of days before we were. Don't think it has people every day.

scope
02-22-2011, 11:28
Our for a dayhike and visited this shelter and area. Small 6-person shelter (based on pack pegs, might could get 8 in there) in decent shape. Area around it appears to be well-used but was in good shape, not trashed.

As others have mentioned, there are large campsites for a distance out in front of the shelter, and I noticed that from those sites is a trail leading further out that appears to be somewhat frequently used. I followed in for about a quarter mile and turned around when I saw no obvious destination. Anybody know of this trail and where is goes? Seems to go in the general direction of the Raven Cliffs area and wonder if in fact it does go there.

Also, I'd like to make a point about the 1.2m trail getting there. First of all the first half mile of the trail is an easy UP to the top of Wildcat Mt - so its not "all downhill" to the shelter as has been suggested - and a beautiful part of trail at that, some of the best that Ga has to offer. There are several cleared tent sites in this first half mile, though almost no really level ones. The trees being stunted and close together, it would be hard to hammock as well, although doable I'm sure. The rest of the .7m down to the shelter is just mostly pleasant downhill trail. I'd say if one spent the night there, you would have about .3m of huffing in the a.m. with a mild uphill grade the rest of the way to the top of a mountain with a great view - not a bad way to start the day - and then you have about 14m (Nobo) of some of the easiest AT in Ga after that.

So, IMO, I think hikers should give this shelter more consideration than it appears to be getting.

scope
02-22-2011, 12:48
Found this below regarding the trail I was asking about, guess I should have just walked a bit further and would have known what was there. If I had a dollar for every time that's happened to me...

"Whitley Gap Trail is about 1.1 miles long; if the visitor wants to visit Adams Bald [Fig. 26(5)], another .5 mile is added to the trip. The best part of the trail, however, is to the top of Wildcat Mountain, which is only about .5 mile. The climb up the north slope is about 300 feet."

Gary62
08-09-2012, 10:03
My son and I stayed here 7-16-2012. Its a long haul down but worth it. Pristene surroundings. Beautiful sunrise through the trees. Best water I found from Unicoi to Neels.
No bears this night. No mice either. A 5 star hotel in the woods. Nothing like a good uphill to star your day. A big thank you to the hikers who reccomended it to us.

hobby
08-09-2012, 11:39
As others have mentioned, there are large campsites for a distance out in front of the shelter, and I noticed that from those sites is a trail leading further out that appears to be somewhat frequently used. I followed in for about a quarter mile and turned around when I saw no obvious destination. Anybody know of this trail and where is goes? Seems to go in the general direction of the Raven Cliffs area and wonder if in fact it does go there.

We have used this 'trail' from the camping area as a starting point to practice 'off trail' orienteering to prepare scouts for Philmont. You can indeed reach Raven Cliffs from here, but there is no trail leading there.

LN33
05-26-2014, 07:42
My group stayed here a few days ago. It is indeed a long way off the trail. It's a beautiful hike to an awesome area though and the climb out didn't seem all that hard. We all tented outside the shelter and some other people we met hammocked a little further out. It was very quiet aside from the crazy winds. No bear activity. I agree that the cables are really too close to the shelter, as in right behind it. Water source is great and the privy isn't too bad either. A side note: at the top of (I guess it's Wildcat) the mountain there's a big fire ring next to which someone has left a large garbage bag full of nails. Someone saw fit to toss a lot of those nails into the fire ring. We all thought this was very strange.

cneill13
03-04-2016, 08:29
It has been quite a while since the tread to the Whitley Gap shelter has been updated so I thought I would included a trip I made there just last month in early February.

I wanted to test out some new winter camping equipment so I made an overnight trip to Whitley Gap shelter parking at the Hogpen Gap parking lot just off the Richard Russell scenic highway.

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Hiking south on the AT from Hogpen Gap parking lot, it is a quick 1/2 mile to the top of Wildcat Mountain. Once on top of the mountain, there is a trail sign directing you to turn left or east onto Whitley Gap Trail. The hike from this point down to the shelter is 1.2 miles.

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Upon reaching the sign, the turn left is to the shelter. But if you turn right at the sign and continue hiking south on the AT, you will come to one of my favorite views in all of Georgia on the AT. I have taken many a nap on this outcropping.

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Hiking north on the AT back to the start of the Whitley Gap Trail, I did some bushwhacking and came upon this stone set in the earth. It definitely wasn't natural. It was put there by man. I don't know if it was a point marking the peak of the mountain or an old grave site. It was interesting nevertheless. There were several other rocks lying nearby.

34101

Hiking down the Whitley Gap Trail toward the shelter, the beginning of the trail is a tunnel of mountain laurel crossing over the crest line of Wildcat Mountain.

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The trail across the top of the mountain v's around beautiful nests of moss and lichen.

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The views and campsites on top of Wildcat Mountain are really nice. No water though.

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Carl

cneill13
03-04-2016, 08:31
sorry, couldn't get pictures to download correctly.

blazercoach
03-14-2016, 14:57
I'm wondering about Hogpen Gap about .2 miles north of the path Whitley Gap Shelter. Is there camping right there off the road? I don't see anything listed in the 2014 Data Book. However, about 25 miles south at Cooper Gap there was pretty clear tent sites right at the bend in the road. If they were "stealth" sites and illegal, they were pretty blatant. In any case, does anybody know of anything like that to Hogpen Gap?

jboggg
04-27-2016, 22:48
My group stayed here a few days ago. It is indeed a long way off the trail. It's a beautiful hike to an awesome area though and the climb out didn't seem all that hard. We all tented outside the shelter and some other people we met hammocked a little further out. It was very quiet aside from the crazy winds. No bear activity. I agree that the cables are really too close to the shelter, as in right behind it. Water source is great and the privy isn't too bad either. A side note: at the top of (I guess it's Wildcat) the mountain there's a big fire ring next to which someone has left a large garbage bag full of nails. Someone saw fit to toss a lot of those nails into the fire ring. We all thought this was very strange.

I did some turkey hunting this past weekend and spent Saturday night at the shelter in my hammock. The water is flowing strong out of the pipe and Surprisingly I did not see another hiker. The nails found around the fire ring on top of Wildcat are all that remain after some of the local college kids burn pallets in what must be a huge bonfire. There was at least 1000 nails on the ground a few weeks ago after one of the recent bonfires. Can't believe that folks would carry so many wooden pallets so far from the road.

FatMan
04-28-2016, 08:59
I'm wondering about Hogpen Gap about .2 miles north of the path Whitley Gap Shelter. Is there camping right there off the road? I don't see anything listed in the 2014 Data Book. However, about 25 miles south at Cooper Gap there was pretty clear tent sites right at the bend in the road. If they were "stealth" sites and illegal, they were pretty blatant. In any case, does anybody know of anything like that to Hogpen Gap?First, there are no illegal sites in Georgia. Those sites at Cooper Gap are heavily used.

Second, at Hogpen Gap you can find some sites down the footpath that leads to water on the south side of the roadway. Just be aware of where you set up your tent because during rain the water funnels down that way.

JC13
07-26-2016, 08:41
Spent the night here on 2016/07/11. Terrible thunderstorm rolled in when we were climbing out of Tesnatee, so we kicked it into high gear trying to make it to Whitley Gap Shelter. By the time we got to the top of Wildcat there was intense lightning and the temperature had drastically dropped. We pretty much ran the rest of the way to the shelter and both Stumblelina and I had a nice heel blister or two by the time we hit the shelter. We arrived to find 2 waterproof roll top bags hung but no one in sight. We decided to setup our tent in the shelter since no one else was around(or so we thought). Like all intelligent people, I had sent my sleeping clothes home as I had only wore them once. So I had no dry clothes to change into except a pair of darn toughs. Stripped down and put on my rain kilt and rain jacket. Setup the tent, pulled out our food bags and ate something quick. We were both cold so I hung the food bags. This was our first night without our OutSak as it had fallen out of Stumblelina's pack somewhere after Blood Mountain Shelter. The storm raged on for a couple of hours then finally settled down around midnight. Around 01:00, I awoke to the sounds of multiple coyotes talking near the water source. The rain picked up again and they wandered off after about 30-45 minutes. Slept off and on until around 06:00, got out to visit the privy and get breakfast going. Mice had attacked every bag that had almonds in it... Picked all the visited food out and placed it in a bag that now had a nice hole chewed in it for disposal at the next trash receptacle. Checked the log and apparently, the mice were known to have an affinity for almonds. Around 07:30, we heard laughter and a female popped out of a tent we had not noticed 50-75 feet in front of the shelter. Turns out that a couple from France had zeroed there the prior day and were eating dinner when the storm hit. Had a nice breakfast with them and went and watered up. Water was flowing pretty good and was nice and cold. The hike out was a bit of a pain but we dried out pretty quickly. Views on the ridge coming out where spectacular.

jboggg
09-14-2016, 22:27
I was hunting today about a mile beyond the shelter. Hoped to refill my water bottles on my way out at the shelter, but the pipe was not flowing at all. The bear on the hillside just on the other side of the spring looked like he was wanting a drink as well. It was flowing strong just 2 1/2 weeks ago. Things can change fast this time of year.

blue indian
10-03-2016, 18:48
Was at the shelter yesterday. No water. No bears. Nice spot though

I did find that unmarked trail very interesting. Anyone have info on it?? We followed it for a quarter mile or so but turned around to get back home...

cneill13
10-03-2016, 19:43
I think the trail you are referencing goes to the top of Adam's Bald. It is about a mile to the top from the shelter.

I found an abandoned lean to up there earlier this year. Someone tried to start a fire with Bibles. You never know what you will find in those mountains.

Another time at Gooch Gap, I found a totally clean and empty campsite. Except for one thing sitting on a log. It turned out to be an urn for holding a deceased person's ashes. I had to open it up. And guess what it was filled with?

Yep, ashes. Hopefully from the fire? Again. You never know what you will find in those mountains.

Carl

DralaHiker
11-24-2016, 22:20
As of mid-October 2016 the trail to Whitley Gap is closed by order of the Forest Service, as is Raven Cliff Falls trail, due to fire activity in the area. The trails will remain closed until further notice - likely after the mountains get some serious rain. The National Weather Service predicts that might happen in February.

Cheers,
Drala Hiker