View Full Version : Help/your thoughts please....

03-30-2004, 00:29
Next month we a planning Bearwallow Gap to Buena Vista (actually Hwy 60) in Central Virginia.....any thoughts on where to leave the vehicle? Book says there is a minigrocery/gas store 1mile west, wonder if we could leave the car there....also, we used Homer Witcher last time as shuttler but he is currently not answering e-mail....so if you know of any alternatives let me know. Thanks in advance.

03-30-2004, 21:04
I hiked north to Bearswallow and left my car there. (Actually, it was a Ford F150). Since it was a very basic truck, no one ever bothered it. The parking area at Bearswallow is very small. Later last year I hiked north of there to the James and parked at the river, no problems. Next time I hiked from the James to Fish Hatchery road, but left my westy further north. I didn't make the miles I wanted to that weekend, so I had to hitch back to my car. I remember passing route 60, but don't remember much parking there.

PS, the climb up to Bald Knob (north of 60) is a bit steep, particularly in the dark at the end of the day. Save for the early hours.

03-31-2004, 08:53
There is a small parking lot at the 60 crossing. There is also a nice parking area at Montebello, 17 trail miles further north. It is near the fish hatchery and only about a mile from the trail down a gravel road. Montebello has the advantage of the Dutch Haus, a great resting spot.

03-31-2004, 10:32
Medicine man: The parking area at 60 is actually a little picnic rest stop. There is plenty of room to leave a car but it is very remote but easily accessible for anyone with bad intentions. I would be a bit leery of that spot not that I know of any problems there. Don't know about the store.

I was in that area between Christmas and New Years and drove from the gap down into Beuna Vista about 10 am. I only passed 6 vehicles the whole way, 3 were log trucks so I would imagine that the hitching would be pretty poor if you were to find a parking spot further down the mountain or in Beuna Vista.
My memory is that the road shoulders were narrow and wouldn't make for safe walking either.

If you can put in a few extra miles to Hog Camp Gap, USFS 48, it is pretty trail and there is a good parking area there that I have used several times without incident. It is secluded but far enough off the main roads that my guess is that it wouldn't attract spontaneous vandals.

If you decide to go to 48 be sure and take the side trail down to Cow Camp Shelter; the ravine called Shades of Death is full of huge gnarly virgin oak timber. It looks like something out of Tolkein. It just feels ancient down there.
You can also continue from the shelter on the hotel trail around to 48 about 1/4 mile below the parking area. Details are in the ATC guidebook.

Have a great trip. You may run into the Queen of England. She looks like Georgia O'keefe. She sets up base camps in the area until the rangers move her on. I ran into her at Cornelius Creek shelter a couple of years ago. Interesting character.

03-31-2004, 13:46
Last year I left a car at the small picnic area for 8 days with no problems.

03-31-2004, 16:13
Yes, the hitching was very poor due to infrequent vehicles and very local traffic. I waited a good hour and a half to two hours.