View Full Version : Grassy Branch Trail and Dry Sluice Gap Trail

03-11-2009, 17:13
How difficult are the Grassy Branch Trail and Dry Sluice Gap Trail from Kephart Shelter to the AT?

I know the Kephart Prong Trail is easy and flat.

Silver Bear
03-11-2009, 17:33
Grassy Branch has about an 1800 foot elevation gain in 2.5 miles from Kephart Shelter to Dry Sluice Gap Tail. Dry Sluice has a 200 or 300 foot gain in about 1 1/5 miles to the AT.

03-11-2009, 19:21

03-11-2009, 22:20
Are you sure about that SilverBear... Kephart shelter is in the valley. Both of those trails up to the AT require climbing up to the ridgeline. I thought the climb down to the shelter on Dry Sluice was pretty steep. I dont remember the Grassy Branch trail, which means it is probably like most of the other trails in the park, up and down. There are few trails that really stick out as ones that I wouldnt look forward to hiking again. Dry Sluice sticks out as one of those for some reason.

03-14-2009, 19:27
the first bit of the grassy branch trail is quite steep and it inches along the side of the hollow but real soon it turns pretty nice but still climbs. dry sluice gap has some great views across the steline to mt leConte if the leaves are down.

03-15-2009, 00:46
Dry Sluice is relatively flat, ridge running. I was mistaken earlier... I was thinking about the Sweat Heifer trail. That sucker is STEEP. Had to dig out my maps to verify what trails were being discussed.

06-02-2009, 21:34
My wife and I did the Sweat Heifer from the Kephart Prong shelter to Icewater in August, '06. It had been at least 15 years since I'd done it, and I think age and conditioning had taken a toll. It had rained and we waited until late in the AM for things to dry before taking off. We made it to Icewater with daylight to cook, but not with a whole lot to spare...