View Full Version : Route 311 to/over Dragons Tooth

squirrel bait
07-18-2004, 10:42
What is the description for the route south from VA 311 south past Four Pines Hostel up and over Dragoons Tooth to VA 620? Just past Pickles Creek shelter. How far? Estimated time to hike this part? Cause I just did this stretch and it was hard. Man am I in need of some conditioning. Oh well I lived through it and it was really enjoyable in spite of the rain. Learned alot and ya all are right about to much stuff. Now I'm home and want to go again already. Thank you, Squirrel Bait Appalachain Trail Hiker.

07-18-2004, 11:50
On my 8th and last full day of my October 2003 section hike I walked SOBO from the Catawba Shelter to Pickle Branch Shelter, a distance of 14.5 miles on a 65-degree day. I was in pretty good shape by that stage, but even so the "stairs" up Dragon's Tooth were a good test. The walk along the ridge of Cove Mountain south of Dragon's Tooth was surprisingly rocky and tough. I kept up a 2.5 mph pace, but only because I was trying to reach the shelter before two other hikers. It did appear that the Trail had been relocated coming down off the ridge from the "steep descent" noted in the guidebook to a series of gentle switchbacks that lengthened the mileage.

07-18-2004, 11:57
Hey Squirrel Bait,

Do you remember running into 2 college aged dayhikers at the register at VA311? I was the taller one. So did you have a good hike?

The day were met you we had hiked from VA624 to VA311. About 6 miles.
Just yesterday we went back and dayhiked from VA620 over Dragon's Tooth (http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/4128/size/big/password/0/sort/1/cat/last1) back to VA624. About 7 miles.

So that stretch you are talking about is roughly 13 miles. Unfortunately I can't really compare it to the rest of the trail since all my AT hiking has been between Daleville, VA and Kelly Knob. But I'll tell you there were sections that had us off the couch dayhikers straining a bit. We even managed to miss the rain showers on both of those days that dumped on some folks. :D

07-18-2004, 22:25
We just did the Roller-Coaster section near Harper's Ferry and seeing your thread on Dragon's Tooth took me back in time a few months, enjoyed your reflections on the hike. I loved Cove Mtn-we were NoBo and its neet seeing the route you'll be hiking, same phenomenon in many places along the trail (MaxPatch, McaFee,etc)...and yep we know what its like to sit for a week behind a computer and then strap on the pack :)

07-18-2004, 23:43
I hiked the whole trail last yr. If its any consulation, I remember the trail from Pickle Branch shelter to Dragons Tooth taking longer than we expected and being a good deal tougher. The hike down to Rt 624 was a rough one with some hand holds. The 6 miles from there to 311 was beautiful and I remember the open cow fields and flowing stream. This section also had some ups and downs. One of my favorites on the whole trail.

squirrel bait
07-19-2004, 08:53
Yes I do remember the two hikers I met at the register, you were the first people I met on the AT. Good luck must have been with everyone else cause it poured on me that Saturday afternoon. I had forgotten what thunderstorms are like in the mountains. SOBO from 311 does lead to a beautiful pasture walk, though it took me a minute or two to relocate the trail. FYI when SOBO look for the whiteblazes on the telephone poles and then the little bridge crossing the creek, the stile is just over this bridge. It is a wonderful meadow to walk through, very refreshing after the ridge walk. After the meadow and just as you reenter the woods there is a creek and a little waterfall that I sat under for 15-20 minutes, I NEVER WANTED ANYTHING MORE. An A One experience and to be repeated. Thanks everyone. I'm no longer a virgin just a inexperienced APPALACHAIN TRAIL HIKER.