View Full Version : March Weather: Grayson/Mt.Rogers/Damascus

12-28-2009, 13:06
I'm planning my first hike of any substantial length from Massie Gap to Damascus. Of course, I'm eager to get out there and have blocked a 2 week period in mid/late March to do it (depending on which week has the better weather forecast), but now I'm wondering if I'm pushing too hard to do it in March and if the weather would be substantially better if I waited until early April. I don't want my eagerness to get out there as soon as possible outweigh waiting a few weeks and having better weather.

Do any of you know much about the weather in that area during those times? If so, please share.

12-28-2009, 13:43
It's a crap shoot up there between March and early May.
You can get a good week in March or a bad week in May.
Spring has barely made it to 4500' even in early May.
It's only a 2-3 day walk directly from Massie to DAM, but plenty of blue blazes to explore.
It'll be windy.

12-28-2009, 13:48
There are a number of people on WhiteBlaze from that area who will tell you that you have an excellent chance of some good snowstorms and/or deep snow during both March and April, in part because you're over 5000 feet high for much of this section. I wouldn't recommend it for someone's first substantial hike.

This is one of the premier sections on the AT, which I think you would much better appreciate in mid-June when the rhododendron is blooming. I'd also think about starting at the Fox Creek Trailhead about 10 miles north of Massie Gap. In nice weather you would be able to easily cover the 40 miles to Damascus in a week, as experienced hikers cover it in a few days.

12-28-2009, 19:10
I wouldn't leave my car at Fox Creek. Lots of trouble in the past....haven't heard of any car break-ins lately but still...not me. You could do the loop around the park to start off by using the Pine Ridge trail going clock wise out of Grayson if you wanted a few more trail miles and you could get on the horse trail the 2nd time by Grayson if you didn't want to repeat yourself.

12-29-2009, 13:52
You have heard from the locals, and I tend to agree with each of them, especially Kerosene. Problem is who wants to wait so long? You are close enough to be at either end of your proposed hike in less than a day. Watch the weather channel for the weather you would prefer. Be at the ready when it comes, pack packed, car gassed up, arrangements for your shuttle nailed. Be especially concerned about the lowest temperatures and the windspeeds. If it is a false spring group of days in February, you may see me out there too.--Kinnickinic