View Full Version : Grayson Highlands trip questions

10-02-2010, 23:27
My son and I are planning to hike in the Grayson Highlands areas toward the end of next week. Our plan at this point is to leave our cars in Damascus and get a shuttle up to SR603 and then walk back over the next several days. I have a few questions for the group:

1. Should we just stay on the AT the whole way back or are there better routes that combine the AT with other trails in the area. I have the Nat Geo Mt Rogers trail map and note the area is crisscrossed with numerous trails.

2. Suggestions for possible campsites would also be appreciated.

3. Does anyone have a idea about the water situation in this area. I know it has been a dry summer and early fall.

Thanks in advance for any help.


Jack Tarlin
10-03-2010, 11:39
Joe: I am in Damascus now. We finally got some rain, so the primary water sources (shelters, springs listed on maps, etc.) should be OK. As to where you should go, I'd check in at Mt. Rogers Outfitters and talk to the guys there; they have a blow-up map of the area that you could check out and get some ideas for places to visit other than the A.T. It's really a question of how much time you've got, but there are all sorts of cool places out that way that most "A.T." people, including me, have never seen. I hope to rectify some of that this week. Anyway, have a great trip!!

10-03-2010, 11:55
Great hike. I would stick to the AT most of the way, then take the Virginia Creeper Trail after coming down from Straight Mountain (Saunders Shelter area.) You could skip several AT Miles by taking the Pine Mountain Trail (old AT route) which is really nice, but the new AT route is also really nice.

Good campsites at top of Pine Mountain, when you break out into the open on the AT after passing the Pine Mtn Trail junction. Good campsites on top of Stone Mountain, with views back toward Wilburn Ridge, and another very nice site at an old homesite in a clearing in the woods past Stone Mountain and the Bear Pen Trail.

Great campsites along the creek just before crossing into the state park, look right just before the AT crosses the bridge over Quebec Branch. Plenty of good campsites south of Rhododendron Gap, and at Creek Junction, and along the Creeper Trail on little islands in the creek. Good camping behind the Saunders Shelter, nice little grove of pine trees.

We were up there a couple of weeks ago and the water situation was not great, but not as bad as I've seen. The springs were running slowly, but running. Might be different now.

10-03-2010, 20:45
Thanks for the info. We are looking forward to the hike. Have not hiked in that area before.