View Full Version : Section Hike from Hughes Gap to Nolichucky

the dragon
04-26-2011, 10:04
Some friends and I are planning a hike SOBO from Hughes Gap to Erwin, TN next month. We try to get out once a year and do 20 or so miles over a 3-4 day period, so I wouldn't say we're avid hikers; just a few guys who like to get away from civilization every so often. According to our schedule, we are planning to do the stretch from Cherry Gap shelter to Curley Maple Gap shelter on day 3 of our hike, which is about 12.7 miles.

How would you guys rate the difficulty of this section?

04-26-2011, 10:10
I would rate it easy for a frequent hiker and moderate for someone who hikes less often.

There is only one climb of significance and that's up Unaka Mt. just north of Cherry Gap Shelter and it's not that bad. Actually, from where you'll start at Iron Mt. Gap the trail is somewhat of a roller coaster until you begin the ascent up Unaka Mt.

After that, it's mostly downhill to your next shelter and when you leave Curley Maple shelter it's downhill all the way to Erwin until you get to the river and the last few miles are mostly level. You can even walk the road out from the campground if you like.

Lots of water and plenty of great campsites along the way too.

Tennessee Viking
04-26-2011, 10:33
Ditto with 10-k

The Unaka relocations are in place. So its a pretty graded climb on switchbacks north of Low Gap (north of Cherry Gap Shelter). The old route was heavily washed out and steep.

Lots of views from Little Rock Knob and Beauty Spot.

04-26-2011, 11:04
Just returned last week from this exact trip. On day 1 we walked ~8 miles to the former Apple Orchard (great tent sites/great water). On day 2 we walked ~7.5 miles and camped atop Unaka Mtn. (great tent sites/no water - pack it in from Cherry Gap, which had an awesome spring). On day 3 we walked ~9.5 miles from Unaka to the Curley Maple Gap shelter area. The shelter itself was overrun with thru-hikers, but we bivied just above the shelter on the old road near the former shelter location. Water was OK at the shelter. The entire shelter area was wet/muddy. We walked out the next morning (~5 miles) to Uncle Johnny's.