View Full Version : Retrurning hikers's thoughts on the SNP.

11-12-2011, 12:17
I just returned from a 2 week hike in the SNP. I was there from 25 Oct - 8 Nov 2011.

"The Mona Lisa is Fat, ugly, and has crooked teeth."
- Girl named 'Wanda' in my HS art class.

Wanda, (like some others) completely missed the point of the Mona Lisa, and so too does it seem some of the SNP detractors seem to have. If dislike for the park is some kind of 'real hiker' merit badge, I am afraid I will simply have to do without it. :cool:

The couple weeks in the park were a perfect re-introduction to hiking for me, and I feel like she has reconnected me to some part of myself that I had lost. The PATC does a nice job with the trails, I thought of just how great every time I stepped through a log that some soul had sawed after hiking up a ridge with a chain saw to save me the effort of climbing over a fallen tree. (THANKS!) :D

I started at RockFish Gap, and made it as far as Stony Man. I could have gone farther, but the side trails and a freak October snow slowed me down... but I have no regrets as I followed the excellent advice here to hike my own hike.

The water was abundant, the shelters were clean and the sites I choose to tent were peaceful and beautiful. I arrived just past the fall color season, and the snow clinched the deal. There were times I walked through leaves as deep as fallen snow... probably did not see so many bears for all the noise.

I was really glad I had trecking poles, as the leaves can be slippery. Thanks to all who advised me to get a set, you probably saved me injury. :)

The folks I met were all friendly, and helpful. I had the privilege to speak to a group of students that a ranger was leading up to Hawksbill... it was nice to talk about the experience, and to give something back.

I am sure some reading this are rolling their eyes, but I wanted to share it anyway... what a wonderful experience!

11-12-2011, 12:22
Sounds like you had a great trip. Thanks for posting your experiance. Happy Trails.

11-12-2011, 21:49
A few random pictures are always nice....

Here is one I took the first day before the snow fell.

THis guy was a quite convincing menace. He would shake his tale in the leaves and make a good approximation of a rattler.....

Just pretty...

My "rescue" the morning after the snow;


I had called down to the ranger dispatch simply to ask if the road was open.... but since I was lacking cold wx gear they got concerned and I had a ranger meet me where I hiked down to the road. It was nice to get a ride from 'Pete' back to my car to get my warm clothes!

Thanks Pete!

11-12-2011, 21:52
Nice post. SNP was one of the most enjoyable sections of the AT that I have done.

11-12-2011, 21:56
Another Beautiful view with snow;


11-12-2011, 22:08
Thanks to all who advised me to get a set,

Are you sure they were talking about hiking poles?

Sorry, couldn't resist. Sounds like a great hike. Good for you.

11-12-2011, 22:08
Another Beautiful view with snow;


Ok and another one, the decent from Hawksbill.... wow was it pretty up there!


11-12-2011, 23:11
I average 7-8 bag nights a year in SNP and understand the detractors dislike for the park. The fervent dislike I am positive comes from the human masses that crowd the park from Memorial Day weekend through October Fall foilage peak season. I was there the week before you which happened to be peak for the Fall colors and there was too many cars , too many people .
Best time to visit the park in my opinion is after the leaves have reached their peak and have begun to fall.

There is something to be said about having the trails to oneself and enjoying the experience of a snow fall on a winters day. Got a few days off after Thanksgiving and will plan an overnighter somewhere in the park and the experience will be much different than three weeks ago.

11-13-2011, 11:50
Good one, BobTheBuilder!