View Full Version : Ready to fill out permit app. Questions

06-04-2012, 12:29
I'm getting ready to fill out my backcountry permit for SNP, but have a couple of questions:

How long is the AT through SNP? I'm planning on starting at Rockfish Gap and exiting through the north end of the park.

How many miles a day is typical for this section of the AT?

I have 7 full days to hike, so I'm really hoping I can accomplish the park in that time. The first day will likely be only a 5 mile stretch, as I won't be arriving until about 9 or 10am.


06-04-2012, 12:54
Just got back from SNP. While it's technically legal to camp anywhere as long as you follow the regs, realistically you'll need to camp near the huts (as they call shelters in those parts) or in the camp grounds. Finding a legal campsite along the ridge near the AT will be difficult especially with all the undergrowth.

So, you'll want to hike 7 miles the first day, to Calf Mountain shelter. There's no water for the next 13 to Blackrock Hut, so you'll need to get an early start and knock that out the second day. After that you'll find water at picnic areas, campgrounds, camp stores, and ranger stations, so you'll be in better shape for water. I did the southern section in 3.5 days, and the northern 2 sections combined in 5 days, so I'd probably want the whole 7 or even 8 days to average about 13 mpd thru the park. That's a good average for me. If you are in thru-hiker shape, 4 or 5 days is more typical, though I met one nobo kid who was planning to do it in 3 days.

The total is ~105 miles.

Have fun with it. Great hike. Make sure you stop at the waysides for food and beverages.

Rain Man
06-04-2012, 15:46
My daughter and I hiked the SNP in '08 or so. It's about 108 miles to the first road crossing you come to north of the Park. We did it in 6.5 days. Our longest day was about 18 miles, I believe. It's easy to slack-pack in the Park, if you have a driver/shuttler, as we did for the first half.

Seven days is plenty. Plan on eating at all the waysides and lodges. :) We even stayed at Big Meadows Lodge. Nice to get a shower, sleep in a bed, and get some good meals.

P.S. We saw bears every day for seven days.


P.P.S. The guidebook we bought in the Park said the Panorama Wayside was open, but in fact it was closed and I think still is.


06-04-2012, 16:07
There's no water for the next 13 to Blackrock Hut, so you'll need to get an early start and knock that out the second day.

That is so, unless there is some trail magic at one of the Sky Line drive crossings and some water is set out.
Maybe cache some water at Rip Rap parking area if you have the time.
I was carrying 2.5 L from Calf to Blackrock and ran out just short of Riprap. Then again it was early June of '10 and the daily temp was 90*+ and the feels like was just under 100*.
Stay hydrated my friend

06-04-2012, 16:44
While there are campsites along the AT in the park , seldom are they 20 yds from the trail and out of sight per park regs. Camping is also unlawful within one quarter mile from campgrounds, lodges and picnic areas so just be cogizant of that .

As correctly stated above, there's a long dry stretch between Calf Mt. Shelter and Blackrock Hut. I would carry two liters of H2O and a nalgene bottle of an electrolyte drink if it's humid to stay well hydrated .

06-04-2012, 19:27
Yeah, there were some gallon jugs set out at Turk Gap and Riprap, not sure how often they were being filled. I had three liters and nursed it the whole way on a very hot day, and felt pretty dehydrated when I got to Calf Mountain.

06-04-2012, 19:41
Thanks for the tips and info. I'm glad you all shared the info about the water.

06-04-2012, 21:49
How was the spring at Blackrock?

06-04-2012, 21:54
A week ago it was gushing like a firehose. Took about a second to fill a 1 liter bottle.

06-04-2012, 22:05
thanks for the report BC