View Full Version : Backpacking Near Max Patch, NC

Carolina Hiker
10-09-2012, 21:41
I am planning on doing a section of the AT this weekend and I'm thinking max patch in NC looks like a good area to do. I'm looking to hike about 10 miles, camp for the night, and turn around and go back. Is this possible in the max patch area? It looks like I could park at NC 1182 (Max Patch Rd) and hike 10 miles or so, maybe a bit past Walnut Mountain shelter. Any thoughts on this or suggestions for how I could work out a 10 mile (one way) hike and see Max Patch somewhere along the way? Also, I've read that backcountry camping is not allowed at Max Patch, but is camping permitted a few miles up the trail? I'd prefer to camp and not stay at a shelter if that's allowed in this area.

If anyone has any suggestions on a different 10 mile (or so) section of the AT in NC, I'm open to suggestions too!

Thanks in advance!

Medic Gurl
10-10-2012, 06:46
Max patch to lemon gap is a good hike. Did this one a few weeks ago. Is around 6. something miles one way. We passed several sites where people has camped and stopped at roaring creek shelter which has several camping sites and bear bag lines. Only wish the view at max patch had been better. Was drizzling and very foggy. Happy hiking!

10-10-2012, 11:08
That section (Max Patch to Walnut Mountain) is a nice little hike, especially this time of year. Note that the Walnut Mountain lean-to has a new roof, but I've heard that the condition of the floor is suspect. There is a cleared field down below the shelter where I setup my tent with views of the lights of Hot Springs...just be careful of the briar patch entering the field! Also, the spring was pretty shallow and had a lot of leaves when I passed through in October 2009.

If you're trying to increase your AT mileage, then you might consider continuing on to Hot Springs the next day and catching a shuttle back to your car at Max Patch. That section isn't quite as scenic, but it's a nice stroll through the autumn woods.

10-10-2012, 11:58
Max Patch is a awesome place to hike if your heading north theirs plenty of camping spots before max patch or if want to go a little father roaring fork shelter is a great place to tent, but what i would do is start at Standing Bear Hostel and hike to Hot Springs that should take no longer than two days it makes a nice weekend hike. but whatever you decide go have lots of fun and enjoy the hike. RED-DOG

Tennessee Viking
10-10-2012, 12:34
Consider parking in Hot Springs and have BMO shuttle you up to Max Patch and walk back into town. Or park at SBH and have Curtis shuttle you up, and walk back to SBH.

Fires on top of Max Patch is prohibited. Camping is ok I believe. But there is also a campsite just north inside the woodline and down at Roaring Fork Shelter.

Just don't leave food in your car for bears, or anything valuable in sight (MP has had some incidents of vandalism; but not a lot)

10-10-2012, 14:36
Carry your water up and camp on top of Max Patch. Was not prohibited when I did this in 2011, but I can't say if that has changed, so worth checking on this. One of best sunset and sunrise viewing spots there is. Orient your shelter to face east to catch the sunrise while still in your nice warm bag.

Carolina Hiker
10-10-2012, 21:09
Thanks for all the replies! It sounds like Max Patch is doable. Can anyone point me to some good directions to the Brown Gap parking area or NC 1182 parking area (or any other good parking spots just south of Max Patch)? I'm coming from the Clemson, SC area. Or if someone has GPS coordinates of a parking area at either of these locations, that would be awesome too!

Carl Calson
10-14-2012, 21:09
max patch is one of my favorite places on the trail. beautiful views.

10-14-2012, 21:31
You're better off leaving your car at Standing Bear Hostel, any other remote parking lot will be suspect to vandalism. Standing Bear is easily accessable only a mile off of the Waterville Road exit off of I-40. Standing Bear can shuttle you a few days up the trail to Lemon Gap & you can hike back to your car from there with no worries, then take a hot shower before you head back to SC. I have used SBH for shuttles several times & there run hassle free operation! Enjoy!!! It's a Great Section!