View Full Version : Trip Report - Standing Indian Loop Sep 13th - 16th

09-18-2013, 19:12
It was perfect weather last weekend to make the Standing Indian Loop from the BIC to the AT via the Long Branch trail and then south to Deep Gap and out on the Kimsey Creek Trail. This was my 1st backpacking since high school and a great overall experience thanks to lots of help from this board in picking equipment over the last 5 months. Doubly special was my 10yr old son made the trip with me - his 1st backpacking adventure. I've posted a public Flickr photoset with the highlights (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157635618162545/) for those interested in seeing what the trail is like.

We tented at Betty Creek, Beech Gap, and Deep Gap for our stops. Hiker traffic was much lighter than I expected. I don't think we ever saw more than 10 people in a day, and most days it was more like 5. We were the lone campers at Beech and Deep Gaps.

Equipment wise, we hiked with Osprey packs (Exos 58 and the Jib 35), Copper Spur UL2 tent, vapur water bottles w/filters for walking water, platypus 2L w/Aquamira Drops for camp water, and Coleman F1 stove. I kept the youth pack to 10lbs including water and started off at about 29lbs with my pack. We ended up with 2lbs extra food at the end so next time I'll take a bit less.

For those thinking of hiking this loop with kids - we averaged 1 - 2 miles per hour and couldn't have really gone much faster - so keep that in mind for planning stopping points. I had intended to camp at Big Spring Gap but the shelter is now destroyed and the area is marked no camping - so we pushed up and over Albert Mountain to Betty Creek making for a ~8 mile starting day. Long Branch shelter is a bit close to the BIC for an early start - if you really want to use shelters, starting at Rock Gap would pace things better for Long Branch -> Carter Gap -> Standing Indian and then out via Kimsey on day 4 or start just after lunch. In the end, the camp sites were all great and the pacing worked well for us.

Water was plentiful, BUT the smaller springs/creeks were dry. Getting water out of the springs at Betty Creek and Beech Gap was slow going without a pump -- after Betty, I stocked up better at the larger creeks along the trail. On the up side, the trail was pretty dry and we didn't get our feet soaked until we slipped on the narrow rock walkway over Kimsey Creek right at the campground entrance at trails end.

To me, the loop is just about ideal for a 1st go for younger ones. Lots of variety in the vegetation, great views often enough to motivate, plenty of side trails back down to the SIC if you need to bail out early, easy water. Can't wait to get back out now.

Last Call
09-18-2013, 21:04
Nice report.....I'm looking forward to the section from Dick's Creek Gap - Standing Indian - Albert Mountain, hope to do it in the next few weeks.

09-19-2013, 07:22
One of my favorite hikes. Has a little bit of everything you expect on an AT adventure, plus easy to do because of a loop hike. :)

09-19-2013, 10:47
I took the Kimsey Creek Trail through this area when sectioning because I was trying to beat a snow storm in March, 1999. By the way, what was the total mileage of this loop?

09-19-2013, 15:46
I took the Kimsey Creek Trail through this area when sectioning because I was trying to beat a snow storm in March, 1999. By the way, what was the total mileage of this loop? About 24 or 25 miles. Makes a great two day loop, in either direction, with an overnight at the Carter Gap shelter area. :)

09-19-2013, 22:02
Thanks for that! I've been wanting to do it since April... Glad to hear another positive report and another "it can be done in two days" type of thing.
One of these days i'll get to do some AT sections. Standing indian is at the top of my list.