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  1. #1

    Default Shenandoah Mid April Slackpack and camp

    Any one done a Slackpack of the AT. We are planning on a mid april trip using two cars and each day will be loose in terms of schedule. Ive never been there, but have seen videos of the trail and it doesn't look too bad; so how many miles do you think you could do a day with just a day pack? Any thoughts on sequence? Im planning on a north to south approach, with a couple nights in the park campgrounds. Am I missing anything? Or is there a good resource somewhere I should check out? Thanks in advance...
    Shadow

  2. #2
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    You mention mid April and the park campgrounds. Just be aware that only Lewis Mountain will be open and Big Meadows only opens on the 25th. http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisi...g-schedule.htm. Loft Mountain and Matthews Arm open in May. I'll be hiking north from Rockfish Gap the week of April 14th and might stay at Lewis Mountain one of the nights if sites are available.
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

  3. #3
    I'm worth a million in prizes astrogirl's Avatar
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    It's been a rough winter in the area too - I would double check that skyline drive is open where you need to be on it.
    -----------------------------------------------
    obstacles are found everywhere, and in taking them, we nourish ourselves.
    http://astrogirl.com/blog/Backpacking

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    It looking like this week will be great for melting snow in SNP with highs in the 60! http://www.srh.noaa.gov/data/LWX/RECLWX

    I'm starting my section hike in two weeks and hoping for NO more snow between now and then!!!
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

  5. #5
    Registered User FarmerChef's Avatar
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    Definitely recommend checking the park for road closures. As for slacking, last I checked you can park at any of the pull offs along skyline drive and you could hike between those two points. If money weren't as big a deal you could consider just putting in and shuttling back, staying at the shelters/campsites along the way.
    2,000 miler. Still keepin' on keepin' on.

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    15 miles a day would be a good start. either direction is good.

    this site has a lot of info on parking for daily slack packing -- http://appalachiantrail.rohland.org/

  7. #7
    Registered User joshuasdad's Avatar
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    I've "freedom" packed most of the AT. 15 miles a day is comfortable, but you could easily do more in SNP. The "toughest" part of SNP southbound is likely the northern part of the middle district (Mary's rock, Skyland, Big Meadows)...or at least it seemed that way for me since it was a cold, snowy day on trail that was rockier than usual. The pubs in Skyland and Big Meadows can also slow you down...be warned!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by astrogirl View Post
    It's been a rough winter in the area too - I would double check that skyline drive is open where you need to be on it.
    All of the road is open .

    Sent from my SCH-S720C using Tapatalk 2

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    so how many miles do you think you could do a day with just a day pack?

    I could slack the park in 3 days. I back packed it in 4+.
    Pain is a by-product of a good time.

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    Get off the AT and slack pack to the waterfalls. They will be nice if the water is running.
    The trouble I have with campfires are the folks that carry a bottle in one hand and a Bible in the other.
    You never know which one is talking.

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    There are a few easy opportunities to see waterfalls without backtracking if one is willing to skip short portions of the AT. Jones Run/Doyle River and the Dark Hollow/Rose River areas offer such opportunities. In the case of the Rose River, camping opportunities exist as well. Maybe Jones Run as well although I've never camped there. For my section hike of the AT later this month, I'm tempted to deviate from the AT at the Rose River area if I find myself ready to camp for the night when I get to Big Meadows, although right now my plan to to hike further north to Byrds Nest #3 for the night. Opting for Dark Hollow/Rose River results in skipping a short section of the AT that mostly skirts the Big Meadows developed camping area and is much less scenic than the Rose River.
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

  12. #12

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    How far you can go depends entirely on what kind of shape you are in. Although the AT in SNP feels relatively easy when you are thruhiking, there is still a lot of up and down. How far did you go on your last dayhike? After the long winter, a lot of us aren't in long distance shape, but it does come back fairly fast as long as you don't end up getting blisters or pulled muscles by doing too much too soon.

  13. #13
    Registered User hikernutcasey's Avatar
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    I am going south from Harpers Ferry to Lewis Mtn campground beginning on the 6th. With the warm temps forecast for this week will all the snow be gone?

    Also, are there any waterfalls that aren't too far off the trail that would be worth backtracking for?

  14. #14
    Registered User Studlintsean's Avatar
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    I was in SNP this past weekend and the trails in the central section still had some ice. With the warm temps this week they should melt (assuming the weather doesnt flip a 180 again).

    As for waterfalls, you can hike from Lewis Campground down to Lewis Spring Falls. Its an 80 ft waterfall that can be done on a easy ~4 mile loop. Def worth the walk. White Oak Canyon is also doable taking the Corbin Trail (double check me on that) which is a great hike but a bit further off trail. I would recommend both.

    Edit: I should note that there was some snow / snow falling when I woke up on Sunday morning but I can't imagine it was more than 6 inches total and it should be melting as well.

  15. #15
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    Temps well above freezing so I doubt much snow will remain for long. SNP forecast above 2000 feet:

    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/data/LWX/RECLWX
    HST/JMT August 2016
    TMB/Alps Sept 2015
    PCT Mile 0-857 - Apr/May 2015
    Foothills Trail Feb 2015
    Colorado Trail Aug 2014
    AT: Rockfish Gap to Boiling Springs 2014
    John Muir Trail Aug/Sept 2013

  16. #16
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Let's hope we've had the last snow this year, but keep in mind a few years ago, we had snow on Mother's Day! Not much--but enough that they closed the Drive for a short period. And April can still get to be winter-like, even if short-lived. The short-term forecast looks good tho.




    For a fast low-tech way to find out about Skyline Drive conditions, call 540-999-3500. When you start hearing the first voice announcement, press 1 (anytime). When you start hearing the second voice, press 1 again.

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    I'll be there on Friday. Weather looks to be pretty good.

  18. #18

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    We are going to have fun and take it day by day, with plans to stay on or off the trail as the days dictate. That is the beauty of it, which ever way we feel, we are not bound by a schedule or location limitations. Any time on the trail is an awesome time on the trail.

  19. #19
    Registered User Damn Yankee's Avatar
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    I did the Jones Run/Doyle River loop last week and the weather and trail conditions were great. Waterfalls were flowing nicely. 6.4 m loop

    "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."
    Isaiah 55:12

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