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  1. #1
    Registered User YesRushGen's Avatar
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    Default Shakedown Section Hike in SNP - Question

    Greetings:

    I am planning a section hike in the SNP as my first shakedown trip for my 2015 thru-hike. I am hoping for some feedback regarding the two itineraries I have chosen. Both itineraries are built around shelter and/or campground locations which leads to my question: How plentiful are suitable stealth sites along the A.T. in the SNP?

    Itinerary v1.0:

    Start End Miles
    Day 1 Rockfish Gap Calf Mountain Shelter 7.6
    Day 2 Calf Mountain Shelter Blackrock Hut 13.0
    Day 3 Blackrock Hut Pinefield Hut 13.2
    Day 4 Pinefield Hut Bearfence Mountain Hut 20.6
    Day 5 Bearfence Mountain Hut Rock Spring Hut 11.5










    The main thing I don't like about this is the 20+ mile day. I do walk about 2 miles each day, so I'm not "right off the couch." At the same time, I am not accustomed to hiking in the mountains day-by-day for extended periods. That fact led me to...

    Itinerary v2.0:

    Start End Miles
    Day 1 Rockfish Gap Calf Mountain Shelter 7.6
    Day 2 Calf Mountain Shelter Blackrock Hut 13.0
    Day 3 Blackrock Hut Loft Mountain Campground 10.9 (includes 4.8 round trip from campground to wayside)
    Day 4 Loft Mountain Campground Hightop Hut 15.3
    Day 5 Hightop Hut Bearfence Mountain Hut 12.4










    This version replaces the 20 mile day with a 15, and it also creates a series of days that ramp up the mileage then provides a recover day. But, again - these itineraries are constrained by the location of huts and campgrounds. For those in the know, how common are suitable camping sites along the A.T. in this area?

    If there were suitable locations, I could tailor each day's mileage accordingly and dispense with planning around the huts/campgrounds.

    Hoping for some advice,

    Kelly

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    I have hiked this section and i am fairly sure you can find stealth spots between all those shelters. There are several spots just south of calf mtn shelter at some huge trees, there are spots a mile or two south of blackrock shelter. There are stealth spots right outside both loft and Lewis mtn campgrounds, there are spots a couple of miles after loft near the ATC storage shed and there are spots about a mile before Milan gap.

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    I would do plan 2. But not go to the wayside but the loft campground store which is only 75feet off the trail. If u want to go to the wayside walk down the paved trail from the store or the road either way its only half a mile. Better supply at the store. Burgers and milkshake at the wayside .

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  4. #4
    1,630 miles and counting earlyriser26's Avatar
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    Day one is easy. I climb calf mountain all the time. Good piped spring right before shelter. Black rock has a great piped spring too very close to the shelter. I don't know why you are going on a side trip to the wayside, but loft mountain is right off the trail. I would go with version 2. This is one of the easier areas of the trail. Don't start with 20's. I maintain a section of the AT just south of Rockfish.
    There are so many miles and so many mountains between here and there that it is hardly worth thinking about

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    Just finished a section hike that included all of SNP.

    If you want to do a few more miles on Day 1, consider camping on top of Goat Ridge or Sawlog Ridge (both should be shown on the National Geographic SNP map, but I don't have mine with me since I mailed it home). I camped just to the west of the AT on Sawlog Ridge. There were a number of level places to camp.

    I tent camped near Pinefield as well - nice sites on a short trail just past the shelter and privy.
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  6. #6
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    Lots of campsites throughout SNP so you should not have a problem. I just completed the park so if you want to read my trip reports check my website below. Each day I have been posting updates.

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    Lightbulb No need for stealth

    > How plentiful are suitable stealth sites along the A.T. in the SNP?

    The restrictions on camping along The Trail in SNP are pretty loose. If your back country permit (mandatory, even if you stay at shelters) says "along A.T." with an itinerary as vague as you wish to make it, then you can camp pretty anywhere EXCEPT as noted here
    http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/campbc_regs.htm
    Cliff Notes summary: http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisi..._guide_285.jpg

    Thus, the only places you would "need" to stealth camp are places you would either not want to or not be able to.

  8. #8
    Registered User YesRushGen's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for the information. I am definitely going with version 2 of my itinerary. It is good to know there will be alternatives should I decide to camp away from the shelters. And to earlyriser26 - the reason I'm hitting the wayside is for a burger lunch and dinner! :-)

    To GoldenBear - I think you just taught me a subtle distinction in what it means to "stealth" camp. I had thought the term just meant to camp away from the shelters, but it sounds like it really means to camp where you shouldn't - or to camp where you wont be noticed. Or a combination of the two.

    Again - thanks to everyone. It's good to know I'll have some options for this shakedown trip.


    Kelly

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    I read your itinerary and like version 2 except for the 4.8 mile R- trip to eat at the Loft Mt. Wayside.
    Factor in that pushing on to Pinefield Hut is just 6 miles further, I'd opt to reduce that next day's mileage of 15.3
    Now of course there's that little matter of eating a greasy burger at the wayside. There is a side trail 3.0 miles north of Loft Mountain Campground that gets you to that burger dinner in 15 minutes flat , < 1 mile.

    Look for a stone marker as you descend lofty mountain, i.e. loft mt.(appx. 3 miles past the campground from the AT ). The trail, which is on the left, will in 100 yds take you to the Ivy Creek supply shed after crossing a small creek. Once there take the service road directly in front of you 0.4 / mile to a gravel road , turning left there and walking 20 yds. to the Skyline Drive. Standing on the Drive then look south, the wayside sign can be seen on the right .
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  10. #10

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    Whiteblaze is AWESOME! Noseeum and I were just asking ourselves these same questions about the SNP that members in this thread have answered so well. Woo Hoo!! *Hugs*

    PS... have a great hike, Kelly!

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    You can also get to the loft wayside from the loft campground store by taking the paved trail behind the store down the hill right to the wayside. It is less than half a mile from the store.

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    1,630 miles and counting earlyriser26's Avatar
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    Good luck and have a fun hike.
    There are so many miles and so many mountains between here and there that it is hardly worth thinking about

  13. #13
    Registered User YesRushGen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HikerMom58 View Post
    Whiteblaze is AWESOME! Noseeum and I were just asking ourselves these same questions about the SNP that members in this thread have answered so well. Woo Hoo!! *Hugs*

    PS... have a great hike, Kelly!
    HikerMom is right - WhiteBlaze is awesome. So much info to be had, and thanks so much to those that take the time to share.

    I think becoming a donating member is definitely in the cards. Soon... soon...


    Thanks so much everyone,

    Kelly

    PS... thanks for the good wishes, mom! :-)

  14. #14
    Registered User YesRushGen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybgood View Post
    I read your itinerary and like version 2 except for the 4.8 mile R- trip to eat at the Loft Mt. Wayside.
    Factor in that pushing on to Pinefield Hut is just 6 miles further, I'd opt to reduce that next day's mileage of 15.3
    Now of course there's that little matter of eating a greasy burger at the wayside. There is a side trail 3.0 miles north of Loft Mountain Campground that gets you to that burger dinner in 15 minutes flat , < 1 mile.
    Yeah, I had noticed from the maps that those 2.4 miles were to the wayside ALONG the A.T. and that shorter routes existed. I think what I was going for was staying at Loft Mountain Campground at a tent site - but still wanting to get in a 10-ish mile day. However, I am thinking about nixing the campground and following your suggestion.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyjam View Post
    You can also get to the loft wayside from the loft campground store by taking the paved trail behind the store down the hill right to the wayside. It is less than half a mile from the store.
    Good to know - as I plan on a re-supply at the campground store! I think going to get lunch, then double back for re-supply then head on to Pinefield Hut as johnnyb suggests is a good alteration to Day 3.


    Thanks!!!

    Kelly

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    Default Shakedown Section Hike in SNP - Question

    While re supplying at the camp store ask if you can leave your pack there. You won't want to drag it down to the wayside to only drag it back.

  16. #16
    Registered User YesRushGen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tf bear View Post
    While re supplying at the camp store ask if you can leave your pack there. You won't want to drag it down to the wayside to only drag it back.
    Sometimes the greatest and simplest just get unnoticed. LOL

    Thanks for the excellent suggestion!


    Kelly

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    Kelly there are places you could stealth camp right outside loft and Lewis campgrounds.

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