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  1. #1
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    Default Cow Camp Gap Shelter

    Info, questions, comments, experiences (good or bad) regarding - Cow Camp Gap Shelter

    Past/Present hikers - what can future hikers expect here? Have any good stories or memories from here?

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  2. #2
    Addicted Hiker and Donating Member Hammock Hanger's Avatar
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    I stayed here this year. SHelter stayed dry during a heavy rain storm. A bit of a walk but solid shelter. HH
    Hammock Hanger -- Life is my journey and I'm surely not rushing to the "summit"...:D

    http://www.gcast.com/u/hammockhanger/main

  3. #3
    Registered User Tu_cubed's Avatar
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    Default Where the hell is it?

    Got caught by Hurricane Jeanne night of 27 Sep 04 and desperately wanted a shelter. Saw the sign saying Cow Camp Gap Shelter .5 miles said thank God. A half mile later and I'm at a sign that says AT .5 miles pointing the opposite way. I'm at a creek in failing light in a down pour and can't find the shelter.

    Setup my tent and went to sleep. FWIW I had three inches of rain in my pot when I packed out in the rain at 8 AM. Never did see the shelter or a sign for the shelter. I was pissed and when I NOBO next year I will stay at Brown Mountain Creek or Seeley.

    Tu

  4. #4

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    The 0.5 trail was a gradually sloping (well graded), somewhat wide path yes? If I remember correctly, I too hit this shelter under limiting conditions, not raining but late at night. Got to the stream, filled up and was confused about the shelter location. You have to cross the stream, it's just a little bit further. It does seem like the trail dead-ends at the stream. With the rain, the stream was probably so swollen that you wouldn't have considered crossing.

    Also, I think there are additional camp sites past the shelter.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tu_cubed
    Got caught by Hurricane Jeanne night of 27 Sep 04 and desperately wanted a shelter. Saw the sign saying Cow Camp Gap Shelter .5 miles said thank God. A half mile later and I'm at a sign that says AT .5 miles pointing the opposite way. I'm at a creek in failing light in a down pour and can't find the shelter.

    Setup my tent and went to sleep. FWIW I had three inches of rain in my pot when I packed out in the rain at 8 AM. Never did see the shelter or a sign for the shelter. I was pissed and when I NOBO next year I will stay at Brown Mountain Creek or Seeley.

    Tu

    pardon me, what is FWIW?

    Flash Hand

  6. #6
    Registered User orangebug's Avatar
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    FWIW = For What Its Worth

  7. #7
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    Default Cow Camp Gap Shelter

    Spent an amusing night here a few years ago. We departed from upper parking area above Montebello Fish Hatchery at appx 12am hiked 4 miles or so to Sealy Woodworth in a thunder/lightning storm, started raining about 1/4 mile from shelter. We hiked up and over balds the next day and ended our hike at Cow Camp. Register stated many mice (put me in a pitch black 10x10 room with 100 rattlesnakes I'll be fine, put me in the same room with 1 mouse and I'll come out a blithering idiot! Some thing to do with a mouse getting into my sleeping bag several years ago and running up and down my body for 2 minutes while I tried to unzip!) I went to sleep on the picnic table and it wasn't long before I heard the cussing of my companions as they were attacked from above, below, and both sides by an army of mice. I smugly smiled and snuggled into my down bag congratulating my wise decision. Until the first drop of rain splattered on my forehead, quickly followed by drops 2,3,4, and 5. I climbed into the shelter and within 15 seconds the varmits were all over me! Early morning found us packing our gear and literally having to side step to keep from stepping on the little pests. there were 10/12 of them running up the sides of our packs, across the tops of our boots, etc. My buddy Paul was writing in the register and one sat on the page and observed him, Paul finger flicked him into a tumbling hair ball. But the best was yet to come, Larry who sleeps late and sleeps hard and snores like two yetis mating started packing. I told him to be sure and empty his pack when he did 4/5 mice fell out and 2/3 more clung to the sides, another shake and they hit the floor. It was at that moment that we discovered a strange phenom, Larry's underwear began to move across the shelter floor as if possesed by some spirit, we were preparing to stomp on them but he wanted his drawers without blood and guts so he shook them out and packed them away. We hiked out 5 miles in a driving rain storm that created the mighty Appalachian River! Thats my worst mouse encounter other than my thru hike and Vanderventer Shelter, but thats another story.Rick

  8. #8
    Registered User sweetpeastu's Avatar
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    Creek Dancer and I stopped at this shelter for lunch this afternoon. Just an FYI, there is good water down stream from the shelter. Where the blue blaze takes you across the creek the shelter, the water is just a trickle.

  9. #9
    Section Hiking Hobbler's Avatar
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    Default Cow Camp Gap Shelter

    Monday 6/07/10
    From the junction of the blue blazed Old Hotel Trail there is a gradual, .55mile trek descending some 300' to the Cow Camp gap shelter. On getting close to the shelter, you cross a stream, good flowing but the old abandoned spring. Just prior to that crossing, and on the right, is a protected piped spring with sign. The better choice for water here.
    The shelter is 100' past the stream crossing and is of solid construction and in good repair. No roof leaks. It has a relatively new roof. Also there is a large picnic table and a privy. The spur trail behind the shelter leads some 250' to some great, level and spacious campsites I didn't experience any of the mice that were so described in previous posts, nor was I visited by any critters of the night during my stay. This probably had something to do with the fact that I swept the entire shelter out before bedding down, and leaving it much cleaner than I found it.
    Although a 1.1 mile round trip from Cow Camp Gap on the A/T It is well worth the trek down for the solitude and amenities that it offers.
    "May Your Feet Be Light and Your Gait Be Long"... Hobbler

  10. #10

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    The picnic table there is HUGE - it makes everyone look Hobbit-sized. And, the floor of the shelter has a checkerboard painted onto it. Last time we were there, were were able to play checkers with twigs and acorn caps.

  11. #11
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    Nothing wrong with the shelter, but if the weather is good, you'd do better to camp at nearby Hog Camp Gap (2.5 miles North) which is a beautiful open field with good water nearby, and is one of the prettiest campsites in Virginia.

  12. #12
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Tarlin View Post
    Nothing wrong with the shelter, but if the weather is good, you'd do better to camp at nearby Hog Camp Gap (2.5 miles North) which is a beautiful open field with good water nearby, and is one of the prettiest campsites in Virginia.
    Agreed. Or carry water and camp on the summit of Cold Mountain, about 1.5 miles north. Beautiful strip of bald with a great view. Love that area.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  13. #13
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Tarlin View Post
    Nothing wrong with the shelter, but if the weather is good, you'd do better to camp at nearby Hog Camp Gap (2.5 miles North) which is a beautiful open field with good water nearby, and is one of the prettiest campsites in Virginia.
    Yep! Did that last summer with LilRed. NICE campsite!

    RainMan

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  14. #14
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    big cranky, according to my map camping/camp fires are prohibited on cold mountain. is there a seperate place where you are allowed to camp?

  15. #15
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Really? That wasn't on the maps at the time (circa 1995.) There were several fire rings at the top, though we did not have a fire.

    Of course, it may have been closed since then due to overuse.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  16. #16
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    +1 for hog camp gap one of favorite places to camp

  17. #17
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    Lightbulb Update on Cow Camp Gap Shelter

    Stayed at this shelter area two nights ago, so I figured I'd give some up-to-date info.

    The shelter is listed for eight hikers, but it MIGHT be able to squeeze in more. It seems to be in good repair, with a newer roof. Damage, trash, and graffiti were no worse than usual for shelters. There is the typical privy, picnic table, and fire ring near the front. This photo from six years ago is still pretty accurate.
    http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/file...ampshelter.jpg
    I did not notice many nails for hanging anything, nor any pegs for packs or strings for food bags. There was not a lot of info posted at the site -- a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view. One (almost) unique feature was a checkerboard in duct tape on the floor.
    http://virginiatrails.files.wordpres...eckerboard.jpg

    Cow Camp Gap is a well-signed, four-way intersection
    http://www.imrisk.com/atnov03/PB100018_web.JPG
    http://rohland.homedns.org:8008/at/a...19-5164601.jpg
    about 2.5 miles north of where The Trail crosses U.S. Highway 60 at Long Mountain Wayside,
    http://rohland.homedns.org:8008/at/a...19-5164598.jpg
    a large parking area about nine miles east of Buena Vista.

    As stated on the sign, the shelter is half a mile "east" of this intersection, found by walking down a wide, easy to follow, gently downward sloping, blue-blazed trail. Note that you cross a stream just before you get to the shelter, while the Old Hotel Trail turns to the right at this stream. Follow the blue blazes until you come to the stream, cross the stream, turn right, and the shelter will be right there.
    If you follow the Old Hotel Trail at the stream for about twenty feet, you'll come to the spring for the shelter. When I was there, both the stream and the spring were flowing well, but either could be slow late in a dry summer.

    There is a large tenting area nearby, up a walk to the left (as you look out) of the shelter. There were three fire rings there, some with nicely made "fences" around them.

    Mosquitoes were ubiquitous near the water sources, so be sure you have protection when gathering water.

    One last thing to note: one for the few murders on The Trail occurred here.
    http://www.appalachiantrail.org/who-...ia-last-summer
    Last edited by GoldenBear; 06-20-2014 at 22:17.

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