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  1. #1
    Registered User MrMiner2's Avatar
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    Default 2 Night Backpacking: Tellico/Citico area

    Hey!

    Hope all is well. I am looking for some suggestions for a 2 night loop in the tellico/citico area. Anything is appreciated! Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Several options---
    ** Park at Bald River Falls and hike thru the wilderness to Holly Flats road and go up Brookshire to State Line and come down Kirkland and back out thru Bald River wilderness.

    ** Park at Beech Gap on Cherohala Skyway and take Fodderstack trail to South Fork and descend and go up North Fork to Cherry Log Gap or Trail 149 back out to Beech.

    ** Park in Grassy Gap of the Skyway and descend Grassy Branch to South Fork and camp. Then finish South Fork downstream and do a short roadwalk to Flats Mt and camp on top past the spring. Last day roadwalk back to your car on the Skyway to Grassy Gap.

    ** Ambitious: Park at Beech Gap and go up to Bob Bald and Naked Ground Gap over to the Hangover for first night. Descend Hangover Lead South to Big Fat Gap and go down to Slickrock Creek and go up the Upper Slickrock Nutbuster trail (rugged) and camp somewhere. Last day take the Nut up to Naked Ground and out over the Bob to Beech Gap.

    ETC ETC

  3. #3
    Registered User Cadenza's Avatar
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    Or,.....park at Farr Gap.
    Take Stiffknee Trail (now part of Benton MacKaye Trail) down to Slickrock Creek. Camp along the creek 1st night.
    Second day, go up Slickrock to Big Stack Gap Branch Trail and up to Fodderstack Ridge. You can drop down a couple hundred yards on Crowder Branch to a nice clearing and campsite with a good water from a spring in the back corner of the clearing. After spending second night here you'll have an easy walk out on Fodderstack Ridge trail back to Farr Gap.

    There's a slim chance other backpackers could pass by when you are on Slickrock Creek, but there's a better chance you aren't likely to see another human on this loop.
    Last edited by Cadenza; 08-11-2014 at 00:43.

  4. #4
    Registered User Cadenza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post

    ** Ambitious: Park at Beech Gap and go up to Bob Bald and Naked Ground Gap over to the Hangover for first night. Descend Hangover Lead South to Big Fat Gap and go down to Slickrock Creek and go up the Upper Slickrock Nutbuster trail (rugged) and camp somewhere. Last day take the Nut up to Naked Ground and out over the Bob to Beech Gap.

    ETC ETC

    Walter, you crack me up.
    While I'd like to do this loop, I'd want to do it over about five days instead of two! LOL

  5. #5

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    Hey Cadenza---Your Farr Gap route is excellent and I forgot about that option---the only negatory being the dirt road drive to Farr.

    You're right about taking 5 days to do my last loop---but there are backpackers out there who aren't like me and who actually can pull off this loop in 3 days, or even 2.

  6. #6
    Registered User Cadenza's Avatar
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    The road from Double Camp to Farr Gap (six miles) is gravel now and in pretty good shape. A few minor washed out pot holes that can be avoided.
    I probably wouldn't want to take a low-slung sports car up there, but any normal car can do it. Pickup truck, no sweat.

    I can usually get a cell signal from Farr Gap. Last chance to check in with the world before heading down Stiffknee and you can again make contact when you get back to the vehicle.

    MrMinor2,
    Stiffknee is my favorite trail in the combined Citico/Slickrock/Joyce Kilmer Wilderness areas. There is a great campsite about halfway down (2 miles) just before you get to the foundation of the old homestead place. But if you don't know where it is you are likely to miss it when going downhill. It sits up on a ledge to the right of the trail. When going up Stiffknee it is easy to spot.
    It's a relatively flat spot, has good visibility all around, and is adjacent to good water from a branch off Little Slickrock Creek.

    If you can manage 3 nights I'd stay here the 1st night. But if you can only manage 2 nights then you can easily go all the way to Slickrock Creek the 1st day. It's a gentle downhill on an easy trail.
    On the 2nd day (or 3rd) you have now lightened your food and fuel load for the climb up Big Stack Gap.
    There is a nice campsite at the top when you get back to Fodderstack ridge, but there is no water there. That's why I suggested going on down to Crowder Branch, maybe a quarter mile. Either way, you'll have an easy hike out on the last day back to Farr Gap.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadenza View Post
    The road from Double Camp to Farr Gap (six miles) is gravel now and in pretty good shape. A few minor washed out pot holes that can be avoided.
    I probably wouldn't want to take a low-slung sports car up there, but any normal car can do it. Pickup truck, no sweat.

    I can usually get a cell signal from Farr Gap. Last chance to check in with the world before heading down Stiffknee and you can again make contact when you get back to the vehicle.

    MrMinor2,
    Stiffknee is my favorite trail in the combined Citico/Slickrock/Joyce Kilmer Wilderness areas. There is a great campsite about halfway down (2 miles) just before you get to the foundation of the old homestead place. But if you don't know where it is you are likely to miss it when going downhill. It sits up on a ledge to the right of the trail. When going up Stiffknee it is easy to spot.
    It's a relatively flat spot, has good visibility all around, and is adjacent to good water from a branch off Little Slickrock Creek.

    If you can manage 3 nights I'd stay here the 1st night. But if you can only manage 2 nights then you can easily go all the way to Slickrock Creek the 1st day. It's a gentle downhill on an easy trail.
    On the 2nd day (or 3rd) you have now lightened your food and fuel load for the climb up Big Stack Gap.
    There is a nice campsite at the top when you get back to Fodderstack ridge, but there is no water there. That's why I suggested going on down to Crowder Branch, maybe a quarter mile. Either way, you'll have an easy hike out on the last day back to Farr Gap.
    There's also the dirt road section on Citico Creek to get to the Doublecamp turnoff---either down from the Skyway at Indian Boundary or way downstream on the Citico from Vonore, etc.

    Plus, when going up Big Stack Gap trail to Fodderstack Ridge and the open grassy spot I call Crowder Camp, there IS a spring water source to the left when going up Big Stack Gap---actually the trail crosses it near the top. It's most of the time flowing and is a good source near the top w/o having to go to the Crowder Branch "horse camps" in the old apple orchard. But right now it could be dry since we haven't had a lot of rain.

  8. #8
    Registered User Cadenza's Avatar
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    I miss those apple trees.
    I used to enjoy one of God's "little green apples....and it don't rain in Indianapolis....in the summertime."
    But alas, the apple trees have disappeared in recent years. Some redneck probably cut them for firewood.

    I guess, "God don't make little green apples" there anymore.
    Last edited by Cadenza; 08-11-2014 at 10:41.

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    I knew this would happen. So many proposed good options. Some of you spend more time in that area in the woods than you probably do on your couch.

  10. #10
    Registered User MrMiner2's Avatar
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    Thanks all! Any of these particularly stand out?

    I've only done Beech Gap to the Balds to The Hangover. Everything else is a mystery.


    Any neat swimming holes?

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    plenty of swimming holes along slickrock creek...

    the pool of wildcat falls makes a nice place for a dip....

    and there's a few campsites in this area......

  12. #12
    Registered User Cadenza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Some of you spend more time in that area in the woods than you probably do on your couch.

    I think that attribute only applies to Tipi Walter.
    He is there 3 weeks out of every month, year round, for 40 years. He is in a league of his own!

    I only manage to get out to the area 3 or 4 times per year, usually for 5-7 days, but I've been doing it for over 35 years so I kinda learned my way around over time.

    Whether you can do two days or twenty-two days,.....it's a great place to be.

  13. #13
    Registered User MrMiner2's Avatar
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    Thanks!!!

    Any rough estimates on mileages??

  14. #14
    Registered User Cadenza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMiner2 View Post
    Thanks!!!

    Any rough estimates on mileages??
    See PM. I gave you rough estimates but close enough.
    You can easily do the Stiffknee (106), Big Stack Gap (139), Fodderstack (95) loop with two nights out.
    Figure 3-4 hours Farr Gap to Slickrock. 5-6 hours up Big Stack Branch to Fodderstack. 1-2 hours from Crowder Branch back to your car at Farr Gap (2.5 miles).

    Note: I just looked at a map. I misjudged the distance from Little Slickrock Creek confluence with (big) Slickrock to Big Stack Gap Branch trail.
    Instead of a few hundred yards, it's actually two miles, but it's easy as the trail just follows alongside up Slickrock Creek, basically matching the same grade.
    Of course your hiking speed depends on weight of your pack and fitness level.
    I tend to carry more pack weight than most (45-50 lbs) and I'm almost 60 years old.
    Last edited by Cadenza; 08-15-2014 at 22:04.

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