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  1. #1
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    Default Best time to hike SNP?

    I'd like to hike the AT through the park with my son...what is best time of year to hike it and preferred direction?
    -not crowded..miss the bubble
    -less buggy
    - not to hot
    -most wildlife



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  2. #2
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    Late April is perfect. Wildflowers are in bloom alongside the trail . Some early thru's but the main bubble is 4 weeks away.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnybgood View Post
    Late April is perfect. Wildflowers are in bloom alongside the trail . Some early thru's but the main bubble is 4 weeks away.
    Thx...I need to see when his spring break is that would be ideal...thx...what are avg temps then?


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  4. #4
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    50's for the high and mid to upper 30's for the low.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  5. #5
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    Sept-Oct is generally my favorite time to hike in most any area. Crowds are down, insects all but non-existent, temps are pleasant, trails generally dry, apples and other fruit is ripe. Only two drawbacks that I am concerned with: some water sources are dry, but this is usually more of an inconvenience than a problem, and sometimes other times offer nicer/more plentiful blooms.

  6. #6

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    I plan to hike the AT portion through Shenandoah. Mid April to May. I know it doesn't take ten days but it's an initial hike. Averaging ten miles a day for starters. I think it's 101 or so miles altogether through Shenandoah


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  7. #7
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    Welcome to Whitrblaze Jessica. You going northbound or southbound ?
    Unless you have a reason to hike to Rt.522 , outside the park boundry , pulling out at Compton Gap (milepost 10) is recommended.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by saltysack View Post
    Thx...I need to see when his spring break is that would be ideal...thx...what are avg temps then?


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    Spring break around here (TN) is usually mid-March. Not sure the various vendors in the park are open that early. If your spring break is that early, you should be prepared for the possibility of winter weather.

  9. #9

    Default More views?

    I'd imagine a mid- late Spring hike in SNP could involve late-season winter weather. It also might allow for some terrific bluebird days with the deciduous trees just starting to green up and leaf out. Those types of days are among my favorite--nice temps and long views before the trees fully leaf out.

    AO

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    Spring break around here (TN) is usually mid-March. Not sure the various vendors in the park are open that early. If your spring break is that early, you should be prepared for the possibility of winter weather.
    Yep....mid March....may have to wait and do over the summer..


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  11. #11

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    I'm going Nobo from Waynesboro (Rick fish gap entrance station) to Front Royal.


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  12. #12

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    We are staying at the terrapin station hostel and getting shuttled out to front royal. We aren't walking the high way lol. Too busy of a road.


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  13. #13
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    In April the first week the waysides open.

  14. #14
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    Thx....guess the mid March spring break will not work....


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  15. #15

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    My family hiked the SNP last year. We did the northern Half in Mid April, and the Southern Half over Laborday weekend. In the spring we had two cars and leap frogged or left a car over night and did varying directions North to South or South to North, and day hiked sections of 15mi plus and then went to hotels/hotels/lodges at night. The waysides were not all open nor the camp grounds so that is why we did the hotel thing at night. The park was empty, no leaves on the trees yet (late spring, by a week or so according to the locals) because of the harsh winter, but the wild flowers were coming out. We saw a lot of wild life close by, deer, fox, bobcat, etc. We could see all around us. It was nice. Laborday we set up a base camp at Loft Mountain camp ground and day hiked with two cars, this time we ended our hike at the camp twice, once from the north, and once from the south. We finished up at Rock fish Gap. The view were entirely different this time, and we didn't see as many wild life. No one was on the trail, execpt for up to 50yrs from a rest stop. This was a nice time to hike in the park too, but for very different reasons. This year we are doing a southern section in early April as a point to point trip backpacking the section. There is my two sense on the matter.1495163_10203264204498486_3860887240922133236_o.jpg10608191_10203264205698516_1665291947896612159_o.jpg

  16. #16
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    If Spring Break will not work, I suggest the first week that school is out for your son in June. I'd also suggest hiking SOBO, which will allow him and you to meet many thru-hikers.

    I was able to hike SNP with my son over multiple Spring Breaks while he was in late elem/middle school. I think four nights and 45 miles was our longest trip. Great experience for both of us.

    If you do go in June, don't expect there to be spaces in all the shelters due to the thrus, but there are many great camping spots if you are willing to venture down side trails. Check out the NPS's website about the park (http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/index.htm) including their many suggested overnight hikes, which will give you ideas and suggestions for legal campsites.

    I'm planning a 50-mile loop hike in SNP for my Spring Break this year, which is the first week of April. May possibly get some snow, sure, but likely less than here in Upstate NY.

  17. #17

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    I think that April is pretty early. We hiked it (Thornton Gap to Damascus) starting in mid April and had days with highs only in the 30's, and there were no leaves on the trees. Pretty much still like winter. Take warm clothes.

  18. #18
    Registered User Country Roads's Avatar
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    Late September. Less heat, way less ticks. Leaves not changing yet, so less people. Might meet some SoBo's, which is nice. We actually had a couple of the shelters to ourselves during mid-week. Less bear at the shelter issues. If summer is dry, you might have some water issues.
    Give Me Mountains & I Am Happy!

  19. #19
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    FYI - if you can't hike the best time mentioned above, just know that other times are really cool too. We did mid-July, which was OMG hot! However, that meant we experienced breathtaking Trail Magic in the form of cold water, watermellon, etc.

    Personally, I say the day you hike SNP is the best time!

  20. #20
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    Thx all....definitely want to try to avoid the heat and crowds.....


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