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  1. #1
    Registered User jax_o's_fan's Avatar
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    Default 7 days of fun in virginia ...help needed

    Hi there. Let me first say that if nothing changes we are going to go from Front Royal to Rockfish Gap in 7 days. This is probably my eighth or ninth section hike. I'm coming from Florida just as an FYI. We'll be there the last week of April.

    My question is should I go for a more spectacular section in VA? I'm flying in to Dulles so that's why I'm trying to stick with VA. I have seven days between flights and want to make the most of this trip. A couple of years back we did the Damascus section and the Grayson Highlands. That was probably the prettiest section I've done to date. I've started at Front Royal and gone south for a couple/few days ( maybe 35 miles into shenandoah). I've done Tinkers cliffs and Mcafee. We did PenMar to harpers ferry on another trip. I don't necessarily have to stick to just AT hikes, but I do like the sense of accomplishment that comes with knocking out sections without looping. At my current pace I am not concerned with piecing all of my AT hikes together to complete the AT. I get maybe 7 days of hiking in per year.

    So I guess what I'm looking for is people's opinions on a good seven day trek ( 60-100 miles is about what I'm looking for ). Sorry for blathering on but wanted to give some background info on what I've done and what I think I can handle.

    Thanks in advance for reading and your input.

  2. #2

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    I haven't hiked there, but I have been considering some routes there for early May so I'll share a couple things I know.

    I backed away from the shenandoah idea because it seems to be a bit easier, busier and to pass the road and waysides, etc, almost all the time. So it's not much of a wilderness experience. But that also has its benefits!

    Another option: the section from Rockfish gap south looks quite nice. There is a hostel for some resupply after 55 miles, and they have some resupply foods or can shuttle to town for $10 or so. It's called three springs hostel and looks kind of cool. Then you could figure out how far to go from there and there are various outs on roads where I know people shuttle from (it's about 80-100 back to rockfish gap)
    This section appeals to me because it looks a bit more rugged and more remote in some areas. Some good climbs to different peaks like the priest, three ridges, and some of the other mountains like like nice viewpoints.

    If you end up considering that section, let me know if you want some shuttle contacts

  3. #3

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    Rockfish to Buena Vista (US60) is one of the better sections of VA, but one of the more difficult too. Starts out easy enough, but once past Maupin Field you start to work for the miles. One of my favorite AT shelters is along there at Harpers Creek. Real pretty setting.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  4. #4
    Registered User Studlintsean's Avatar
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    I second Rockfish Gap south which will include the priest, 3 ridges, and cold mountain.

  5. #5
    1,630 miles and counting earlyriser26's Avatar
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    Front Royal to Rockfish gap is easy hike. There are some nice views and plenty of crossing of Skyline drive. However, if you are cherry picking parts of the trail, I agree that south of Rockfish is more scenic, but more difficult. Humpback rocks, three ridges, the priest, tar jacket ridge, cole/cold mountain.
    There are so many miles and so many mountains between here and there that it is hardly worth thinking about

  6. #6
    Registered User jax_o's_fan's Avatar
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    Great! Thank you all for the input. I am almost sold on Rockfish Gap south to Buena Vista or vice versa. I always wanted to do the priest anyhow. If I change my flight into Charlottesville, I would need to arrange shuttle service from there down to where the AT crosses Buena Vista. I'd imagine that could become a pricey ride, but I don't see much choice. Any input on shuttling around there?

  7. #7
    Registered User jax_o's_fan's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great input. Yes some shuttle contacts would be great.

  8. #8

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    Yeah, I have a bunch right in my word document because I've decided finally that I'm going to do that section May 2 - 9 (rockfish to near dalevile)

    Homer [email protected]
    Buddy Johnson [email protected]
    Adam at the rockfish gap hostel does shuttling - [email protected]

    Homer is $1/mile, so might be hard to beat.

    http://www.threespringshostel.com/
    this hostel is right near the US 60 AT crossing and also does shuttles so you could get a price from them

    There is one other logistical issue I ran into near rockfish gap. From the maupin field shelter it is 16 miles to the next one (paul wolfe) and that one is so close to the end that I wouldn't stay there.

    So from other old posts on here I figured out that there are some decent camp sites just before cedar cliffs at an overlook and also plenty directly north of the "dripping rock parking area" on the left side. These would be about 14-15 miles from rockfish gap. I am going south, so I will stay there the first night.



  9. #9

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    If you want to extend the section a bit, those first couple shuttle people wouldn't charge much more for your shuttle if you went from rockfish to either snowden or there's a place called bearwallow gap that isn't far from buchanan for easy shuttling.

  10. #10
    Registered User jax_o's_fan's Avatar
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    Thank you soooo much for the shuttle info. This information is invaluable to me. And yes we might have to extend the trip a day or two so that input is helpful as well.

  11. #11
    Registered User Pastor Bryon's Avatar
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    +1 to the advice given. I finished this section last year and it was incredible - beautiful and challenging all at once.

    I'm in BV and pretty flexible with my time. Feel free to pm me if you need any help on logistics, transportation, etc. Happy to help.

  12. #12
    Registered User jax_o's_fan's Avatar
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    Awesome Thank you. Do you happen to know how the water sources are in this section? The guide book shows a decent amount of water, but I wasn't sure how well it is flowing this year.

  13. #13
    Registered User Pastor Bryon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jax_o's_fan View Post
    Awesome Thank you. Do you happen to know how the water sources are in this section? The guide book shows a decent amount of water, but I wasn't sure how well it is flowing this year.
    Water should be fine. We didn't get as much snow as usual, but spring time rains in the next few weeks should be adequate.

    Weather could be all over the map. Be prepared to still get down to freezing overnight and close to 80 during the day.

  14. #14
    Registered User jax_o's_fan's Avatar
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    So my buddy who is driving to meet us there wants to bring his dog. Personally I'm not sure about taking a dog backpacking. I had a dog rush me and bite me on the AT in Virginia so maybe I'm a little biased about dogs on trails. I know the Smokey National park doesn't allow dogs. Does this section even allow dogs?

  15. #15
    Registered User Studlintsean's Avatar
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    Yes dogs are allowed on this section. I hiked most of it in small sections with my old man dog. I would recommend he keep him leashed and plan to stay in his tent. The good thing is their are a few awesome campsites along the way. I have used Homer (listed above) for 2 shuttles and Three Springs Hostel for 2 shuttles. Both were great but Homer is a bit cheaper if he shuttles in the Rockfish Gap area (used him to stage out of Daleville twice).

  16. #16
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    I did the section from the Tye river to Rockfish gap a couple weeks ago nobo and it was fantastic. It is quite a stretch between Maupin fields shelter and Paul Wolfe shelter, however there is an amazing campsite on the south summit of humpback mountain next to a cliff ( but not if its windy ). There is a good dry stretch from about 2800' on humpback mountain until just south of cedar cliffs so be sure to carry enough water through there. I took my dog and had no complications. The only wildlife I saw were birds, a skunk, and two deer. Enjoy!

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