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  1. #1
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    Default July Recommendations

    Looking for recommendations for a 3-5 day hike in July. I live in Atlanta so I would prefer it be within a (potentially very long) one day drive or a relatively short flight.

    I am under no illusion of pleasant weather this time of year in this part of the country, but would like something where bugs are a non-issue. Perhaps something consistently at higher elevations for as mild weather as possible.

    Thoughts appreciated.
    traveliní light

  2. #2
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    July is brilliant in Colorado.... what really is the difference between a short flight and a non-stop Atlanta to Denver (2.5 hours)? A quick SW airlines search shows mid-week r/t flight for $300 or so. Just a thought. Cool, dry high altitude air is awaiting you!

  3. #3

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    You already have it figured out.
    Near you, stick to the highest elevations of NC/TN

    Or you could head up to the whites.

    Or hop a plane and head West.

    July/aug is prime for colorado and sierra.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 06-05-2018 at 14:40.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    July is brilliant in Colorado.... what really is the difference between a short flight and a non-stop Atlanta to Denver (2.5 hours)? A quick SW airlines search shows mid-week r/t flight for $300 or so. Just a thought. Cool, dry high altitude air is awaiting you!
    I am tempted..Any specific recommendations close to the airport?

    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    You already have it figured out.
    Near you, stick to the highest elevations of NC/TN

    Or you could head up to the whites.

    Or hop a plane and head West.

    July/aug is prime for colorado and sierra.
    Any specific ~80 mile stretches at high elevations in TN/NC you can recommend?
    traveliní light

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slugg View Post
    Any specific ~80 mile stretches at high elevations in TN/NC you can recommend?
    The AT thru GSMNP or SNP (if you don't mind pushing on to Virginia), but you'll need to either find an expensive shuttle or do an out-and-back.
    Other suggestion from what I've heard would be Standing Indian Loop. I've never done it myself, but from what I understand, most of the loop is at higher elevations, is near Atlanta, and you don't need a shuttle.

  6. #6

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    July is a tough month in the Southeast for backpacking. Bugs and especially noseeums can be a problem---and the pit vipers love hot weather. And it'll be difficult to stay at 5,000 feet or above for 80 miles anywhere in the Southeast.

    You're very close to the Cohutta, and though it can be a jungle furnace in July with coppermouths and rattleheads a'plenty---old Cohut has the Conasauga River and the Jacks River for full immersion and wonderful campsites. In fact, my next summer trip will be The Quest For Three Creeks---North Fork Citico, South Fork Citico, and Slickrock Creek---in their applicable wildernesses.

    It's always the question between high elevation coolness or creek valley swimming. I'm opting for the creeks this time.

  7. #7
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    Heat is relative. Compared to Atlanta (and to place like Rome, GA, where I live), the high mountains of North Caroline and Tennessee can be quite comfortable even in mid-summer. Usually anything above 4,000-feet seems relatively comfortable to us stuck in the heat humidity of the Big A. The Smokies, the Max Patch/Big Bald region, the Roan Highlands and the Grayson Highlands are usually nice in July. So too Standing Indian and Albert Mountain section. Thunderstorms are the chief hazard.

  8. #8
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slugg View Post
    I am tempted..Any specific recommendations close to the airport?
    Well, not a whole lot near the airport, sorry, the Denver airport is way east and north of Denver, out in the plains..... heck, it's an hour's drive to my house from the airport, and I live in west Denver. but plenty of stuff within a 100-ish mile drive from the airport, like the Indian Peaks Wilderness, though you do need a permit in there.

    I guess I'll take back my recommendation though, for 3-5 days, flying to Colorado might be a bit much. Those words about the highlands areas near to you are well said.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    The AT thru GSMNP or SNP (if you don't mind pushing on to Virginia), but you'll need to either find an expensive shuttle or do an out-and-back.
    Other suggestion from what I've heard would be Standing Indian Loop. I've never done it myself, but from what I understand, most of the loop is at higher elevations, is near Atlanta, and you don't need a shuttle.
    Not using a shuttle would be ideal, but I think I'm trying to cover more miles than a loop would allow. Appreciate the suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    July is a tough month in the Southeast for backpacking. Bugs and especially noseeums can be a problem---and the pit vipers love hot weather. And it'll be difficult to stay at 5,000 feet or above for 80 miles anywhere in the Southeast.

    You're very close to the Cohutta, and though it can be a jungle furnace in July with coppermouths and rattleheads a'plenty---old Cohut has the Conasauga River and the Jacks River for full immersion and wonderful campsites. In fact, my next summer trip will be The Quest For Three Creeks---North Fork Citico, South Fork Citico, and Slickrock Creek---in their applicable wildernesses.

    It's always the question between high elevation coolness or creek valley swimming. I'm opting for the creeks this time.
    I've actually spent a good amount of time in the Cohuttas, lately on the Pinhoti but also around Jacks River Falls. I think I'm going to try to get a little more North.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roper View Post
    Heat is relative. Compared to Atlanta (and to place like Rome, GA, where I live), the high mountains of North Caroline and Tennessee can be quite comfortable even in mid-summer. Usually anything above 4,000-feet seems relatively comfortable to us stuck in the heat humidity of the Big A. The Smokies, the Max Patch/Big Bald region, the Roan Highlands and the Grayson Highlands are usually nice in July. So too Standing Indian and Albert Mountain section. Thunderstorms are the chief hazard.
    I grew up in Rome and my folks still live there! Thanks for the advice.

    I am considering leaving a car at Deep Gap and hiking South from Fontana Dam. Elevation seems to be over 4000 feet for ~65% of it. Too much low elevation? Thoughts?
    traveliní light

  10. #10
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    Or too South?
    traveliní light

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Roper View Post
    Heat is relative. Compared to Atlanta (and to place like Rome, GA, where I live), the high mountains of North Caroline and Tennessee can be quite comfortable even in mid-summer. Usually anything above 4,000-feet seems relatively comfortable to us stuck in the heat humidity of the Big A. The Smokies, the Max Patch/Big Bald region, the Roan Highlands and the Grayson Highlands are usually nice in July. So too Standing Indian and Albert Mountain section. Thunderstorms are the chief hazard.
    Like I said, it'll be really hard to pull an 80 mile trip in Grayson Highlands or Roan Highlands---and especially difficult on the high ground in the Smokies (or the low ground for that matter) when you consider the reservations needed for each's night camp (and nightly camping fees).

  12. #12
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    3-5 days? The GSMNP has the longest stretch of the entire Appalachian Trail above 5,000'. I hiked 3 days last weekend in the Smokies at roughly 3,000'-5,000' and it never got above 80 degrees.

    PLENTY of great side trails (with creeks) if you don't want the AT itself or if you want to do a loop.
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

    www.MeetUp.com/NashvilleBackpacker

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  13. #13
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    I've done 95% of my AT backpacking, from Springer to Atkins, VA, in June, July, August and September. Heat has never been a real issue, except perhaps from Springer to Neels Gap during an unusual heat wave in August 2007. That was mainly below 3,500 feet.

    If I was looking to do 75 miles or so in the mountains in July, my first thought might be Hot Springs to Erwin, which is about 70 miles. Then I might tinker with that, perhaps to start a bit north of Hot Springs in order to end at US Hwy 19e in Elk Park, North Carolina. If you do that, you get Big Bald and the Roan Highlands and lots of other lovely terrain. Heat and humidity and thunderstorms will be an issue from time to time, but you'll often be on high ridges with breezes, you can start early, take noontime breaks, and hike later in the day, and you have the long summertime days that give you added flexibility. It isn't like hiking in Colorado or the Whites but it isn't like hiking on Stone Mountain or on the Pinhoti from High Top to Snake Creek Gap.

    Good luck!

  14. #14
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    I just checked: I-26 (Sams Gap) to US 19e is 75 miles.

  15. #15
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    I spent time chatting with the very nice Grand Teton NP Backcountry Ranger lady recently. She assured me that she could get my granddaughter and I into the Death Canyon and Alaska Basin area for 3-5 days in August. The first half of July would be easier. And throw in bear canisters for free.
    All you have to do is throw enough money at the trip to make it happen. Fly to Jackson Hole airport. Rent a car. Piece of cake.
    There are worse places you could go.
    Wayne

  16. #16
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    Mt. Mitchell in NC

  17. #17

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    Yup Mt. Mitchell. And take a jacket. once your use to the 90- 100 degrees in July, in the South, the 65 degrees on Mt. Mitchell feel cold.

  18. #18
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    Grayson Highlands and base camp at an area like Scales or some other place where you are near a creek and do long loop hikes. During the week. Maybe not so much on the weekends.

  19. #19

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    If you’re going to fly to get to your destination then how far doesn’t matter. I’d recommend the Tahoe Rim Trail. Great weather in July and minimal bugs. Atlanta to Sacramento is an easy flight.

  20. #20
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    Ended up doing the AT SOBO from the Fontana Hilton to Deep Gap over 4 days. Had a great time.
    traveliní light

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