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  1. #1

    Default Section Hike: I-26 Sam's Gap to Damascus

    Greetings! On to our next section, one week at a time.

    Does anybody have information regarding terrain from Sam's Gap to Damascus? We're looking to complete this section in a 7 day span, Wednesday to Wednesday beginning in May. We're experienced hikers and endurance athletes. It looks like a good resupply at mile 75 Elk Park. I made the following sheet from the 2020 guide book. Any additional info is appreciated, thanks!

    AT 2020.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Birmingham, Alabama


    My wife and I pulled Hot Springs to Damascus last year around that time. We usually did 18-19 mpd through the section you are looking at without too much trouble. We generally arrived at camp mid-afternoon. Elk Park is a good spot to resupply, we chose to wander down to Mountain Harbor to eat at the food truck and grab a couple of snacks.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail '18-19'


  3. #3
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Morganton, North Carolina
    Journal Entries


    I have worked the trail north of Spivey Gap to the VA line. Very hilly with lots of switchbacks until Watauga Lake. Then long rolling ridgelines to Damascus. Its one of the most maintained sections in the South.
    The climb up from Hughes Gap to Cloudland will be over 2000' but its using 20+ switchbacks. Maybe more since I last counted. Overmountain Barn is closed. But the grassy area is still open to camping.

    There are no shelters between Stan Murray and Mountaineer Falls.
    19E there is Mountain Harbour B&B/Hostel. There are Dollar Generals is in both directions on 19E. I would lean toward Roan Mtn as there are a few restaurants, gas stations, and a couple markets. Elk Park NC direction has the Station (beer room) and a couple grills.

    Hampton/Dennis Cove is another good resupply. Either BlueBlaze into town or BlackBear/Kincora will run you into town.

    There is no camping from 321 to Wilbur Dam Road due to habitual bear activity. Watauga Lake Shelter has been removed.
    Last edited by Tennessee Viking; 12-11-2019 at 20:21.
    ''Tennessee Viking'
    Mountains to Sea Trail Maintainer
    Former TEHCC (AT) Maintainer
    Falls Lake Trail: 2011

  4. #4


    All great info. The stretch is pretty straight forward. With 19e where it is, it makes for a perfect resupply. Early May is my favorite time of year to hike (tied with October). If you start in early may you will get to see alot of fauna change.
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    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

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