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  1. #1
    Registered User msujay's Avatar
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    Default Shenandoah this week/weekend

    I am heading down to Shenandoah tomorrow for a 3.5 day hike north along the AT, from Swift Run Gap to Front Royal. I had a few final questions:

    1) Is the parking area at Swift Run Gap suitable and safe for 3-4 days?
    2) Any intel on the recent snow storms and condition of the AT?
    3) Water situation?

    Thanks for any input and help!

    msujay (aka Alien Snorer)

  2. #2
    Registered User Sierra Echo's Avatar
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    Shenandoah sounds like fun. I'm gonna go look for Big Foot. I figure the turd is out there somewhere. He is just being shy.

  3. #3
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msujay View Post
    I am heading down to Shenandoah tomorrow for a 3.5 day hike north along the AT, from Swift Run Gap to Front Royal. I had a few final questions:

    1) Is the parking area at Swift Run Gap suitable and safe for 3-4 days?
    2) Any intel on the recent snow storms and condition of the AT?
    3) Water situation?

    Thanks for any input and help!

    msujay (aka Alien Snorer)
    1) A definite yes .
    2) The snow is melting

    3) Water shouldn't be a problem.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  4. #4
    Registered User ekeverette's Avatar
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    just hiked that area a month ago. i went from front royal to thornton gap. i don't know about parking at highway 33, but the shelters are approx 13 miles apart from pass mountain hut to gravel spring hut, then to highway 522... there's plenty of water.. it's a great walk... but to do it in 3.5 days you gotta be really moving.. you will really enjoy it. have fun.

  5. #5

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    There could be some trees down as you get closer to Front Royal...we are still assessing.
    "Take another road to another place,disappear without a trace..." --Jimmy Buffet

  6. #6
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Park near the ranger station, You could also park right by the Skyline Drive where the AT enters the woods, but the ranger entrance station is better I think (also pick up your backcountry permit there at the kiosk). Don't park right on RT 33 at the stone monument.







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  7. #7
    Registered User msujay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    Park near the ranger station, You could also park right by the Skyline Drive where the AT enters the woods, but the ranger entrance station is better I think (also pick up your backcountry permit there at the kiosk). Don't park right on RT 33 at the stone monument.
    Where is the ranger station?

  8. #8
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    The entrance station when you come into the park. You'll go by the booth, then on the right is a kiosk to pick up the permit. I've seen cars parked there. Ask the ranger when you get your permit signed.







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  9. #9
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Looks like good weather for it. Enjoy. I'll be in the park on Sat - doing the side trails.







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  10. #10
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    I also might add the trails will be a sloshy snow/mud mix while warmer weather is forcast through the remainder of the week. The park received 9 inches of snow in higher elevations so there will be some slick spots along trails ,especially ones that descend into sags down from the ridgeline . Take caution and expect lots of mud.

    Parking close to the entrance station at Swift Run is recommended because of the superior lighting that illumates that area at night.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  11. #11
    Registered User msujay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    The entrance station when you come into the park. You'll go by the booth, then on the right is a kiosk to pick up the permit. I've seen cars parked there. Ask the ranger when you get your permit signed.
    Thanks to all for the feedback! One last question...how far is the AT from the ranger station parking?

  12. #12
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    Walk up the hill from the Rangers station and the side trail will be directly in front of you across the street . You will see the marker at the beginning of the trail . The AT is not far from there.

    Not sure on the distance but thinking it to be less than one half mile .
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  13. #13
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    Sorry msujay. The trail across the road is indeed the AT . It is across the Skyline Drive
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    The entrance station when you come into the park. You'll go by the booth, then on the right is a kiosk to pick up the permit. I've seen cars parked there. Ask the ranger when you get your permit signed.
    Are the locations of the kiosks in Shenandoah posted somewhere? The map on the NPS website seems out of date. The map shows a marker at Panorama, all I could find there was bathrooms. I then went to Skyland and the sent me all the way to Big Meadow.

    Thanks

  15. #15
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    Here is where you should park. Eastbound on 33. Pull well off on the right of the roadway just a few yards west of the Skyline overpass. This is where others park. I have seen them there. If you try to enter Skyline at the Kiosk they will want you to pay 15 bucks. There is plenty of water. Also there are plenty of bears. Last week there was an incident at Gravel springs hut involving a sow with cub and a sleeping hiker in a hammock right behind the hut. So if you stay there be sure to sleep in the shelter and hang your food.

  16. #16
    Registered User msujay's Avatar
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    Thanks to all who responded! We ended up hitting the trail at 3:30pm on Thursday, at Swift Run Gap. We night hiked to Big Meadows Campground the first night. Second day was 18 miles to Pass Mountain Hut and then 7.5 miles the third and final day to Elkwallow Wayside. Although we missed peak fall colors by a week or two, we thoroughly enjoyed our 3 days in SNP.

    Highlights of the trip:

    1) Night hiking to around midnight on the first night. Bear scat so fresh you could smell it! Or was that my hiking partner?
    2) Heard a bear scamper up a tree, then down the tree, and then crashing through the woods, while hiking after dark up Pass Mountain to the hut.
    3) Likely being the first ever hikers to do two quick shots of scotch, after dark, while wearing headlamps and taking a break at Thornton Gap. Passing cars clearly thought we were not well.
    4) Three hitches to get from Elkwallow to Swift Run Gap - one hippie, family of Brits and a veteran! Only in America!
    5) Transitioning from hauling ass up and down hills all morning, then walking into Skyland for lunch.

    Good times! Thanks again!

    msujay / Alien Snorer

  17. #17
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    Glad to hear you had a great time. I've got Corbin Cabin reserved from Sunday through Wednesday next week.

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