Mar 1, 2010 at 7:57 am #1255896
trying to plan a thursday-sunday trip and heard this was a great section. live in atl, so not thrilled about the 6 hour drive, or the fact that we might need two cars as i dont see any good loops. any ideas? last trip was pine mountain trail friday-sun (28 miles). any good 30 mile loops closer or should i just go for it and hit grayson highlands? thanks in advance.Mar 1, 2010 at 8:32 am #1580021
why not get a shuttle in Damascus and hike back to your car.
This past fall me and another guy started at Wise Shelter followed it over Scales then up to the junction with Pine Mountain Trail. Took the PMT back to the AT then stayed on it until it intersected with the Mt Rogers trail. Took it over to Hwy 603 (I think) crossed the road and took a trail up to the Iron Mountain Trail and followed it all the way back to Damascus.
Only folks we saw on the Iron Mt Trail was 4 folks riding their horses.Mar 1, 2010 at 8:46 am #1580024
how far is that? easy to do in a 3 nighter? would love details if you have them. trying to plan something and am really in the dark. thanks!Mar 1, 2010 at 8:48 am #1580026
just go give you an idea of my last hike.Mar 1, 2010 at 9:09 am #1580034
@paulsiegelLocale: Southern Appalachians
Don't want to sidetrack your discussion, but I was thinking about doing the PMT in a few weekends and wondering if you did it as a loop?Mar 1, 2010 at 9:18 am #1580037
did not do it as a loop. started at the end (waterfalls) and counted the miles down to 1. pretty good 2 night trip. this trail is probably better in winter because of the views through the leaveless trees. You might be able to get a shuttle but dont really know. you can call the ranger station up there.Mar 1, 2010 at 9:48 am #1580049
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I went from the Mt. Rogers Visitors Center to Damascus this fall. It is a total of 63.8 miles and I did it with this breakdown:
Day 1: 18.4 miles
Day 2: 19.6 miles
Day 3: 25.8 miles
If you are looking for a shuttle go to whiteblaze.net and send a PM to LoneWolf. He lives in Damascus and offers very reasonable shuttles in the area.
My pics of the trip can be seen here:Mar 1, 2010 at 10:01 am #1580058
sounds beastly. i dont know if my knees can take that much milege in 3 days. is terraine flat? i usually average about 2-3 miles an hour in north ga. any ideas to shorten the trip and still get the good hikes?Mar 1, 2010 at 2:00 pm #1580129
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
You could start at either VA-603 at Fox Creek for a total of 40.7 miles or at VA-16 at Dicky Gap for a total of 49.2. You still get all of the good stuff with either of those starts. The trail starts the climb to the highlands after the trail crosses 603.Mar 2, 2010 at 12:08 pm #1580642
Taking everything mentioned above and consolidating it, you could consider parking in Damascus, getting a shuttle to Grayson Highlands SP, and hiking the AT back to your car. From Grayson Highlands SP it's almost all downhill, about 30 miles, and you will hit all the major stuff (the exposed rocky ridge between Massie Gap and the spur trail to Mt. Rogers, Mt. Rogers, and Whitetop Mtn). The most stunning scenery in this area is the section from VA 601 (south of Whitetop Mtn) to Massie Gap, which is about 12 miles. And then of course there are the "wild horses" in Grayson Highlands SP.
As mentioned above go check out Whiteblaze.com for more AT specific info. Another shuttler in Damascus is MRO (Mount Rogers Outfitters).Mar 2, 2010 at 12:21 pm #1580647
Don't worry about the 6 hour drive yhis section is worth it. I have driven from Memphis three times to hike in that area. Absolutely beautiful and fun!Mar 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm #1580652
THANKS for all your help guys/gals BUT i just realized that my trip dates (MAY14-16th) is TRAIL DAYS in damascus!!! im guessing that will kill our solitude. will put up a post asking for other recs. if you know of any, please chime in. THANKS AGAINMar 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm #1580768
@windwardLocale: NE Tennessee
Too far to do the whole thing in the time you have, and you'd want to arrange safe parking and shuttle with one of the hostels.
That said, Sam's Gap to Hot Springs (N-S) is a 45 miler, climbing 8900' and descending 11200'. You'd end up in Hot Springs, where you could book a hot tub soak and a massage. There are one or two hostels in Hot Springs, and you could probably work out shuttle that way.
EDIT: Carver's Gap, on Roan Mtn, south to the Nolichucky River, is about 32 miles, climbing about 7200' and descending about 11,100'. Uncle Johnny's in Erwin, will do shuttle for a price. Start from 19E to add another 14 miles, but do NOT leave your car at 19E.
Iron Mountain Gap south to Sam's Gap is about 42 miles, climbing and descending about 11,200'. Again, Uncle Johnny's will get you from Sam's to the Nolichucky for a fee, and could get you to Iron Mtn Gap as well. You get ridge hiking, rhododendron, wooded areas, balds, the Nolichucky… I really like this section of trail.
All three sections obviously involve some ascending (nothing technical, just uphill), but each is lovely, relatively uncrowded, and has few problem bears. Water is plentiful and the topography is varied, with some excellent views here and there. I don't think you'd be disappointed by any of them, assuming the ascents don't put you off.Mar 9, 2010 at 1:04 pm #1584109
Hiking in the Damascus area during Trail Days can be crowded to say the least. A friend and I hiked the Art Loeb Trail (Davidson River in Pisgah Forest to the Daniel Boone Campground near Nebo, NC) a year ago and thought you might like to consider it as an option. It's right at 30 miles with an option towards the end (if hiking North) to hike to the summit of Cold Mountain (yep, that Cold Mountain). It's got it all: plenty of water, old-growth forests, boulders, ridgeline hikes, bushwhacking and some of the most gorgeous vistas you'll ever see around Tennet Mountain near Graveyard Fields. It's well marked, but rated strenuous. I'd even be willing to show you to the trailhead, as it's one of my favorite areas. Trail also crosses over Shining Rock and passes through the wilderness area and over the Blue Ridge Parkway. It took us 2-1/2 days to hike it and the best part was the total # of people we encountered: ZERO! Info online is tough to come by so let me know if I can assist. Jason. 828-699-2198.Jul 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm #1896682
@cdiepholLocale: Western North Carolina
Hey Jason I know this is a old thread but I am planing a trip on Aug 7-12 for the Art Leob and I am having some concerns about the water sources along the trail If you could give me some good advice or maybe i could call you that would be great. Im from the area but I have never hiked the whole trail. Let me know what you think. Thanks
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