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  1. #1

    Default Looking for Info for 3 day hike of the AT in Shenandoah

    I was looking for an epic summer hike to get in shape for this year and settled on doing the AT in Shenandoah in 3 days. I was curious if you good people could help me out with a few things.

    First, Iím trying to get a good sense of water sources along the trail so that I can avoid carrying more than I need and minimize weight. I found this post from this forum, but the attachment is dead. SNPís site has this table, but itís a little short on info regarding exact location. It also seems to have just the springs, not including info on some obvious streams that the AT crosses.

    Second, Iím trying to figure out how to get myself from Compton Gap to Rockfish Gap. My plan is to drive to Compton Gap after work on a Thursday, leave my car, somehow get myself to Rockfish Gap, sleep near the trail, then start north the following morning, arriving back to my car the following Sunday night. I contacted Chris Brunton, whoís name I found through this forum, and he indicated he might be able to do it. But I though it wise to see if other options were available as well.

    Also, any suggestions for pacing or training would be appreciated. I did the MD Challenge last year and have completed a number of other major day hikes (Great Range, Presi, Devilís Path) but Iíve never done a multi-day hike with this kind of mileage. I have no doubt I can bust out 33 miles and 7000í of gain on day one, itís day two and three that Iím concerned about. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Guthook's App will have more water data. Not sure if stanimal out of waynesboro does shuttles but worth it. Uber? Bicycle?

  3. #3
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    Water depends on the time of the year you go. Later in the summer and into the fall, it wouldn't be unusual for some streams and springs to be trickles if that. On streams, you might have to go fairly far down stream to get enough to run through a filter. Don't sweat the vagueness of that SNP table too much - the springs tend to be really well marked through the park and it's pretty easy to locate the hydrants at the developed areas. Adam Stanley and Mike Evans who are both listed on the AT shuttle list are very reliable folks in my experience.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the App recommendation. Once I get a good list of sources I can do research on them individually to see which are reliable enough to count on. Usually it's not too hard to find decent info on a particular stream or spring. It's the comprehensive list that's the hard part, since so many water sources have multiple names. I'll be going in late June (around the solstice) so hopefully it's not too dry. I'm just trying to get as much info upfront so I can save time on the trail.

  5. #5

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    Compton gap is 2 miles shy of end of park

    Park at the 4h center. Its the best place, its around mile 961
    Check atc shuttle page. Mike evans or sharons shuttles, or sharons daughter also shuttles.

  6. #6
    Registered User Sandy of PA's Avatar
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    National Geographic map #228 Shenandoah has everything marked with streams and rivers. Might be worth buying one for planning purposes.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Compton gap is 2 miles shy of end of park

    Park at the 4h center. Its the best place, its around mile 961
    Check atc shuttle page. Mike evans or sharons shuttles, or sharons daughter also shuttles.
    Is there decent camping near there? Looks like it’s private land. I care less about technically completing the entire length of the trail in the park than I do with having a nice quiet place not far from my car to enjoy a few beers and whatever other treats I’ve stashed in my ride for the end of my trip. Thanks for the tip though, I didn’t know you could park there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy of PA View Post
    National Geographic map #228 Shenandoah has everything marked with streams and rivers. Might be worth buying one for planning purposes.
    In my personal experience those Nat Geo maps are really bad. They have a lot of inaccuracies, which is a shame because visually they’re nice and easy to read. I tend to make my own for trips like this.

  8. #8
    Registered User X-Pat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chknfngrs View Post
    Guthook's App will have more water data. Not sure if stanimal out of waynesboro does shuttles but worth it. Uber? Bicycle?
    He does. 540-290-4002

  9. #9
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    Making a detailed water plan this far in advance at this location is impossible. When we get a bunch of rain here in the Park the act of finding drinking water is a snap. It will be at every spot marked on maps, books and web pages and then some. When we don't get rain, it goes to crap fast. I may appear at places listed on maps and in books, or may not. When it gets dry here a hiker has to take steps. Carry more water, carry additional bottles, seek info from every hiker you pass etc. In the park during dry times I have been quite the beggar. Lots of parking lots, cars, people. I hang out and catch people heading back to the cars. Anybody got any extra water? I will take anything. Works great. I was once saved up in PA on the trail in August by a group of little 6 year old Brownie scouts on a hike. I got 2 12 oz bottles and a lecture from a little girl. Mr. Don't you know that you can die without water? Here's this grizzley old bearded man in his 60 getting lectured! It was a sight to behold.

  10. #10

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    I’ve done my fair share of hiking in the park, I’m familiar with how variable water sources can be that high on the ridge line. I’m not trying to plan out right now exactly where I will get water. I’m just trying to construct a good model of where the sources are. As the date approaches and I get a better sense of the levels, I can use the model to come up with a more detailed plan and figure out my refill spots.

    Also, it’s the off season, I need something to obsess over.

  11. #11

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    From what I remember from 2 years ago, there isn't any camping spots just north of Rockfish Gap. The trail is narrow and winds its way around peoples back yards along the nastiest path possible - pretty much all the way to the first hut.

    I would think a better plan would be to stay at the Front Royal Terrapin Station hostel Thursday night, which is a 0.5 mile blue blaze back to the AT at Campton Gap. Get a good early start from there and get shuttled back from Rockfish Gap.

    I wouldn't worry about water sources. If nothing else, you walk by or near enough way stations each day.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  12. #12
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    There are legal stealth sites both north and south Skyline Drive at Beagle Gap.

  13. #13

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    I'm not too worried about camping around Rockfish Gap. I'm coming in at dusk, out before dawn, and using a bivy, so I imagine it should be pretty easy to find a spot.

  14. #14

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    another layer you should consider is the fee to access Skyline Drive at Compton Gap. It would behoove you to park outside the park, luckily 4H Center and Terrapin Hostel are both close by. Farther north is the Mountains cabbin at VA522.ive never used a shuttle before but I would guess they would prefer to not get up on skyline.

  15. #15

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    As far as training, a good running regimen or fast paced walking would help your cardio. The only way to really train for backpacking or fastpacking or whatnot is to backpack or fastpack or whatnot.

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