Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-22-2009
    Location
    MONTANA
    Age
    70
    Posts
    1

    Default SNP camping between shelters

    I'm older and haven't backpacked in a while and not sure I can make the miles between some of the shelters starting out in SNP. I have read that there are few spots to camp between shelters, is this true or can I find a spot if I am running out of gas?

  2. #2
    MuddyWaters's Avatar
    Join Date
    05-05-2011
    Location
    state of confusion
    Posts
    9,167
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    The problem is skyline drive parallels the trail and is less than minimum camping distance away from trail for most of SNP.

    Then of course, you need flat spot too.

    There are places. Legal ones aren't numerous. Leaving shelters in predawn, I sometimes saw spots a few miles past a shelter where I could have stayed, but I never chanced it. If you are familiar with the park, and know the spots, they are there. Finding them in dark when not familiar is a different story.

    They are not plentiful enough to count on finding anytime you need. Look at map of park and you will start to understand how close road is to trail most of park.

    Two yrs ago, I met a 73 yr old woman hiking there. She hiked 700 miles of AT previous year. She only hiked 5 mpd. Her plan thru SNP was.. 3 weeks. I'm sure she managed it somehow, legal or not . I know her first half-day was 3 miles.....starting at rockfish gap. I didn't recall no camping spots along there personally.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 02-28-2018 at 07:04.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  3. #3
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-22-2002
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Age
    56
    Posts
    7,789
    Images
    296

    Default

    In theory you can camp anywhere that meets the regulations (you can find them here.) The regs aren't that onerous (10 yards from a stream, 20 yards from a trail), but the big one is "1/4 mile from any paved road", which as MW notes makes it tough along the AT corridor since the Skyline Drive parallels the trail and is often within 1/4 mile. (Not as big a deal for other areas of the park that aren't the AT.)

    So, yeah, I recall seeing a handful of sites between shelters -- not sure they were all legal (if I can see it from the trail, it may not be not legal anyway.) But I don't know that I would count on finding sites, unlike many parts of the AT where one can find good sites all along the trail.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  4. #4
    Garlic
    Join Date
    10-15-2008
    Location
    Golden CO or Scottsdale AZ
    Age
    61
    Posts
    5,290
    Images
    2

    Default

    The day I was looking for such a site, it took a bit of looking but I found it. Sorry, I've only been there once so I can't give specifics, but yes, it is possible.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  5. #5

    Default

    Use a resource like Guthook, which will fill in the blanks fr you.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-26-2015
    Location
    Northern Va
    Age
    34
    Posts
    262

    Default

    Itís pretty easy to cover big miles in the shennies also, but I feel the struggle.

    One day we were a few miles short of a shelter and were just dead, and ended up catching a hitch to the next wayside for a hot meal and beer, then ended up stealthing in the tree line at big meadows.

    It was an amazing night where we caught up to old friends, I regret nothing!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-15-2008
    Location
    Randolph, NH
    Posts
    9,761
    Images
    34

    Default

    Typically the only place you might find suitable for camping off trail is at the top of a climb where it levels off of a few 100 yards before going back down hill. But only on the smaller bumps, the top of the bigger bumps tend to be rocky. At the bottom of the climb you usually find the road. The AT crosses the road some 35 times in the 100 mile of the SNP, so you can see your never that far from the road. Add in the 1/4 from road or hut or campground reduces the possibilities even farther.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  8. #8
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-22-2002
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Age
    56
    Posts
    7,789
    Images
    296

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chknfngrs View Post
    Use a resource like Guthook, which will fill in the blanks fr you.
    IIRC the Guthook app removed all the random campsites last year, to reduce impact.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    IIRC the Guthook app removed all the random campsites last year, to reduce impact.
    The comments still mention a great many options, next to water sources, presence of fire rings etc...

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-26-2015
    Location
    Northern Va
    Age
    34
    Posts
    262

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    IIRC the Guthook app removed all the random campsites last year, to reduce impact.
    Just in the shennies, or the whole trail??

  11. #11
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
    Join Date
    01-10-2014
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Age
    32
    Posts
    463
    Images
    8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    the big one is "1/4 mile from any paved road", which as MW notes makes it tough along the AT corridor since the Skyline Drive parallels the trail and is often within 1/4 mile.
    That's funny considering half of the huts look like they're closer than 1/4 mile from Skyline Drive.
    It's all good in the woods.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-31-2017
    Location
    massachusetts
    Age
    52
    Posts
    175

    Default

    If I remember correctly from my SNP Oct 2017 hike there was a bunch of signs restricting camping areas due to aggressive bears. Still though I did not have any difficulty finding marked camping and stealth camping areas. There's also a couple of lodges and usually a campground or good camping nearby so if you are craving a good meal or a cold drink you could always hit the lodge and then camp nearby.

    Also, if the weather looks bad and you need a refuge book the lodge as early as possible it will be fill up early. Finally if really desperate you can always Uber into town if you can get reception.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-07-2016
    Location
    Louisville, Ohio
    Age
    76
    Posts
    82

    Default

    Last summer we noticed several nice sites off the trail but within sight in daylight anyway. But those were in the northern part of SNP. We didn't use them and they didn't seem to be near any water source. Not sure if "legal" but seemed fairly flat and available for use.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-04-2013
    Location
    Virginia and Louisiana
    Posts
    3,929

    Default

    There are many places to camp near the AT in SNP besides the shelters.

    Check out SNP's many PDF files documenting backcountry trips: https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvis...ntry-trips.htm

    They even have a low mileage itinerary for the AT: https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvis...y_A105-508.pdf

    Think outside the box, be willing to go a short distance on side trails and you will find places to camp away from shelters.

  15. #15
    MuddyWaters's Avatar
    Join Date
    05-05-2011
    Location
    state of confusion
    Posts
    9,167
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee View Post
    There are many places to camp near the AT in SNP besides the shelters.

    Check out SNP's many PDF files documenting backcountry trips: https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvis...ntry-trips.htm

    They even have a low mileage itinerary for the AT: https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvis...y_A105-508.pdf

    Think outside the box, be willing to go a short distance on side trails and you will find places to camp away from shelters.
    The problem is......sidetrails ....go down...
    Which aint so bad

    Its the having to come back up the next morning....that most want to avoid
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PGH1NC View Post
    Last summer we noticed several nice sites off the trail but within sight in daylight anyway. But those were in the northern part of SNP. We didn't use them and they didn't seem to be near any water source. Not sure if "legal" but seemed fairly flat and available for use.
    I scattered my dogs ashes in a pretty spot just off the AT in SNP. The spot is also about 150 feet from Skyline Drive just over a rise so it can't be seen from the road. In recent years people have been camping there. I bet that spot is one of ones you saw.
    If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything.

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-13-2012
    Location
    Mid Atlantic
    Posts
    1,026
    Images
    9

    Default

    I hike a lot in the park. You shouldn't have trouble finding a spot between shelters to camp. From Skyline resort north to the next shelter was a stretch that I remember not having any real spots.

  18. #18
    Registered User El JP's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-03-2017
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Might as well toss in this tidbit of info...The area around Skyland has quite a lot of Bear activity. There's some good stealth sites just to the north but you can be pretty sure the Rangers know about them as they and Skyland security patrol frequently in the early AM hours.
    BR360
    "no one is a thru-hiker, until they have done the whole AT."

  19. #19
    Registered User carouselambra's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-29-2012
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    86
    Images
    32

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by El JP View Post
    Might as well toss in this tidbit of info...The area around Skyland has quite a lot of Bear activity. There's some good stealth sites just to the north but you can be pretty sure the Rangers know about them as they and Skyland security patrol frequently in the early AM hours.
    How close are the sites to Skyland? I am planning out a trip in that area in late April and the one night I am having some difficulty planning out is a camping area north of Skyland. Based on my projected mileage that day I would like to stop about one to three miles north of Skyland. Are the patrolled stealth campsites in that area?

  20. #20
    Registered User El JP's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-03-2017
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by carouselambra View Post
    How close are the sites to Skyland? I am planning out a trip in that area in late April and the one night I am having some difficulty planning out is a camping area north of Skyland. Based on my projected mileage that day I would like to stop about one to three miles north of Skyland. Are the patrolled stealth campsites in that area?
    Imagine the Skyland loops and Skyline Drive as a perimeter.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sk...3!4d-78.380246

    i'll put this as a disclaimer-I've never once camped at all in Shenandoah. I was there strictly for work.

    But i sure did eyeball the treelines a lot, especially at night when i was working. I'd find myself thinking of the homeless days and figuring where i would pitch a tent and by what time i would be up and moving. Just north of the perimeter has IMO a lot of potential spots. It would be best if some old pro here who knows the area can give an experienced opinion.
    BR360
    "no one is a thru-hiker, until they have done the whole AT."

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •