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  1. #1

    Default Virginia in June

    Hello! I want to do a week long hike on the AT in Virginia in June. I was thinking about hiking the section through the SNP but I heard it will be crowded. Does anyone know if this is true? If that's accurate, where in Virginia or northern North Carolina would be the least crowded section around the middle of June? Thanks for any help you guys can give!

  2. #2

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    I would do all in my power to avoid the Shenandoahs during motorcycle season as the harley roars and ninja screamers will be incessant and loud from 8am to 9pm. We suffer from the same noise pollution down here in the mountains of TN/NC but there are places you can go to avoid them, namely on trails in creek valleys.

    You could spend a week in Mt Roger's Crest Zone and use the AT thru the area as a link to awesome adjacent blue blaze trails like Pine Mt and Lewis Fork wilderness and Little Wilson Creek wilderness---even though the AT could be swarming with people. If you spend minimum time on the AT and maximum time in these connected wilderness areas you may find some solitude. And the AT goes over Stone Mt above Scales and all you need to do is hike a quarter mile off the AT on Stone Mt and find complete solitude.

  3. #3
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    Default Virginia in June

    SNP is always somewhat crowded. You're never going to have the trail to yourself, but it's not like an amusement park line.
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

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    I went through Shenandoah National Park last year starting on June 2. I didn't think it was very crowded, but then I guess I'm comparing it to the zoo that is the first couple of hundred miles of the AT going NOBO. Anyway, there were days when I didn't see but a few people on the trail; although the shelters and campsites were usually at or close to capacity. Other days, I would cross paths with a number of hikers, but it was not like we were bunched up in a group all day.

    If you want to do the AT, I don't think you will be disappointed; however Tipi is right. A well chosen side trail would probably provide you with more seclusion.
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  5. #5

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    I've done some hiking around Mt Rogers. A few years ago, we hiked from Partnership Shelter to Damascus. It's a great place. I may consider your suggestion to blue blaze a little. That entire area is so beautiful and unique. I've also hiked around Robbinsville. You are right about the motorcycles. Nothing against people that like to ride, but that is an incessant noise through there. Thanks for the help!

  6. #6

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    We hiked the AT a little in the Smoky Mtn Nat Park a few years ago. I think that was in May. It was crowded, but not terrible. Thank you for your help.

  7. #7

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    It sounds like using side trails is the general consensus. Thanks everyone

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    Quote Originally Posted by devoidapop View Post
    SNP is always somewhat crowded. You're never going to have the trail to yourself, but it's not like an amusement park line.
    not true - they shut the gate after frozen precipitation, I have had the whole park to myself

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    Quote Originally Posted by George View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by devoidapop View Post
    SNP is always somewhat crowded. You're never going to have the trail to yourself, but it's not like an amusement park line.
    not true - they shut the gate after frozen precipitation, I have had the whole park to myself
    I suppose I should have qualified my statement with in summertime, but since the question was about VA in June I don't think the OP will be dealing with ice on the parkway. SNP is one of the most popular outdoor attractions in the DC area. It gets a lot of use throughout the summer, but not so much that you can't enjoy the trails.
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

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    SHEN is never really crowded by National Park standards. The 20 miles around Newfound Gap in the Smokies; now that's crowded!
    Be Prepared

  11. #11

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    For what its worth I never consider the level of crowding when planning to go on a hike. If every one did this, no one would go. I plan my trips when I want to go and have never had an issue of "there's too many people".
    I just got back from 30 miles north of Hot Springs, probably passed 100 thru hikers and had my own private campsite both nights. IMO plan the trip you want to do, and embrace the experience once you are there doing it.
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    I did the SNP section from Comptons Gap to Big Meadows in June a couple of years ago (2 1/2 days). I didn't find it to be overly crowded. I didn't camp in shelters. I hiked SOBO so I was going in the opposite direction of thru hikers that would be coming though at that time. So maybe once an hour I would pass someone and then they were gone. Plus you will pass some day hikers, but most park visitors won't get past an overlook they can drive to. Some won't even bother to get out of their cars. You are always close to the road (Skyline Drive), but I can't say road noise was much of a problem. Yes, it's not wilderness, but still a great hike. Remember those big floods they had in WV a couple of years ago? I hiked through that storm when it came through SNP. That was intense.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I just got back from 30 miles north of Hot Springs, probably passed 100 thru hikers
    How many passed you?

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by trailmercury View Post
    How many passed you?
    All 100 I was going sobo lol
    Trail Miles: 3,978.2 - AT Trips: 70
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 59.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 0.0

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    All 100 I was going sobo lol
    Funny...I assumed you were passing them while hiking NOBO, my bad!!!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by trailmercury View Post
    Funny...I assumed you were passing them while hiking NOBO, my bad!!!
    In years past I always have.... JUST a measly ol section hiker passin tough ol hiker trash all day "blahh...make me puke with the romantics" lol but now I feel old and my knees hurt and so I just mosey along at 20 miles a day
    Trail Miles: 3,978.2 - AT Trips: 70
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 59.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 0.0

  17. #17

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    Thanks for the input. I appreciate it!

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