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  1. #1
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    Default Southwest Va. spring break planning

    I was hoping someone familiar with the area can help me clarify some section hiking questions for Damascus to Mount Rogers National Recreation Area Headquarters. I was thinking about a 60 mile section.

    1. Are you allowed to camp in shelters when space is available or LNT dispersed camping along this section?
    2. Wanting to make sure there are No camping reservations required?
    3. Is a permit or registration required for section hiking this area?

    I appreciate any help

    Thx
    Last edited by wmclemore; 01-07-2019 at 15:26.

  2. #2
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    no permits required. first come first served in shelters

  3. #3

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    That section is a free for all. I do recommend camping at shelter sites (either in the shelter or a tent near-by) for convenience and to minimize impact. Spring break (that's in March right?) it should be quiet. Look out for bad weather though.

    The only exception is at the shelter 300 yards from the MRNRA Headquarters. No tenting allowed, but you'll be exiting there.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  4. #4
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    A bear box was placed at Thomas Knob shelter late last summer due to bear problems at the shelter. Staying there and using the box for all items that might attract a bear could help prevent a recurrence of the problems experienced last year. An electric fence was placed around a lone tree (for food bags) near Rhododendron Gap in an area used by tent campers for the same reasons.

  5. #5
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    This is a nice section. It is ~65 miles from the Mt Rogers National Recreation Area Headquarters building to Damascus. That makes for a great 5-7 day hike. I've done it in both directions, and would hike southbound from the HQ to Damascus if doing it again.* The first day is relatively easy, then you get some good climbs, and enter the open high country for a couple of days, then back into the gorge and into town.

    March can be cold and wet, but you'll get a lot of good views and wild ponies in the open areas. You may sleep inside the shelters, or tent nearby, or tent camp pretty much anywhere along that stretch except for a few miles around the summit of Mt Rogers (which is marked.) No permits needed. You can park in Damascus and get a ride to the HQ.



    *an alternate flip-flop hike plan, which we did a few years ago: park at the backpacker parking area at Grayson Highlands State Park. It costs a few bucks a day to do so, but it's safe. This is the halfway point between the HQ and Damascus. Hike southbound to Damascus, which will take 2.5 days or so. Get a room at one of the B&B's or hostels, have a night in town, get a shower, and resupply at the grocery store (just outside, but walking distance.) Enjoy hanging out. In the morning, have a shuttle that you pre-arranged take you from Damascus to the HQ building. Walk southbound to your car. The advantage to this hike is being able to get the "town experience" of a long distance hike, and only need to carry 3 days of food at a time.

    Happy trails!
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  6. #6
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    Big cranky, thats a great idea. I'm doing that section this fall and was gonna hike south into damascus. This sounds like a good alternative.

    What are the crowds and weather like first week in october?

  7. #7
    Registered User SawnieRobertson's Avatar
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    Nice plan. Good for vehicles too. Shuttlers in this area are keen on being helpful.
    You never know just what you can do until you realize you absolutely have to do it.
    --Salaun

  8. #8
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pony View Post
    Big cranky, thats a great idea. I'm doing that section this fall and was gonna hike south into damascus. This sounds like a good alternative.

    What are the crowds and weather like first week in october?
    The open high country around Grayson Highlands State Park will be very crowded on weekends. Like, not a single parking space crowded. They are also supposed to be implementing a new parking policy for the backpacker lot this fall, which will require reservations -- so call the park first if you want to park there. Not sure what date this will start.

    The rest of the trail won't be crowded at all. If you do the section from the HQ building to Damascus, the crowded part will be about a day or day and a half, so no big deal.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  9. #9
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    Thanks, good to know. I plan on getting there on saturday around noon , so I'll get a hold of them.

    What kind of weather can I expect that time of year?

  10. #10
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    daily parking fee is $7, $10 on weekends

  11. #11
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    Thats a little much over the course of a week. Maybe heading south from partnership shelter is a better option. Know anybody that would be willing to shuttle for a reasonable rate?🤔

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pony View Post
    Thats a little much over the course of a week. Maybe heading south from partnership shelter is a better option. Know anybody that would be willing to shuttle for a reasonable rate?��
    me. when?...

  13. #13
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    Tenatively september 28.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pony View Post
    Tenatively september 28.
    i'll be out of town that weekend. won't be available til mid afternoon of the 29th

  15. #15
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    How bout the following weekend. October 5th?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pony View Post
    How bout the following weekend. October 5th?
    too busy doing bike shuttles every weekend. weekdays and sunday afternoons are the only time i can shuttle

  17. #17
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    I'll get back to you as it gets closer, we may be able to work something out. I need to get the time off work approved first.

  18. #18
    Registered User gungho's Avatar
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    Hey..I do shuttles in the Damascus area give me a call if you need any support 276-477-0555


    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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