Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 21 to 33 of 33
  1. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-19-2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    3,414
    Images
    3

    Default

    Reviving this thread. Looking for some more 3 to 4 day loop ideas, doing 10+ miles a day


    i dont have map in front of me so i cant figure out mileage but here's a decent route........

    gives you a little of everything...

    start at clingmans dome.............take AT to welch ridge...............welch ridge to hazel creek....

    stay somewhere along hazel creek........

    next day, hazel creek to lakeshore turning left......

    cut across lake shore to 81 or 76 ............stay night.....

    lakeshore over to forney creek and take that up to 68 or 69.....

    stay night..........

    then forney creek climb back up to the parking lot of clingmans dome.....

    along the way-----views from the ridge of the AT..........waterfall and creek on hazel creek......

    lots of historical elements like old homesites and cemeteries all the way over to forney.....

    after the climb up, could shoot over to andrews bald and check that out before heading to parking lot....

  2. #22
    GSMNP 900 Miler
    Join Date
    02-25-2007
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    53
    Posts
    4,502
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    i dont have map in front of me so i cant figure out mileage but here's a decent route........

    gives you a little of everything...
    TNHiker,
    Great loop, but too ambitious for someone looking for 3-4 days at 10mpd. A very quick once over seems to indicate that loop is over 50 miles, and really more like 55 since if you're going to be in the neighborhood, you MUST include the out-n-back side trail of Bone Valley to the cabin.

    TSWisla,
    Any loop that includes that long distance along Lake Shore trail between Hazel and Forney Creek, I could only recommend when the weather cools down (late September to early November).

    Lakeshore Loop:
    Now if you are willing to extend your hike to 4 nights (to avoid pushing your daily distance), a similar loop would be to park at the Tunnel at the end of the "Road to No Where" and hike up Bear Creek staying at CS75 the 1st night. Next morning, finish the climb up Bear Creek, and go down Cold Spring Gap and Hazel Creek CS83, taking the side trails to High Rocks and Bone Valley Trail. Third day, being the Lake Shore Loop similar to TNHikers description, with the 3rd night at 81, with side trips down to the lake near campsite 86 and again at Olies Cove (the trail to Olies Cove is denoted by two dots off Lake Shore to that tiny cove south-east of CS86). 4th night would be to continue on Lakeshore to 98, and the 5th day back to the tunnel. With all the side trails, this comes out to right close to 50 miles, and can be shortened by several miles if need be by skipping the side trails.

    Cataloochee:
    If you can stretch your daily limit, an interesting hike is what I call the Cataloochee Lollipop. Park at the park boundary at the trailhead for Cataloochee Divide (warning, there's only enough parking for about two cars, three if you are lucky). Hike the Cataloochee Divide to Double Gap, then down that trail to CS41. Next day, back track to Double Gap and turn to the right to follow Hemphill Bald and half of Rough Fork, returning to CS41 for your second night (this day is the "stretch" because you've got a major climb to return to Double Gap, some more climbing to Hemphill Bald, and the loop for the day is about 13 miles). The last day, return to your car via Caldwell and McGee Branch and Cataloochee Divide.
    You would think hiking the park boundary would be boring, but there are actually several great views, and there is an small side trail to Learning Center at Purchase Knob for an additional view. The best view will be the 2nd day from Hemphill Bald, as well as some nice pasture land views as you continue the loop. The campsite is nice because it's beside a creek. But depending upon the time of year, it can be very buggy.

    Forney-Jonas:
    If you love water crossings, a terrific two night loop is to park at Clingman's Dome and hike down Forney Creek and stay at CS70, and the next day, hike up Jonas Creek and on to Silers Bald shelter. Finish the loop the following day on the AT to Clingmans Dome. The 2nd day will be less than 10 miles, but the climb will make if feel like more than 10. Of course the last day back out is only a little over 4 miles.

    Forney-Noland:
    In the same general area, you can make a 2 or 3 night loop out of Forney Creek, the Tunnel at the end of the Road to No Where, Noland Creek, Noland Divide, and completing the loop via the AT.
    I did this loop as a two night hike staying at CS70 and CS63. A three night loop could be made using CS70, CS67, and CS62. To get to explore all the trails around the tunnel, I would get to CS67 by hiking the Tunnel Bypass Trail and taking Gold Mine loop clockwise. CS67 is at the end of a side trail more than 1/10 of a mile long. The next morning, finish Gold Mine loop clockwise, but then walk the tunnel. Beyond the tunnel is a 3/4 mile road walk to Noland Creek trail. Access to the trail is via a trail head on the right side of the road after walking across the bridge that spans Noland Creek (so you wind up walking both over and under that bridge). The last day, when you get to the top of Noland Divide trail, turn RIGHT onto the road leading AWAY from Clingman's Dome. In about 3/4 mile, you will come to a saddle. When the hillside on your left comes down to meet the road in this saddle, the AT is about 30' from the road way (simple "bush whack", with no "whacking" required). Finish the loop by hiking to the observation tower at Clingman's Dome. If you are in a hurry to get back to your car, take the paves path strait down the hill from the observation tower. If you want to see just a little bit more mountain crest views, start down the paved path, but take the trail that soon appears on your right and follow the AT for about 1/10th mile out to the Bypass Trail.
    Now that I think about it, the Forney-Noland offers as much if not more variety than TNHiker's loop that this would be the idea I would most suggest for your next hike as a three nighter. Wait until September to early November (because while you're starting at nearly the highest point, most the campsites are at lower elevations, with the middle night off Goldmine loop being nearly at lake level).
    Last edited by HooKooDooKu; 08-01-2020 at 01:52.

  3. #23
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-15-2013
    Location
    Illinois
    Age
    43
    Posts
    204

    Default

    @TNhiker and @HooKooDooKu. THANK YOU very much. I was looking for 10+ miles per day so TN hiker's suggestion may work. We ended up combining the last two stops of the last hike you suggested (16 miles) from Spence Field back to the Sinks without any issues, in fact, we finished pretty early that day. Thank you for the additional ideas @HooKooDooKu, I will certainly explore these options as well. Where is the Bone Valley side trail located? I am not seeing it on my map. Which map do you use? I have the W/E National Geographic maps of the park. We plan on going in mid September and again in the Spring. Many great options. I can't thank you enough.

  4. #24
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-15-2013
    Location
    Illinois
    Age
    43
    Posts
    204

    Default

    I found the Bone Valley side trail, but I am still interested in which map you are using. Thank you.

  5. #25
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-19-2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    3,414
    Images
    3

    Default

    the dollar map is the simplest, best map of the Park......doesnt show elevation but that's what the brown book is for.......use them in tandem....

  6. #26
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-15-2013
    Location
    Illinois
    Age
    43
    Posts
    204

    Default

    I think that I found the brown book, but what is the dollar map?

  7. #27
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-19-2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    3,414
    Images
    3

    Default

    https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvis...p_JULY19-4.pdf



    its sold for a dollar at the visitors centers and is included with the purchase of a new brown book...

  8. #28
    GSMNP 900 Miler
    Join Date
    02-25-2007
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    53
    Posts
    4,502
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvis...p_JULY19-4.pdf



    its sold for a dollar at the visitors centers and is included with the purchase of a new brown book...
    There is also a water resistant version available for $3 (thought the 1st time I went looking for one they were sold out).
    I would recommend that you get the $3 version and carry that as your primary map for hiking the smokies. The intersections are well marks, so all you need is a copy of that map to keep yourself oriented.

    My son carries the $3 map, and I carry a Nat Geo Waterproof Topo (thought I have seldom found a use for the Nat Geo while in the back country.

    But for planning purposes, I use Google Earth, some GPS data I found online, and I've been enhancing that data ever since. For instance, the maps usually only tell you the distance between trial intersections. But what we has hikers of GSMNP need to know is how far away is the campsite. So I augmented the existing GPS data by adding a marker that lets me know what are the trail distances for ever 'segment' of a trail. In my case, a 'segment' starts/ends with any trail head, trail intersection, camp site, or major back country feature (like popular water falls). I've also plotted every road in the park that could possibly be used as part of a loop.

  9. #29
    GSMNP 900 Miler
    Join Date
    02-25-2007
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    53
    Posts
    4,502
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TSWisla View Post
    ...I was looking for 10+ miles per day so TN hiker's suggestion may work...
    Sorry, I totally blew reading your desires. Obviously for some reason I was thinking 10 mpd was your max not your min.

    So knowing that 10 miles is your min...

    For me personally, TNhiker's suggestion would be a difficult 4 night hike for me, where as the 1st 4 night hike I ever did in GSMNP was the Bear Creek/Hazel Creek/Lakeshore loop I suggested.

    So it sounds like if you ever want a long weekend in the park (i.e. two night hike) then the Cataloochee Lollipop, or the Forney Creek/Noland/AT loop would be good for you.

  10. #30
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-19-2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    3,414
    Images
    3

    Default

    There is also a water resistant version available for $3 (thought the 1st time I went looking for one they were sold out).


    i have a paper dollar map that i would always carry in my back pocket and was getting ripped along the folds....

    so i took packing tape and put it along folds............then just eventually covered the whole map with packing tape....

    and i still carry it in my back pocket..........

  11. #31
    GSMNP 900 Miler
    Join Date
    02-25-2007
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    53
    Posts
    4,502
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    i have a paper dollar map that i would always carry in my back pocket and was getting ripped along the folds....

    so i took packing tape and put it along folds............then just eventually covered the whole map with packing tape....

    and i still carry it in my back pocket..........
    Given that a small roll of packing tape costs $2.98, I'll opt for the extra 2 and skip the extra work.

  12. #32
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-19-2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    3,414
    Images
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Given that a small roll of packing tape costs $2.98, I'll opt for the extra 2 and skip the extra work.


    didnt cost me a thing other than 15 minutes if that....

    my former employer paid for the tape....

    and the time for me to tape it.....

    and this was before the Park offered the laminated one.....

  13. #33
    Registered User
    Join Date
    02-15-2013
    Location
    Illinois
    Age
    43
    Posts
    204

    Default

    Please, you didn't blow anything. This is invaluable information and I sincerely appreciate it. I can't thank you enough. I ordered the "brown book".

    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Sorry, I totally blew reading your desires. Obviously for some reason I was thinking 10 mpd was your max not your min.

    So knowing that 10 miles is your min...

    For me personally, TNhiker's suggestion would be a difficult 4 night hike for me, where as the 1st 4 night hike I ever did in GSMNP was the Bear Creek/Hazel Creek/Lakeshore loop I suggested.

    So it sounds like if you ever want a long weekend in the park (i.e. two night hike) then the Cataloochee Lollipop, or the Forney Creek/Noland/AT loop would be good for you.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
++ 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
  •