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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    Lewis Mtn has a campstore also with a blue blaze trail to it.
    Can't believe I forgot Lewis Mtn! That was the very first place I stayed in SNP way back in the 1960s when my parents brought the family there in the station wagon and pop-up camper! I must be getting old if I'm forgetting Lewis Mtn.

    Indeed, there is a campstore. And when you're passing by the campground on the AT, the flushies are nearly right next to the trail! You can even rent towels there for showers.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by FritztheCat View Post
    Did Rockfish Gap to Loft Mountain a few weeks ago. Fantastic section of the SNP! Calf Moutain Shelter had a spring that was running pretty good. From there the next one is Black Rock Hut (if you stay on the AT) and the spring there was a trickle but I could fill up. Loft Mountain Campground should be opening this weekend I believe so you'll run into a lot of campers but there are water sources.

    The only problem I had was the bugs. Not the biting kind, just irritating because they always hit my eyes. Why do they always go for the eyes? Anyway, when I was there it was right after a few solid days of rain and the three days I spent were the first three sunny days in a while, probably why the bugs were out so bad.

    I'd go again in a heartbeat! Enjoy your hike!
    That's so ironic...I did the exact same section a few weeks ago

    He's right the bugs were not fun! Definatly bring a bug net.

    Water: We ended up blueblazing Wildcat Run to Rip Rap trail for water, it is very sparse through the southern section. Blackrock Hut the spring was barely trickling...wouldn't imagine it'd be much good in a few weeks. Then we ended up filling up at Dundo Campground (which you can only camp at by advance reservation only, still can't figure out how to make reservations there...very frustrating). Loft Mt. was a very cool campsite, granted won't be as awesome after this weekend once it actually opens and all the carcampers/RVers are there.

  3. #23
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    I believe Dundo is now a picnic area, but used to be a group campsite.







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  4. #24

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    Yes, no camping at Dundo anymore. Used to be a group site and advanced reservations were required. I stopped there for a late afternoon water and Snickers break last October, and a passing ranger stopped to let me know there was no camping at Dundo anymore.

  5. #25
    Registered User grumpypickle's Avatar
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    I literally just finished this exact hike 5 days ago. All observations re bugs, especially ticks, are spot on. The water situation is not great but not desperate either. All of the huts had flowing springs but there is no water between Calf Mt and Blackrock Hut so plan accordingly. Blackrock was flowing but I can't guarantee that will be the case in 2 weeks. Water is readily available for your last 70 miles.

    There was a surprising lack of thru-hikers, I think the early season snows delayed many folks. They should be out in force when you are there. The Byrd's nest is a great new shelter area, particularly in the summer. I heard a number of hikers gripe that it was cold as a bugger because it faces the prevailing wind but I didn't stay there.

  6. #26
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Y'all have this pretty well covered. I just want to add two more things:

    1) Do not drink the water at Thornton Gap's restrooms. It was contaminated last winter and is still posted. There are plans to drill a new well.

    2) One more "wayside" to mention--this one just outside the Park's northern boundary. Tom Floyd Wayside is not a place to buy beer, ice cream, blackberry shakes, or anything else. It is a PATC overnight shelter with (iffy) spring, privy, and tentsites. How many hikers have made tracks for this "wayside" and were majorly disappointed to not find the aforementioned amenities? Kind of the antidote to Trail Magic, but a decent place to stay overnight.

  7. #27
    Registered User Chif's Avatar
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    I will be hiking from Loft mtn. to lewis mtn. in a couple of weeks. Are there cables or poles for bear bag hanging at these shelters? Anything else I should be aware of?

  8. #28

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    We hit Rockfish Gap soon heading NOBO. This is the perfect thread!

    In '05 I was in full thru hiker shape and just blew through without needing resupply. Stopped in at Skyland for a meal and whichever wayside was practically on the trail for a shake and fries (maybe the last one?). As I recall I had food to spare when I got to Front Royal.

    This time we'll be traveling more at GA/NC mileage. I'm thinking one resupply about midway through so maybe Big Meadows. Willing to carry five or six days worth of food. Any suggestions?

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lellers View Post
    Yes, no camping at Dundo anymore. Used to be a group site and advanced reservations were required. I stopped there for a late afternoon water and Snickers break last October, and a passing ranger stopped to let me know there was no camping at Dundo anymore.
    They should really update their signs then. lol.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chif View Post
    I will be hiking from Loft mtn. to lewis mtn. in a couple of weeks. Are there cables or poles for bear bag hanging at these shelters? Anything else I should be aware of?
    Yes, in SNP, there are bear poles in all of the shelter areas. Last October, however, at Blackrocks Hut we still had problems with critters getting into food hung on the poles. The shelter register was full of entries noting others had the same problem.

  11. #31
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    [QUOTE=Knees;1017145]We hit Rockfish Gap soon heading NOBO. This is the perfect thread!

    In '05 I was in full thru hiker shape and just blew through without needing resupply. Stopped in at Skyland for a meal and whichever wayside was practically on the trail for a shake and fries (maybe the last one?). As I recall I had food to spare when I got to Front Royal.

    This time we'll be traveling more at GA/NC mileage. I'm thinking one resupply about midway through so maybe Big Meadows. Willing to carry five or six days worth of food. Any suggestions?

    Been to the big Meadows wayside store many times in recent years by car. Last time was in '08. Backpacker friendly with potatos, carrots, onions, fruit by the piece. Canned tuna, spam, packaged processed meats and dairy. Even remember some freeze dried offerings a while back. Fuel, and car camping grade supplies available too. No guarantees for this year though. I plan to call them though. For my 12 day walk, I plan to start out with 50% of anticipated food needs and fuel. Resupply as needed at camp stores, take meals at lodges and waysides and oh, as a single traveler I have frequently been offered left overs or the bottom of a pot when arriving late at a campsite. Freeganism works for me.

  12. #32
    Registered User coyote13's Avatar
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    Default Hiking Shenandoah

    I plan on hiking SNP from South to North and the back again to start in early May of 2011.I am 51 and walk (without pack) 7-10 miles daily.
    Talk to me of weather ,water , cabbages and kings...

  13. #33
    Registered User Aesop43's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=chiefiepoo;1017513]
    Quote Originally Posted by Knees View Post
    We hit Rockfish Gap soon heading NOBO. This is the perfect thread!

    Been to the big Meadows wayside store many times in recent years by car. Last time was in '08. Backpacker friendly with potatos, carrots, onions, fruit by the piece. Canned tuna, spam, packaged processed meats and dairy. Even remember some freeze dried offerings a while back. Fuel, and car camping grade supplies available too. No guarantees for this year though. I plan to call them though.
    As of three days ago, the wayside market still had all of this, including freeze-dried. There's a huge selection of limited-quality camping gear, too, which is certainly good enough in an emergency or until you can get to a proper outfitters.

  14. #34

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    SNP just got a TON of federal money as well and theyve been doing many improvements!

  15. #35
    Registered User coyote13's Avatar
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    sounds like a good plan. i am going to do the park starting at south end on 05/05/2011 and going to north end then turning around and coming back.that way i can do most/all the side trips i want to.might stretch it to 45 days if i feel like meandering.no time restraints makes for a new experience for me. after all these years i don't have to be back for work/school or...anything!!!

  16. #36

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    I grew up in VA and spent a lot of time in SNP. So many side trails that it is hard to remember.

    Bare Fence Mountain
    Dark Hollow Falls
    Stony Man
    Hawks-bill.


  17. #37
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    Looking to hike Front Royal south to Rockfish, the last week of August. What are the bugs typically like that time of year. I realize there will be a variety of factors which affect the answer from year to year...but generally what is it like

  18. #38
    Registered User johnnybgood's Avatar
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    Personally, the summer months in Shenandoah are not my favorite for hiking for that exact reason but if that's when you can do it then prepare for it.
    Also August is a month when the bees tend to more active as the new batch of eggs have hatched and the worker bees are now unemployed , thus buzzing around looking to get into your food and basically being a menace.
    It's been unusually hot this summer with inconsistent rain so the bugs could really be bad this August if this weather pattern stays consistent.
    Although August could bring rain from a tropical system which could help replenish the water table and change the dynamics of things between now and then.
    Here's hoping for a cool hike.
    Getting lost is a way to find yourself.

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    I have done this both NOBO and SOBO. Not much in water until you get to Loft Mtn. Southern section is dry, so plan accordingly. Will be up there Thurs so can check on the spring at Blackrock (which people say is a trickle) Probably will be pretty warm, but you're used to that. Prepare for ticks - coat your clothes with pyrethrin beforehand and check yourselves daily. I think going NOBO is easier, IMO. Waysides are pricey for resupply.
    Will be plenty of thru hikers then, be sure to take a tent. There are tentsites at shelters.
    There will be thru hikers then but you should not have a problem with shelter space. It is always a good idea to carry a tent just in case. I have hiked this section twice. I agree that water can be scarce, but you should not have trouble getting waters at shelters. Very nice trail, with lots of side trails.

    Enjoy your hike

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