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Mt. Rogers
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Tommy Clapp
(TCXJWAGONEER) - F

Locale: GSM Area
Mt. Rogers on 01/04/2008 19:29:04 MST Print View

I recently moved to Jeff city TN and am close to Mt rogers NRA and am wondering if anyone can recommend a good place to backpack their. Also is it like the smokies where they have numbered campsites? or do you just find existing sites on the trail.

Tommy

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
TN/NC on 01/05/2008 15:41:44 MST Print View

Tommy,
I moved up from Kingsport, TN ~2 years ago, and really miss some of the beautiful spots down there. However, I'm not actually sure where Jeff City is. Of course, you should get the AT guide book and maps for the TN/NC section. The visitor center at Mt. Rogers and lots of local outfitters have good maps for that area (particularly Mt. Rogers Outfitters in Damascus, VA. They have a whole map room, and plenty of books on the subject). I think this time of year is a great time to get up to Mt. Rogers since it's so rugged looking, assuming you have some experience in that type of exposed area since several people each winter seem to get lost/stranded/rescued up on that ridge. There are shelters along the AT, but no numbered sites that I can think of. There are probably a few overused areas that they direct people away from at times, but not usually a big problem. Always good to check on Mt. Rogers/Grayson Highlands websites for updated details.

Some of my favorite areas include, Grayson Highlands(Wilburn Ridge Trail), Roan Mountain/Round Bald/Hump Mt./Yellow Mt., Laurel Creek Falls, Unaka Mt., etc. There are lots of balds and rhodo/hemlock shaded creeks to explore. Make sure to explore the town like Hot Springs, Damascus, Erwin with their generous hostel owners like Miss Janet & Bob Peoples.

Hot Springs, NC usually has Trailfest and Damascus,VA has Trail Days in the spring.
http://www.hotspringsnc.org/frameset.php?MenuName=Events
http://www.traildays.info/

Enjoy,
Tom

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Mt. Rogers on 01/05/2008 15:45:58 MST Print View

Tommy, I'll second Thomas Clark's recommendations.

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Where you from? on 01/05/2008 16:05:43 MST Print View

Tommy,
I forgot to ask you where you're coming from to get a frame of reference.

Matthew Swierkowski
(Berserker) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Mt. Rogers on 01/09/2008 10:36:20 MST Print View

The primary trail going through Mt. Rogers NRA is the AT. There are also several short side and spur trails off of the AT that allow one to make some interesting loops. Mt. Rogers NRA itself is not really that large and someone in decent condition could probably hike most of the trails in there in a few days. This is also a popular area with the horse folks, so many of the side trails are multiuse trails.

As for camp sites, you can camp wherever you want. There are plenty of established sites right on the AT and also on the side trails. There are also a few shelters on the AT (Thomas Knob, Old Orchard, Wise) if you are into the shelter thing.

Joe Westing
(pedro87) - F
Mt. Rogers on 01/09/2008 19:31:38 MST Print View

I have no experience backpacking in Mount Rogers NRA, but I did an awesome dayhike on the Wilburn Ridge Trail (starting from the Massie Gap Trailhead) last spring. A massive t-storm thwarted my first attempt at the hike, but I was able to come back for another try later in the trip. The rocky outcroppings, balds, and ponies just make for a varied and atypical hike compared to what I'm used to in the East.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Mt. Rogers on 01/10/2008 05:42:39 MST Print View

There are ciruit loop hikes like the West End Circuit which includes the AT, Va Creeper and Iron Mt trail which covers most of the perimeter of the Mt Rogers area. Iron Mt is fairly easy...it runs along the ridge line and parallels the AT on the other side of MT Rogers.

I hiked that area back in August. You can camp pretty much anywhere, at shelters, or on the balds where there are lots of sites. Also lots of house flies because of the wild horses there. Very annoying. I chose to camp in the firs away from everything and everyone. Depending on when you go, check the weather conditions. Mt Rogers has it's own weather and can be very dangerous...high winds, snow, ice.

Water is a problem right now. There isn't any...or very little. Check with Mt Rogers Outfitters for info. They are great to work with, offer good services to hikers.

Another way to enjoy the area is to leave your car in Damascus, shuttle south to Roan Mt, hike back to Damascus, resupply, shuttle north and hike back to Damascus. You'll take in the best of what the AT has to offer.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Mt. Rogers on 01/10/2008 05:43:09 MST Print View

double-posted. sorry.

Edited by leadfoot on 01/10/2008 06:19:27 MST.

Jesse Glover
(hellbillylarry) - F

Locale: southern appalachians
Mt rogers on 01/10/2008 08:32:15 MST Print View

Anywhere around mt rogers/grayson highlands is great. My favorite part of the AT. The feral ponies are worth a visit alone. The Smokies on the other hand are over regulated plus its ALWAYS raining there.;)

Edited by hellbillylarry on 01/10/2008 08:33:18 MST.