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Grayson Highlands VA Aug 27-29
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Jacob Smith
(Wrongturn) - MLife

Locale: On the AT
Grayson Highlands VA Aug 27-29 on 08/22/2010 10:38:49 MDT Print View

Looking like a great weekend to do the Grayson Highlands this coming weekend. For those that haven't been, it is a mountain bald area with wild ponies and western like views.

Plans so far.

Start Friday afternoon at Massie Gap overnight parking lot within the park.

Make the short hike up to Massie Gap and then head SOBO on the AT to Thomas Knob shelter area to eat dinner and stock up on water for the following day.

After dinner head back down towards Massie Gap to some excellent camping spots off the side of the trail.

Saturday start early and take the Pine Mountain Trail around the outskirts of the highlands and over to the Scales area.

Eat lunch and hang out at scales for awhile, before heading SOBO on the AT again to Wise Mountain shelter area for dinner. Plenty of good places for camping within 1/4 of a mile of the shelter without having to be with the crowds.

Sunday a short hike out on the AT back across the highlands to Massie Gap parking lot.

Maybe 20 miles total for the weekend. Going to leave time to do some gear review videos and take plenty of photos.

Brad Fisher

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Grayson Highlands VA Aug 27-29 on 08/22/2010 19:27:26 MDT Print View


One of my favorite areas. I would join you, but I just got back from a trip in the Sierra's. Would like to do this area in the fall if you plan another trip.

Couple thoughts on your trip:
- If you don't want to head all the way to Thomas Knob (it's a great section however) you can get water close to the intersection of the AT and Crest Trail. Down the crest trail a little.
- The best camp spots are on the crest trail which runs parallel to AT. Open spots with great views as opposed to the enclosed AT spots. Also a great spot on the AT on Wilburn Ridge (before you make the descend the the AT/Crest Trail intersection.
- Pine mtn trail is mostly in the woods. I find the Crest Trail over to scales has much better views. You have to deal with the horses but not usually a problem.
- Night two campsites. South on the AT from scales is a great spot on Stone mtn. Right off the AT. Camped here many times and no crowds. Need to take water. It is only a mile from scales, so you might you could do other sections if you camped here. Another great spot is on bear pen trail. About half way down behind the large rock. Can't miss it. No crowds.

So many options and the trip you have planned is a good one.


Jacob Smith
(Wrongturn) - MLife

Locale: On the AT
re: on 08/23/2010 05:21:50 MDT Print View

I'll be down there quite a few weekends this fall. Trying to lock in my gear for my Thruhike this coming spring.

I may take the crest trail that way I can stay out on the highlands rather than going up in the woods.

Last time I was down there in the spring, I set up on the treeline outside of the fence around Wise Shelter area. I like eating at the shelters and with other people, and then retreating back to the quiet outside the fence to sleep.

I'll most likely be doing the section again in mid september, let me know if you want to organize a hike. Maybe get some east coast BPL members together for an outting.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Grayson Highlands VA Aug 27-29 on 08/23/2010 13:16:05 MDT Print View

My son and I have been planning a trip and will probably be there starting Thursday and leaving Saturday morning. Depends on the weather. We're undecided on our route.

Jacob Smith
(Wrongturn) - MLife

Locale: On the AT
re: on 08/23/2010 16:25:31 MDT Print View

There are lots of options on routes. It's 5 dollars a night for parking at the overnight lot.