Long weekend in Dolly Sods
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Michael Moomaw
(mmoomaw) - M
Long weekend in Dolly Sods on 03/20/2012 05:41:54 MDT Print View

Any suggestions for a 3 day backpacking trip in Dolly Sods?

There seem to be a number of shorter segments but I a trying to string together a weekend trip. Are there sections or trails we shouldn't miss?

Thanks!

-Mike

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Dolly Sods on 03/20/2012 05:46:36 MDT Print View

what kind of mileage are you looking to do each day? that will really determine your routing. also, when do you plan on going, if it's before Fire Road 75 is opened sometime in April, that too will determine your routing.

with that info i can recommend a circuit.

Michael Moomaw
(mmoomaw) - M
Dolly Sods on 03/20/2012 08:42:49 MDT Print View

Thanks.

We plan to arrive at night on Thursday April 19th and leave around lunch or early afternoon on Sunday April 22nd.

Not sure about miles per/day. We are in shape 40 somethings. We want to see what can be seen but we are not focused on how much mileage we can do. Maybe 8 to 15 miles per day depending on climbs.

Thanks.

-Mike

Zach Bradford
(Spiranthes) - F

Locale: WV
RP on 03/20/2012 08:53:41 MDT Print View

I'm quite partial to the Rim Trail at neighboring Roaring Plains Wilderness.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: Dolly Sods on 03/20/2012 08:56:41 MDT Print View

the big issue is if FR 75 gate will be open. i will assume it will not and i'll come up with a proposed circuit for two days of 12 milers and one day of 4 miles that will pretty much showcase Dolly Sods.

i just spoke with Bonnie and she is not sure when FR75 will open.

Edited by asciibaron on 04/16/2012 13:13:12 MDT.

Michael Moomaw
(mmoomaw) - M
Assuming FR75 is open on 03/21/2012 09:18:41 MDT Print View

Steven, Assuming FR75 is open (I think we will know as we get closer) can you sketch out what you are thinking about? Thanks!

Zach, Thanks! I will check it out.

-Mike

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Long Weekend in Dolly Sods on 03/21/2012 09:46:28 MDT Print View

Michael,

Steve is a great resource for Dolly Sods - he's already suggested a route for me to take with another group of 40-somethings in May. I'd be really curious about stream crossings when you go. Here's a link to another thread talking about Dolly Sods.

You'll notice in the photo (and the accompanying text) that the water is waist deep...The 40-somethings who accompany me wouldn't do that crossing ANY time of year, especially not when the water is in the 30's or 40's.

Please plan on posting a trip report with, if you don't mind, photos and descriptions of the stream crossings. Thanks!

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Dolly Sods trans-circum nav trip on 03/21/2012 12:00:22 MDT Print View

ok, here it is...

print out this map and follow along

www.wvhighlands.org/Maps/usfs_mnf/dolly_sods.pdf


IF FR 75 is open...

Thursday night: park at Bear Rocks and follow TR522 (Bear Rocks trail) to the stream crossing just west of the TR526 (Dobbin Grade) junction. there is a great campsite here in a small pine stand, out of the wind and right near the water. it's a little over a mile from the parking lot and is mostly down hill.

Friday: hike west on TR522 and then continue west on TR521 (Raven Ridge). turn south at the junction with TR524 (Rocky Ridge) and enjoy the wonderful views from the large rock outcroppings. head east on TR553 (Breathed Mtn ) then continue south on TR514 (Red Creek). just prior to crossing Red Creek at the bottom of the hill, look on your left for a campsite, it's a small flat wedge along the water and a 20' high burm. there is a waterfall in the creek that is just awesome. this is about 11.5 miles.

Saturday: head south on TR514 crossing Red Creek and then crossing back at the junction of TR513 (Big Stonecoal). head north up (literally up) to the junction of TR554 (Rocky Point). follow Rocky Point around looking for a trail on the right hand side that goes up the hill to the peak of Breathed Mtn. enjoy the view of Red Creek and catch your breath :)

continue north on TR513 to TR511 (Blackbird Knob), you'll recognize this spot from the previous day. head east on TR511 passing the junctions of TR525, TR514 and TR509. drop down the hill (and over the log) and at the creek crossing at the bottom you will find several campsites. there is a good site on the island with plenty of room for tents and there is a great fire ring.

this isn't big mileage, just about 9.5, but i think it's enough since you will be atop Breathed Mtn exploring and relaxing longer than you think if the weather is nice.

Sunday: retrace your steps up the hill to TR 509 (Upper Red Creek) and then head east on TR526 (Dobbin Grade) to the junction with TR522 (Bear Rocks). follow this back to your cars. this is just under 5 miles and it's all up hill. a great way to finish off the weekend, mind the mud :)

Edited by asciibaron on 03/21/2012 13:10:10 MDT.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
water levels on 03/21/2012 13:17:49 MDT Print View

the water level of Red Creek could be rather high in April, esp. if it has rained heavily within 24 hours of your trip. the upland glades (sods) take about 24 hours to drain and really fill up Red Creek.

the difficult crossings for this trip if the water is high will be the two crossings of red Creek on TR 514. you can skip that crossing if the water is too fast and high by climbing up to TR554 (Rocky Point) and then picking up TR513. Big Stonecoal will have two places where high and fast water might be an inconvenience, but it a few minutes of walking along the bank will get you to a safe place that isn't waist deep.

the crossing of the left fork of Red Creek on TR511 is super tricky in high water. there are several large rocks to walk on, even with those, the water was up to my knees. just take your time and you should have no problems.

Michael Moomaw
(mmoomaw) - M
Thanks Steve! on 03/22/2012 08:03:05 MDT Print View

Thanks for the comprehensive response. Processing your advice...

Edited by mmoomaw on 03/22/2012 08:03:51 MDT.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
April 15th on 03/29/2012 11:19:02 MDT Print View

the gate is scheduled to open on April 15th. i'm planning a weekend trip for April 20-22, if anyone would like to join me, you are more than welcome, be ready to get wet :)

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Fire Road 75 is open! on 04/16/2012 13:12:41 MDT Print View

just spoke with Bonnie and Fire Road 75 opened today. of course it was just in time for the rain this weekend.

see you all there!

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Northern Europe
Re: Fire Road 75 is open! on 04/16/2012 13:30:21 MDT Print View

I designed a 35 mile circuit through Dolly Sods to hit the best parts last year.

http://files.meetup.com/1502009/35%20Mile%20Dolly%20Sods%20Map%20Sets.pdf

I think I'm going to tinker around with a 50 mile version incorporating most of the trails of Flatrock and Roaring Plains for this year.

Glad to hear FR 75 is finally open. It was silly it was closed so long in such a warm spring.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
CLOSED... on 04/16/2012 14:15:46 MDT Print View

the road was closed due to the very soft road surface - they got a bunch of rain up there.

Zach Bradford
(Spiranthes) - F

Locale: WV
Sods on 04/17/2012 12:29:34 MDT Print View

I spent all day Saturday playing at Seneca Rocks and Spruce Knob. The rain set in as my girlfriend and I were enjoying burritos (add ramps for $1.50!) and Mountain State beer at Hellbender in Davis. Too bad about the road... Hopefully it'll be good to go for this weekend.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
as predicted on 04/20/2012 13:07:00 MDT Print View

as i predicted, a rainy weekend. i'm still going, a little rain isn't going to stop me from my only weekend of fun this month ;)

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Soggy Dods on 04/22/2012 14:53:15 MDT Print View

Well, I had a great time... did you get out there Mike?

here's a quick video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAfDTppHe34

Edited by asciibaron on 04/22/2012 14:54:38 MDT.