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Shenandoah National Park
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Benjamin Ludwig
(Ender) - F

Locale: Mid-West
Shenandoah National Park on 06/19/2012 10:36:41 MDT Print View

Me and a friend are looking to do some beginner backpacking in Shenandoah National Park, early August. We are UN-experienced backpackers, but we love the outdoors and we love camping.

I was looking for a few suggestions on where we should hike, and how far is a good amount to trek for a 3-4 day trip? I know the Appalachian Trail runs through the park, and that was were I was hoping to start. Im just not sure how much of it we can do as beginners. Both of us are in our early twenties and in good shape.

Any tips or suggestions at all would be very helpful for the planning of our upcoming trip, Thanks!

Ben

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Shenandoah National Park on 06/19/2012 10:45:41 MDT Print View

http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/campbc_trip_plans.htm

Benjamin Ludwig
(Ender) - F

Locale: Mid-West
. on 06/19/2012 15:52:42 MDT Print View

Great resource, thanks!

Benjamin Ludwig
(Ender) - F

Locale: Mid-West
Beginner... on 06/19/2012 16:02:35 MDT Print View

I hate being a beginner lol.

I chose the beginner status and started planning my trip. All the options for a 3 night 4 day hike only give me about 5-7 miles of hiking a day. Could someone put there 2 cents in on how difficult this would actually be?

It doesn't seem like a lot of hiking, its only 25 some miles total over 4 hiking days. I am a beginner though, so I might just be trying to bite off more than I can chew. What do you guys think?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Beginner... on 06/19/2012 18:13:25 MDT Print View

If you're in reasonably decent shape, then you could easily hike 10-15 miles a day in summer, the days are so long. And Shenandoah just isn't THAT difficult hiking terrain.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Hiking in snp on 06/19/2012 19:10:35 MDT Print View

I hiked the at through snp over memorial day weekend. If you end up doing the at it is likely one of the easiest sections of the trail. But I wouldn't do the at, frankly it's not that scenic. I would lean toward a loop like in the big run area. It is just south of Lewis mountain campground. Much more scenic and there is a boatload of blueberries in a couple of burn areas. On the subject of berries, just south of there on skyline drive is a picnic area on the east side. There are some serious raspberries there as well.

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Northern Europe
Re: Hiking in snp on 06/19/2012 19:36:43 MDT Print View

I second the notion of doing a loop through the Big Run area, possibly taking in the waterfalls of the Doyles Run-Jones River trails as well. You can do a cool ~25 mile loop starting at Loft Mountain Campground (just to park), going north on the AT, then doing a loop of Big Run watershed by going over and down Brown Mountain and Rockytop, returning to the AT via Austin Mountain Trail, and then incorporating the water fall loop mentioned above before heading back to your car at Loft Mountain Campground. This gives you some great mountain highs and beautiful waterfall "lows." The South District has some open mountain sides thanks to a large fire a number of years back and some talus slopes.

Benjamin Ludwig
(Ender) - F

Locale: Mid-West
. on 06/19/2012 23:10:21 MDT Print View

Awesome, I love it. Im checking into the loops, and AT is out for now. Thanks guys, keep it coming if you have any more.

Ive never used a bear canister... I know they have black bears, but how crazy do I need to be? Do I hike with all food in a bear canister or will plastic bags do? The site I read on said both... like it was optional lol.

Ive also heard that this climate is wet.. Should I not bring my kelty cosmic down 20? I know it wont be 20 degrees, but its the only bag I own. Should I go buy a synthetic bag?

Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Northern Europe
Summer in SNP on 06/20/2012 05:59:42 MDT Print View

Ben,

Please be advised that August in SNP is often very hot and dry (with many smaller streams drying up). Your days are likely to be 80s/90s and humid, and your nights 60s/70s and still humid. Your 20 degree down bag is overkill and likely to be very uncomfortable. Plan accordingly and make sure you have enough water!

Oh, and you might get pummeled by a t-storm or two.

No need for bear canister but you definitely want to hang your food, so make sure you have a suitable bag and rope. The black bears in the backcountry in SNP are typically skittish, so no need to worry.

Evan

Benjamin Ludwig
(Ender) - F

Locale: Mid-West
hmm on 06/20/2012 22:06:27 MDT Print View

I figured it was way overkill, ill keep an eye out for a cheap synthetic to get me by.

Does anyone know if I need Trekking poles for the Shenandoah NP? I hear of people using them on hikes, but I didn't know if that was only for difficult hikes or if it was simply a preference?

Edited by Ender on 06/21/2012 02:13:22 MDT.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: hmm on 06/21/2012 12:41:28 MDT Print View

Some great camping sites at the bottom of Rockytop/Big Run near the bridge. Good swimming holes as well.

Benjamin Ludwig
(Ender) - F

Locale: Mid-West
info on 06/24/2012 08:23:50 MDT Print View

Im trying to find a map that will show me how to get from Big Run, to Doyle Run, to the waterfall Loop. Im also looking for mile distances for each loop if possible so I can plan the 4 day 3 night trip.

Thanks for the help guys.
Ben