When I take my kids to Grayson/Mt Rogers I usually stay in the high country section and just hike a bunch of different trails. This gives me a lot of options for changing the distance if the kids get tired, etc.
1. Great views on the 2.5 miles section from Rho Gap and Scales. Water at the halfway point on a side trail that is marked. You have to hike through the campsite and around a rock. Reliable. Campsites at several places, but might favorite is just shy of the scales on your left if you are hiking toward the scales from rho gap. Dry camp, but you can get water on the way
2. Stone mountain dry camp. From scales go south on AT. You will climb a short hill and then cross over stone mtn. Great campsite on your right before going back in the woods
3. Bearpen trail. Great campsite behind a huge rock.
4. AT south of Rho gap and on the crest have plenty of spots but overused.
5. Pine mtn trail has some good spots in the woods
6. If weather is nice you can find several real nice spots just off AT on wilburn ridge.
7. Hiking south on AT after passing stone mtn, but just prior to reaching stream and Wise shelter. Sites off to the right
1. Off crest trail between Rho Gap and scales. This one is in the edge of the woods on a short side trail THROUGH campsites, not the lower trail around campsites. Reliable. Signed and on map
2. Off crest trail south of Rho gap short distance. Fenced in from ponies. Signed on map
3. Streams around Wise shelter, before AT Spur trail and VHA all reliable
4. From scales take the forest road a short distance. Water on the right hand side of the road
5. Thomas Knob Shelter
6. Old Orchard Shelter
7. If you go as far as whitetop mountain. Pipe on side of trail/road
A few not to use.
- The one on the Crest Trail I described above, not the fenced in water area close to the big horse campsite (intersection of Crest, Pine and Cliffside trail). Nice campsite in edge of woods, but do not use water source
- Scales trail (I think it is the one). Maps shows a source. Pick another one
Let me know if you have questions. I have spent a lot of time in this area.