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Shining Rock Wilderness/Pisgah Trip
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Brad Buckman
(bradleybuckman) - M
Shining Rock Wilderness/Pisgah Trip on 02/24/2014 11:57:52 MST Print View

I'm thinking of going to the Shining Rock Wilderness/ Pisgah area the first week of March. I contacted the ranger station for that area for info, but didn't really get the detailed info I wanted. I was wondering if anyone has been to the area in the past several weeks and provide me with some trail information?

I know they have gotten more snow than the past few winters, so I was wondering how deep the snow is on the trails to Cold Mountain, and the other surrounding trails. I'm trying to determine if I will need snow shoes snowshoes, or if they will just be extra weight.

I appreciate any information that will help me better plan.


Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Shining Rock Wilderness/Pisgah Trip on 02/24/2014 20:09:34 MST Print View

I haven't been there recently, but NOAA reports no snow on Mt. LeConte so I would assume there would be little snow, and snow shoes would be a waste. Are you coming in from the Boy Scout Camp?

Brad Buckman
(bradleybuckman) - M
Shining Rock Wilderness/Pisgah Trip on 02/24/2014 20:20:38 MST Print View

Thanks for the info. I was really hoping that I wouldn't need them, and I'm glad that it appears that they are unnecessary. No, I was planning to start from Black Balsam Knob.

Andy Riese

Locale: Southeast
Re: Shining Rock Wilderness/Pisgah Trip on 03/09/2014 20:12:20 MDT Print View

Did you ever make it up there Brad? We are planning a trip up there in two weeks and would like to hear how your trip went.


Brad Buckman
(bradleybuckman) - M
Shining Rock Wilderness/Pisgah Trip on 03/09/2014 22:06:04 MDT Print View

Hi Andy,

I just got back from there tonight. I'll try and get some details of my trip posted tomorrow.

Andy Riese

Locale: Southeast
Re: Shining Rock Wilderness/Pisgah Trip on 03/13/2014 18:57:47 MDT Print View

How did you guys store your food? I have heard the bears up there are pretty good at getting bear bags down from the trees. I headed up there next weekend for 3 days.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Re: Shining Rock Wilderness/Pisgah Trip on 03/13/2014 19:56:05 MDT Print View

Andy, Don't worry about bear stories. I was up that way when they closed the area down after the first night because of bear activity. I had not seen such a large area closed before. They basically shut the entire place down. When I got back I found this sign on my truck...

Shining Rock Closed

I didn't even see or hear a bear. Now I did do all the standard stuff. Be careful about cooking in camp, don't spill food. Pack everything that smells into food bag and hang it from a tree a good distance from where you are sleeping. I use 35' of line and can get it about 20 feet off the ground and something like 6-8 feet from the truck.


Andy Riese

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Re: Shining Rock Wilderness/Pisgah Trip on 03/13/2014 20:27:43 MDT Print View

Thanks Jamie!

Daniel Smart
Re: Shining Rock Wilderness/Pisgah Trip on 03/14/2014 06:23:01 MDT Print View

I hiked the Art Loeb from the Boy Scout camp to Brevard a year ago. They closed the area the day before we got there due to bears. We camped at Deep Gap. The next day crossing the Blue Ridge we were stopped by rangers who wanted to ticket us for camping in a closed area. Luckily one of my partners works for the Natchez Trace and talked them out of a ticket. Said a bear had gone into someones tent while sleeping two days before at Deep Gap. They didn't hang their food.

The rangers are very serious about closures. I think this is due to the easy of access from Black Balsam and the number of beginning backpackers camping. The rangers recommended calling for updates before driving up.

Edited by smartd on 03/14/2014 06:24:00 MDT.

Brad Buckman
(bradleybuckman) - M
Shining Rock Wilderness/Pisgah Trip on 03/18/2014 22:36:23 MDT Print View


I apologize for the long delay in getting back to you; I had a family emergency that tied me up for the past week.

The Blue Ridge Parkway was closed leading to Black Balsam Knob, so we started our trip from the Boy Scout camp. If the Parkway to Black Balsam Knob is opened when you begin your trip, I would recommend that you take that route over starting at the scout camp due to it being easier and more scenic. We pretty much had the area to ourselves the first two days, and didn't see a single person until Saturday when it seemed to start getting a little more crowded. I didn't see any sign of bears, but we hung everything out of reach as several people have mentioned earlier. Regardless of which starting point that you use, I think Deep Gap is a pretty good place to spend the night if you're heading to Cold Mountain. It was a great trip, and the worse part was the slipping and sliding due to the slushy snow on the trail leading up and down to the scout camp. I wouldn't worry too much about the bears if you're taking all the necessary precautions. If you are going to cold mountain, then there is a pipe near the summit that was running really good that can help you top off on water. It should be a good trip and the trails should be a little more clear when you make it up there.