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Topic: KY Open Sky Backcountry?, RRG, KY? Northern TN?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 21 2013, 9:50 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Greets! Hope you're getting a chance to get muddy in between show storms. :D

Looking into the spring bp trip and wishing I lived out west, under the 'big sky'. Last year at Honey Creek, we camped in a solid brush basecamp, and it was mentioned more than once how nice it'd be to see the night sky away from the lights of Louisville. I agreed, but couldn't put my finger on a suggestion.

So, in that spirit, this year I'm looking for a sky gazing-ish backcountry option within 4, 5ish hours from Louisville.

Possibly a loop near the 'Gorge: I'm a hanger and not in a hurry to camp too unprotected, (like atop and arch...) but a good, wide view is nice. The heights in the Gorge might do just that. I don't have any backcountry time in at that part of the Daniel Boone NF, though, as i suspect many do... :>

Something like Jake's Place, Big South Fork: Anyone aware of a 'less wooded' area with solid access to the night sky, other than Jake's Place? It's in a fairly solid surrounding area, and could be camped in... I'm thinking Jake's Place but with more ... horizon. Plus I've been there a couple times, although the sheer scope of Big South Fork. Anywhere with the open sky at BSF come to mind?

In your experience, anything I'm missing that fits the bill any better?

...back to google...

chris


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 9:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It looks like I simply hadn't looked enough at rrg; lemme have a look around for a sheltowee thread... hrm.

:smh:

lol


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 22 2013, 3:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

those "less wooded" spots can be hard to find. your best bet's gonna an overlook somewhere with some bare rock. in BSF, Angel Falls Overlook would be good, but i don't believe there's a campsite nearby. i think there are campsites at the Honey Creek Overlook, but i might be misremembering here. Charit Creek Lodge has some fields around it...

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 24 2013, 2:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(bukkit @ Jan. 21 2013, 9:50 am)
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Possibly a loop near the 'Gorge: I'm a hanger and not in a hurry to camp too unprotected, (like atop and arch...) but a good, wide view is nice. The heights in the Gorge might do just that. I don't have any backcountry time in at that part of the Daniel Boone NF, though, as i suspect many do... :>

I think you might be over-estimating the "unprotected" aspect of ridgetop camping. Some of the pine/oak forest on the ridgetop can be pretty thick and would offer plenty of places to hang within a few hundred feet of a bare-rock overlook.

I'd recommend Hanson's Point, an "unofficial" overlook that is reached by a user-trail that heads north/northeast from the junction of Rough Trail and Pinch-em-Tight Trail to this overlook:



Plenty of campsites on the nearly 1-mile trail to the overlook with plenty of campsites along the way. Once you're 300 feet from the junction with the official trails you can camp wherever suits you. The US Forest Service regulations for the Red prohibit camping within 300 feet of roads or official trails. The last decent campsite is only a few hundred feet from the overlook. Amazing stargazing on a clear night and a great view of the sunrise in the morning.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 1:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the lead, markweth! A friend just loaned me the Hinterlands book re: unofficial trails in the area. Now I have something specific to look for in it - woot! :D

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 12:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As impressive as it sounds, I think I'll likely save Hanson's for a day hike.

Hanson's Trail and Point are smack dab in the middle of RRG, though; how likely is that area to be smattered with loud, drinking groups?

Back into the Hinterlands softcover! ; )


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 04 2013, 4:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(bukkit @ Jan. 30 2013, 12:52 pm)
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Hanson's Trail and Point are smack dab in the middle of RRG, though; how likely is that area to be smattered with loud, drinking groups?

Impossible to predict . . . weather, college football or basketball schedules (most loud, drinking groups will stay in Lexington or Cincinnati if there is a game on TV or being played in either town) and the various whims and desires of social groups all come into play.

I'd say that on a fair-weather spring weekend your chances of having the place to yourself are slim. However, there are several campsites in that area and if other groups present are respectful (although that's a big "if") it wouldn't feel too crowded.

In my experience (I've spent over 50 nights in the Red River Gorge "backcountry"), the following characteristics should be kept in mind when heading to the Red for backpacking:

- Solitude
- Ease of Access (i.e. on an official trail or trail listed in Hinterlands)
- Decent campsite condition (i.e. not having huge fire rings, broken glass and extremely compacted vegetation)
- Objectively impressive scenery nearby (i.e. expansive overlook, waterfall or arch)

You're going to be lucky to get 2 out of 4 . . . especially at the ridgetop campsites with good stargazing and sunrise/sunset views. There are definitely some exceptions out there, but that's been my experience. Sure, there are trashed creeekside campsites, but I think proportionally ridgetop campsites are in worse shape.

Down at the Big South Fork, probably 3 out of 4 can be had without much effort.

I know of a few spots in the Daniel Boone National Forest where I've been pretty much 4 for 4 on every trip -- but I think I'll let you find those for yourself  :)


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 05 2013, 2:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

QUOTE
Down at the Big South Fork, probably 3 out of 4 can be had without much effort.


I'm not averse to making the extra bit of a drive for solitude. <3 the BSF.

RRG is nice and closer to Louisville, if I can find an un-frequented area. Considering some Clifty Wilderness options as well.

Most of my recent trips were @ BSF; Jake's Place with better horizons would be ideal. Which spots would you recommend in that area?


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 03 2013, 11:46 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you want solitude, head to the BSF, park at Leatherwood ford, head up stream to the O&W Bridge then cross it. After you cross the bridge take a left on the JMT, go past Devils Den. On every map it shows that the trail stops there, it actually doesn't, climb up passed the den & up that drainage to the top & you'll have a great overlook to Hang nearby & stargaze. You can then continue out that ridge (hurricane) staying on the well defined Horse trails working your way to the Needles Eye, then continuing along that ridge to find many little used overlooks. You can then hike out past the old oil fields & make your way down one of the several trail leading back down to White Oak creek then back over the O&W to your car.   2) You can Park at Leatherwood or Bandy Creek & head out the JMT to Station Camp, there are 2 Fingers that stick out overlooking the river that have unmatched views. It is a long trek so camel up before you pass the Grand Gap TH.  Enjoy

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8 replies since Jan. 21 2013, 9:50 am < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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