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Topic: That Guy, Destination< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
mikepf Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2013, 9:04 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Im gonna be that guy.  I want to avoid crowds.  Have four nights to spend in the nylon suite the week of May 5-11, in conjunction with the full moon.  I am from IL, I have tentatively identified Great Smoky Nat Park as a destination as I visited there for only a day hike, many years ago, and have not been back.  I am not hell bent on the park.  Want to consume all that I can of what appalachia has to offer in those four nights, all the while not spending my time fighting park traffic, and/or for tent space.  I want to be realatively alone.  Starting from a hot spot is not a problem as long as I can be to relative seclusion in a day.  I am just starting my research, but need to get on reservations.  This window of opportunity just presented itself, so I thought I would start here.  Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.  As I said, anywhere from WV to SC or TN is a possibility.  Have many nights of experience. Thank you in advance!!!! Sincerely
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John13np Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2013, 9:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you enjoyed GSMNP and want to avoid the crowds, you should look into Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness. Let me know if you would like to discuss a trip that I have had there.

Also there in plenty of areas on the Cumberland Plateau in TN that offer solitude. There are lots of trip reports on the forum, look em up!

Good luck!


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"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list"

..."May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds." Ed Abbey

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ashepabst Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 21 2013, 9:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

may want to avoid the AT that time of year if you want solitude. i don't know the exact timing of the herd, but i know that most start in GA between March and early April.

Joyce Kilmer/Slickrock/Citico Wilderness areas would be a great place to spend four nights. or Big South Fork, perhaps?

you could still find seclusion in the Smokies... but you're likely to have company on the AT.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 21 2013, 11:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ashepabst @ Feb. 21 2013, 9:59 am)
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Joyce Kilmer/Slickrock/Citico Wilderness areas would be a great place to spend four nights. or Big South Fork, perhaps?

These are great places to check out and would be nice alternatives to GSMNP.

To really get a taste of the area I would suggest doing a two-night loop in the Big South Fork and then driving to the Smokies or Joyce Kilmer-Slickock Wilderness for another two-night trip.

If you planned it right, you could see arches and nice overlooks of the Cumberland Plateau topography in the Big South Fork and then get the old-growth, cascading streams and mountain vistas in Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock or the Smokies.

I know you might be looking to spend all four nights uninterrupted in the forest, but if you're open to doing two separate two-night trips you would get to experience two completely different landscapes.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 21 2013, 5:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

mark and ashe have summed it up well.....

avoid the AT during that time frame as that's prime thru hiker season.....

and if you want close to absolute solitude----check out Joyce Kilmer/Citico area......

you can find solitude in the smokies (i've been alone at campsites and i've been in campsites that have been jammed full) but the chances are greater that you'll run into people in the smokies as opposed to Joyce Kilmer.....

about the only people you may run into in Joyce Kilmer/Citico would be me or Tipi or one of his buddies....
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 21 2013, 10:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I will be looking into these spots shortly, john13np I would gladly hear about any trip. Thank you all
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 21 2013, 11:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you really want to get away from crowds and I mean like see no one, check out fires creek wilderness.  It has a 25 mile loop that is gives you the gsmnp with no crowds.
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John13np Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 21 2013, 11:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Mikepf, I think that the trip report that my frined Mark wrote would be a great read for you, surely better than I could explain it myself.

Here is the link:

http://forums.backpacker.com/cgi-bin....1162873

Enjoy!


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Location: Rabun, AL
"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list"

..."May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds." Ed Abbey

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ashepabst Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2013, 9:59 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

the must-do hike in JK-Slickrock is the ridge between Bob Bald and the Hangover.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2013, 10:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ashepabst @ Feb. 22 2013, 9:59 am)
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the must-do hike in JK-Slickrock is the ridge between Bob Bald and the Hangover.

I still need to get up to Bob Bald. On my two trips to Joyce Kilmer-Slicrock I only ended up hiking the section between Naked Ground and the Hangover.

I've got a three-night trip coming up soon and am still deciding between Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness and the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area. I imagine the weather will make the decision for me; I'm taking a friend with less experience and don't want to get him into any weather that's too cold and/or wet. So hopefully if the weather is rough in the mountains it will be more mellow on the plateau.


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Drift Woody Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2013, 11:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I hiked to the Hangover in late October 2002. Along the way a couple of hound dogs (male & female) with radio collars tagged along with us. These dogs get far afield from their masters, who are sometimes parked along the Cherohala Skyway with their radio trackers looking for their dogs.

When we got to the Hangover my buddy sat on a rock near the edge to take in the views. The female laid down at his feet in a small space hemmed in by the thick bushes, then the male decided to stick his nose where she definitely didn't want it. A vicious dogfight erupted at my buddy's feet, and there was nowhere for him to go -- there was only the rock he was on, a big dropoff, and the canine battlefield. It only lasted for about 10 seconds and neither animal was hurt.

I looked at the expression on his face, then had one of those belly laughs I'll probably remember the rest of my life.


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 Post Number: 12
ashepabst Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2013, 2:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(markweth @ Feb. 22 2013, 10:27 am)
QUOTE
I imagine the weather will make the decision for me; I'm taking a friend with less experience and don't want to get him into any weather that's too cold and/or wet. So hopefully if the weather is rough in the mountains it will be more mellow on the plateau.

this seems to happen like 75% of the time i get a trip planned and on the calendar... we end up switching at the last minute to avoid the rain.

...can't complain about having a lot of options to choose from, though.


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 Post Number: 13
mikepf Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2013, 7:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So I looked into the slick rock area and the trip report that John13 directed me to and it seems like a nice trip however it seemed a tad on the short leisurely side.  We are young fit and able, and knocking out ten mile days is not an issue.  On a midweek in early April do you think that a trip envolving the areas of mt le conte, Charles bunion, Laurel top, etc could be put together in a way that communal camping and crowded trails could be avoided?
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2013, 8:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(mikepf @ Feb. 28 2013, 7:39 pm)
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So I looked into the slick rock area and the trip report that John13 directed me to and it seems like a nice trip however it seemed a tad on the short leisurely side.  We are young fit and able, and knocking out ten mile days is not an issue.  On a midweek in early April do you think that a trip envolving the areas of mt le conte, Charles bunion, Laurel top, etc could be put together in a way that communal camping and crowded trails could be avoided?

You're definitely right . . . the trip John and I took was definitely low-mileage and focused on soaking up the views.

However, you could very easily put together a bigger loop in that area. You could make a 30-40 mile loop without any problem . . . just look at a map for the area and read guidebook descriptions.

Even in midweek the route that you suggested for the Smokies would probably have a decent bit of people on it -- way more than you'd find in Joyce Kilmer-Slickock Wilderness. That said, one cool thing (perhaps the only cool thing) about the new backcountry camping registration system for the Smokies is that you get to see how many spots are available at the sites you're considering camping it. So, you can see if Campsite #xx has 19/20 spots available or 7/20 spots available. This would allow you to choose the sites with the lowest occupancy at the time of your reservation, but a 12-person group could still book that site a day or two later.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 28 2013, 8:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd say for those areas, no....

The AT runs right by the bunion and that's prime thru hiker season......expect 10 to 20 people a day minimum......

Leconte is also a heavy destination with that shelter being full in the warm season....

If you want to do smokies, I'd look along lakeshore trail for solitude.....

But if really wanna be alone especially mid week---Joyce Kilmer Citico area is the place.....

In 7 weekends worth of hiking there in the last couple of months, I've seen ten people, with nobody in any of my campsites.....
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 01 2013, 10:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

that'd be badass hike, man. but, no, shelters are gonna be probably be full, possibly overrun with thru hikers. even if you get your revervations... thru hikers don't have to reserve (and they stink :p ). anywhere off the AT you're likely to have plenty of solitude. if you guys plan on knockin out 10-mile days you could come up with a loop to hit some highlights while still avoiding the shelters.

[edit] actually... early April's still pretty early for thrus, isn't it? i'll stop running my mouth and defer to kevin slept-in-every-GSM-CS umberger...


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 01 2013, 2:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

yeah........it would be a great route, but expect people.....



from my experience---i've noticed pretty much mid march to the end of may as prime AT traffic.......

not only thru hikers but spring breakers as well.......

some thru hikers have gotten an early start this year due to mild temperatures hence the march date and then you'll have people that will wait to april to start, and making may the end date of AT hikers.....

as ashe alludes to----the leconte, bunion, AT route is very beautiful but those trails (especially alum cave) are basically a highway of people going up the trail......

same with the AT to bunion---highway of people..........its not really a hard hike to do going from the parking lot to the bunion and it's riding the ridge the whole time, so its very popular.....
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