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Topic: Need a GSMNP overnighter, 9/24-9/25< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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Owen571 Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 13 2013, 11:23 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey folks,
How about your favorite overnighters in or near GSMNP? For all the times I've been there, a few short dayhikes are all I've done.

Say 12-15 miles, tops, as I'll be in Gatlinburg with my parents, and need time for family stuff and some shopping.
Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon is what I can spare.

Key words are solitude(if there is such a thing near Gatlinburg) and waterfalls.
Point to point, loop or lollipop, it's all good.
A couple of dayhikes would be fine, for that matter, if that would offer more waterfalls...I likes the waterfalls ;)
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 13 2013, 1:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

tough call... the waterfall trails tend to be the most popular. if you like your solitude, definitely stay away from Laurel, Abrahms, Rainbow and Grotto Falls... these are tourist favorites.

i really enjoyed the loop down Forney Creek from Clingmans Dome, looping back on Jonas Creek to Welch Ridge to the AT. there's a good deal of ridge walking in there but both Forney and Jonas offer some wild, wild river hiking... no big falls, but endless cascades. there are some great unobstructed views along that stretch of the AT, as well. i did this loop on a mid July weekend a few years ago and we had CS70 to ourselves.

if you opt to just dayhike, Ramsey Cascades is still my favorite waterfall hike in the park --highly recommend it if you've never. it seems to be one of the lesser hiked waterfall trails, too.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 13 2013, 2:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't have a map in front me.  You could head down forney creek to 70 or 71 and head up forney ridge back to your car.  Y'all pass Andrews bald on the way back up.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 13 2013, 3:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Huh. That stretch of AT from Clingman's Dome was actually what I'd thought of, but I assumed there'd be lots of people.
"Wild river hiking...endless cascades"...that sounds right up my alley!
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 13 2013, 3:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

you can avoid most of the crowds by taking the Dome Bypass trail... you'll probably see a few folks along the AT... otherwise you should be in the clear, i'd bet.

oh, and the river fords on Forney Creek are nothing to sneeze at... some are kinda tricky. closer to CS70 the water was over knee height, but i think the water was high for our hike.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 13 2013, 4:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks. Bet the water will be lower this coming week than it has been in awhile since the freaking monsoon season has apparently passed. I don't even need to cut my grass after 4 days.
Found a trail report describing numerous fords from mile 5-7 on the Forney Creek Trail. Sounds pretty good. And flat or downhill-that will be a nice change! I'll have to remember to get a map tomorrow.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 13 2013, 6:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

have fun, man. i thought CS70 was a nice site, BTW... it's right at the confluence of Jonas Creek and Forney, in between the two. CS69 did not look attractive at all... very small, right on the trail. 68 actually has two small sites that are separated by like a quarter of a mile, it seemed. there's a really cool slide falls right at CS68.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 13 2013, 7:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'll be doing all of forney creek next week.  I'll let you know how the crossings are.  Of course, all depends on rainfall. I agree with Ashe, I stayed at 69 a couple of years ago and it's not that nice.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 13 2013, 10:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks, y'all. I hadn't even thought about campsite selection, and needing a permit.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 15 2013, 3:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ok, I got the Trails Illustrated Great Smoky Mountains map.

Forney Creek to Jonas Creek to Welch Ridge Trail to AT-19.3 miles
OR
Forney Creek to Springhouse Branch to Forney Ridge-19.5 miles


I love how close together those contour lines are coming up Yanu Ridge on the Jonas Creek trail, since I prefer my elevation changes in lumps rather than long continuous uphill hiking.
Would you pick the Forney Ridge route with Buckhorn and Andrews Balds for views, though?
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 15 2013, 3:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tough to say.  I did the first one and there are great views on your way back to clingmans.  It's tough to pass on Andrews bald on a clear day though.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 15 2013, 8:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

it wouldn't be too far out of your way to still stop by Andrews Bald with option #1. i could be wrong, but i think Buckhorn is merely a former bald.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 15 2013, 9:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

(ok----it's not letting me do quotes without screwing up everything)

yeah.....there's nothing at buckhorn....

its andrews then woods after that....


>>>>Forney Creek to Jonas Creek to Welch Ridge Trail to AT-19.3 miles<<<<<<


personally, i would do this the opposite way.....

while forney is still a good uphill climb---i think its easier than going up jonas to welch.....

that stretch of the AT is one of the best in the park, imo......great ridge walk and views going both sides....


>>>>>>Forney Creek to Springhouse Branch to Forney Ridge-19.5 miles<<<<<<<<


keep in mind---springhouse branch has had some damage recently and a warning was put out about hiking it......it can be done, but caution is advised...


>>>>>>Would you pick the Forney Ridge route with Buckhorn and Andrews Balds for views, though<<<<<<<


if you want views, go for the AT route.......

even with taking the bypass trail---you;ll still see a bunch of hikers (well, depending upon day of week) as this is a popular dayhike.....crowd thins out the further ya go, but you'll still have people...

once you make the left on to welch, you'll leave the people behind....


>>>>>>]very small, right on the trail. 68 actually has two small sites that are separated by like a quarter of a mile, it seemed. there's a really cool slide falls right at CS68<<<<<<<


yeah........the upper site of 68 has the waterfall.....with a cool rock bench at base to watch falling nalgene bottles while smoking a joint (hypothetical of course)....

as for 69----i didnt find it to be that bad........yes, there is a site with firering right on the trail but go up on the hill and there's a few more sites/firerings.........if you dont want people passing through camp (or rather, right on the edge of it) go up on the hill.........and its level up there.....

i stayed at the site beside trail and found it to be adquedate but i got there kinda late in day.........but still had time to gather enough wood to have a barn burner til the wee hours of the AM.....


and yeah.....you could climb up from 68 and swing right and hit andrews....

or swing left and see an artifact of the logging daze....

http://www.wbir.com/videos/news/local/history/2013/08/29/2729769/


if it were my hike----i'd do the at to welch to jonas to forney....
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 12:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ok, switching gears, since my overnighter is covered if I decide to do that.
Ramsey Cascades-that looks wonderful, very reminiscent of the Virgin Falls hike, following the water in, which I love, love, love. Having just read up on it, I think there's a high likelihood that this is what I'll do.
One question. Access to the top of the falls? Trail, bushwhacking? It's hard to get a feel for the terrain on the sides from the pics, which typically just show the falls. If it's a big dropoff with no way up all around, fine, but if not...might have to bring a little rope along :D
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 1:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Ok, more than one question. Just how bad is this "rutted" dirt road? Will a Corolla be ok, or do I need my truck?
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 2:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My Google-fu is strong.
Found out that there is not only a way to the top, but bushwhacking and hiking in the creek another half mile or so gets you to Upper Ramsey Cascade!
It is ON.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 10:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

the Greenbrier Road? it was good the last time i was there, but that was a few years ago. check with the park to be sure, but i'd bet that if it's open your Carolla would do just fine.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 11:08 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Didnt they just complete road work in Greenbriar?
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 11:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Greenbrier it is. Didn't realize 'til talking to my mother this morning, but we drove most of that during our family trip last fall. I was having a really bad spell with my back, and couldn't get around at the time, so wasn't able or interested in hiking.
One of the things I read online said it was a narrow, dangerous and rutted dirt road, but as we recall it was gravel, and fine to drive on.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 11:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

yeah...

i've taken a sentra up there with no problems...

as for the waterfall---it is a big drop off........i believe that's one of the highest waterfalls in the park.....

it's been a few years but there's a faint trail going up the roots to the left of the falls....basically hand over hand using roots to gain traction going up......

never have been to the upper cascade so i cant vouch for that.....
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 11:16 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

From one of the comments I found, there are supposedly two more large waterfalls above the upper cascades.
Sounds like I better start early...
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 12:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

you know Tennessee Landforms, right?  he's got a good accounting of the upper cascades:

http://web.eecs.utk.edu/~dunigan/gsmnp/m.php?wpt=SVF044


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 16 2013, 12:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I know it now-thank you!
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 27 2013, 5:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Got a very late start after a rough morning, so didn't take my gear to rappel the falls, or go upstream from there. Ended up making short work of the hike, and had more spare time than expected, though. If there's a next time, I will definitely bring the swimming shorts, water shoes and wetsocks that I left in my bigger pack with the rappel gear. I regret not exploring the upper cascades, now.

The top of the falls was easily accessed with some fun scrambling, and there are a couple of intertwined trails of use through the rhodo hell that I briefly explored. Heading upstream would probably require being in the water. There's a beautiful cascade directly above the falls to start off with.

The hike is pretty nice, though I'd kinda hoped it would follow the water more closely. Some of the views, especially from the bridges, were great, and I think I'd really enjoy following the water upstream via the stream bed both above and below the falls. As it was, I had a lot of fun!
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