When: 6/15 – 6/16
Where to meet: Mountain Harbour Inn, 9151 Highway 19E, Roan Mountain, Tennessee 37687 on Friday night 6/14. We will tent camp in a field at this B&B and leave our cars here for the weekend. The B&B will provide a shuttle to our starting point at Carver’s Gap and we’ll hike back to our cars. There is some cost associated with this, but it gives us a safe place to leave our cars and enables a one-way hike. You’ll have the option of either arriving at the B&B whenever you want Friday night or arranging to carpool with others from Raleigh. This should allow people that can’t get out of work early on Friday to leave late in the day.
Costs: Assuming two people/tent, the Mountain Harbour will charge $6/person for camping on Friday night. They charge $2/day to park a car and the shuttle is $35/truck. The plan will be to limit this trip to roughly 8-10 people and squeeze into one truck. Some will have to ride outside in the bed. It’s a 35 minute shuttle. All totaled, it should cost roughly $15/person.
Things Each Hiker Must Have:
Sleeping mat or hammock (if you use a hammock, beware it could get chilly so have an undermat)
Flashlight or headlamp (preferably both)
All the food you’ll need on Saturday and Sunday
At least two liter bottles of water (we’ll have a filter to refill on the trail)
Rain gear (the weather here is predictably unpredicatable)
One set of warm clothes (don’t be fooled just because it’s June…the balds here have a reputation for being windy and getting chilly at night…you’ll also need it if you ride in the bed of the truck)
Knife, utensils, gear for eating
Things We’ll likely Share to Reduce Weight:
Tents (you’ll need to work this out among yourselves)
Stoves (one for four people is probably enough)
We will arrange to have the shuttle leave the B&B at 8:30 AM Saturday morning, so everyone will need to have their gear packed and breakfast eaten by then and be ready to go. This should enable us to start hiking at 9:30 AM considering the shuttle time and other inevitable delays getting ready. When we arrive at Carver’s Gap, we’ll take a short excursion (1.5 miles) to Roan High Knob where the Rhododendron Gardens are located to take in the view. We might get the shuttle to drop us off there instead of Carver’s Gap so we’ll only have the 1.5 mile walk back to Carver’s Gap. From there, we’ll get onto the AT and be on it almost all the way back to the B&B. We will be hiking over several balds on this trip that offer outstanding, panoramic views. After leaving Carver's Gap, we will hike over Round Bald (5826') then over Jane Bald (5807'). After Jane Bald we will be taking a side trail (.7miles) to the summit of Grassy Ridge Bald (6189'). This is the only location on the entire AT that has a completely unobstructed, 360 degree view above 6000'. We will then hike down into Yellow Mountain Gap (4682') and possibly camp Saturday night at the Overmountain Shelter, which is a large, red converted barn once used as a backdrop for the movie "Winter People." This is a two story shelter that sleeps 20 so I doubt it will be full but if it is there are plenty of spaces to tent and hammock camp around the shelter. Depending on how things go Saturday, we might try to push on another mile past this shelter since Sunday has more climb than Saturday and it may be better to get some of it out of the way on Saturday. I’m still working that out.
Sunday morning (or Saturday afternoon) we will make the climb up Big Yellow Mountain (5460') then over Little Hump Mountain (5460') and Hump Mountain (5587') before dropping down into Doll Flats and onto 19E. From there we will walk 3/10's of mile down to the hostel.
The total distance from Carver's Gap to 19E is 15.2 miles. It is 1.5 miles up to Roan High Knob and with the back track adds 3 miles. The side trail to Grassy Ridge Bald is .7 miles making 1.4 total. Not sure of the trail to the shelter but it's .3 miles to the hostel from the intersection of 19E. Therefore, if you do the entire hike it will be a total distance of 19.9 miles (18.4 if the shuttle drops us at Roan High Knob).
It is 5 miles from Carver's Gap to the Overmountain Shelter, so with the 3 mile addition (Roan High Knob and back) and the 1.4 mile side trip to Grassy Ridge, we’ll do 9.4 miles on Saturday. We will be hiking 8.7 miles, the last half being all down hill, plus .3 to the hostel for a total of 9 miles on Sunday.