This is a 2 part hike. Day hike or a backpack it is hiker's choice
1. Overnight at Mollies Ridge Shelter on the "AT"
This is a challenging backpacking trip that takes us from the Cove to the Appalachian Trail for a night of back-country camping at Mollies Ridge Shelter. The 23.3 mile hike hike will include amazing views and challenging climbs. If you have ever wanted to spend the night in a back-country shelter this is a great opportunity. We will start the hike on Parson Branch Road. After a 3 mile road hike we will turn up Gregory Bald Trail and climb up to Gregory's Bald and traverse the Bald then continue East towards the Appalachian Trail at Doe Knob. We will then turn North on the AT towards our overnight digs at Mollies Ridge Shelter. Mollies Ridge Shelter is one of the finest shelters in the Park, it sits in a lovely saddle right on the Appalachian Trail. I have had the good fortune to stay at this shelter on 3 separate adventures without seeing any other parties. Due to the difficult approach, it does not experience high occupancy except during the Thru-Hiking season. Sunday we will head back to our vehicles via the Gregory Ridge Trail concluding a nice trail marking loop.
There were only a few spots available so if you would like to join me please make your reservations ASAP.
Day hike for those not N2backpacking!
2. 13.3 mile Loop - Gregory Bald Trail to Gregory Bald Then Down Gregory Ridge Trail
I understand the Azaleas are blooming and it should be an excellent opportunity to catch them in their full glory. Remember the gate to Cades Cove Loop opens at 10:00 and I would like to get there at 9:00 as people start lining up.
This hike is rated difficult due to distance and elevation gain.