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Azaleas Are Blooming on Gregory Bald, let's walk

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.  

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  • Chris K.

    Great hike and well worth the effort

    2 · June 16, 2014

  • George

    Great hike, fantastic azaleas, and even better people

    4 · June 15, 2014

  • Aimee

    Another great memorable hike. The azalea's were absolutely amazing.

    3 · June 15, 2014

  • Dawn E.

    And really great getting to know Aimee a little better!

    3 · June 15, 2014

  • Dawn E.

    This was another wonderful, difficult, challenging, JD hike - I expect nothing less! Beautiful day meeting new people like Robin, Jeannie and Maria (even though I really already new her Maria that is) but great also hiking with the two killers (JD and George) - I felt like I almost got my diva thing back. Thank you JD!

    4 · June 15, 2014

  • Jeannie K

    Awesome day

    5 · June 14, 2014

  • JD S.

    We will see everyone at the cove - weather looks outstanding

    June 14, 2014

  • Chris K.

    Will meet up at the cove entry

    June 14, 2014

  • Jeannie K

    any suggestions where else to stay since 13 is closed and Mollies is full?

    June 9, 2014

    • Jeannie K

      If u have any other suggestions my cell is[masked]

      June 13, 2014

    • JD S.

      hopefully they will have some cancellations,

      June 13, 2014

  • Robin

    I'll be at the gate to the Cove by 9:00.

    2 · June 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would love to do this, but I would miss my birthday party.

    1 · June 12, 2014

  • Chris K.

    Okay it looks like Saturday. Sorry for the confusion on my end.

    June 11, 2014

  • Chris K.

    I just wanted to confirm if the day hike up Gregory Ridge is on Sat. or Sun?

    June 11, 2014

  • JD S.

    The line at the gate starts forming early. I would like for us to be in line at 9:00. Last Saturday there was a lot of traffic congestion at 10:00

    June 10, 2014

    • JD S.

      I came out of Parking lot a 9:30 and they were lining up

      June 10, 2014

    • Roger F.

      That's good. I was actually hiking Rich Mtn/ Scott Mtn Saturday, so I never saw traffic at 10 as I was well up the trail by then.

      June 10, 2014

  • Dawn E.

    JD I am camping at elkmont and I will meet you at the trailhead if that is OK!

    June 5, 2014

    • JD S.

      No problem, it takes 45 minutes from Elkmont. I would like to try and get lined up at 9:00

      June 10, 2014

    • Jeannie K

      Dawn, would you be interested in sharing your site at Elkmont with me and driving over together?

      June 10, 2014

  • Dawn E.

    I will be there before 9 to line up

    June 10, 2014

  • Sage:)

    I'm hiking up Gregory Ridge Trail and staying at 13 that night. Perhaps I will see you guys on the trail! Or maybe I will run you over in my hurry to get thru Cade's Cove BEFORE the crazy tourists! ;)

    2 · June 5, 2014

    • Sage:)

      13 is closed due to bears :( Stupid bears...

      June 9, 2014

  • Tim G

    I had been thinking about an alternate route to Mollies, but it is all booked up the last time I checked.

    June 9, 2014

  • Dawn E.

    Roger thank you for the comment!

    June 8, 2014

  • Dawn E.

    JD I just saw you are camping at elkmont too -

    June 5, 2014

    • JD S.

      I am in Bryson city now, but I am camping in Elkmont till Tuesday.

      June 6, 2014

    • Roger F.

      Are you hiking Tuesday JD?

      June 6, 2014

  • Marie Y

    Thought about backpacking but all 12 spaces are gone. Will take Option 2 and see you guys before 10 am! :-)

    June 6, 2014

  • Dawn E.

    JD does this hike start at 830 from trailhead??? Sorry to be so confused - I try to act like I know what's going on but well ------

    June 5, 2014

    • Roger F.

      Dawn, JD may comment on this as well but it appears he is at Elkmont now and may not get your message. Since we are day hiking on 6/14, the hike can't start until sometime after 10:00 as the Cades Cove gate doesn't open until then for cars. I'm sure JD will give out more info in the next day or so.

      June 5, 2014

  • yvonne

    I'm not understanding if one can just do part 2 or not. Thanks.

    June 5, 2014

    • JD S.

      The 13.3 is for those not N2backpacking :) so it is only a Saturday day hike

      1 · June 5, 2014

    • Roger F.

      I would love to do the backpack but just can't due to family commitment on Sunday. I am definitely doing the day hike. I would love it if I could get Gregory's Bald to Doe Knob as well as the loop hike, but that would add 4 miles.

      June 5, 2014

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