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Backpacking Roan Highlands, Carver's Gap to Overmountain Shelter

  • Jun 21, 2013 · 1:00 PM
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Not  the "usual" 20 mile thru hike of this section. we will do this as an out and back, from Carver's Gap to the Overmountain Shelter. (The big red barn!) We will take our time - not a marathon! ( I just hate driving so far to see this kind of beauty, where I am rushed through it! ) So I'm going to stay 2 nights in the backcountry, with little hiking mileage, as an out and back so I can see the beauty coming and going. (Plus, it always seems to rain, so I want extra time to explore every inch of trail.)

We will be hiking over several balds on this trip that offer outstanding, panoramic views. After leaving Carver's Gap on Friday, we will hike five miles, over Round Bald (5826') then over Jane Bald (5807'), to the Overmountain Shelter, which is a large, red converted barn once used as a backdrop for the movie "Winter People." Keep in mind there may be some through hikers at this time and I don't want to knock them out of shelter space. 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, and a water source.

On Saturday, we'll explore and dayhike. This is a good time to set up your tripods and enter photographer's bliss!!!!! I plan to backtrack to a side trail before Jane's Bald, that will take me .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'.


On Sunday, we'll hike back out the way we came, seeing the balds again from a different perspective, for 5 miles back to the car at Carver's Gap.

I have already scheduled the shuttles and overnight parking at Mountain Harbor Inn. It's 2$ per vehicle, per night to leave your car there. It's $35 dollar to shuttle (each way), and we will split it up between participants.  Please have cash on hand.

Mountain Harbor Bed and Breakfast/Hiker's Hostel
9151 Hwy 19 E Roan Mountain, TN 37687
(423)[masked]

Recap:

- Total backpacking mileage is 10 miles, out and back, starting and ending at Carver's Gap.
-Options on Saturday for a long dayhike over the "Humps", or joining me on a short 5 mile dayhike to Grassy Ridge, and back.

We'll miss the crowds for the Rhododendron Festival the weekend before. Since we are having a late, colder than usual spring, I think we'll be the ones actually hitting the peak of the azalea/rhodo blooms!!!! So, start asking for those vacations days now, and join in!

Tips:

1. Prepare for gusty winds and chilly weather all year round. Flash thunderstorms are common.

3. This is not for the beginner backpacker, and you need to have appropriate gear.

 

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Just got back home from my extended stay on the AT! This was one of my favorite backpacking trips! Great fun and friends. Where else do you get yoga and square dancing on the AT?

    1 · June 28, 2013

  • Sarah

    I had such a great time with you guys! Thanks again, Deena, for organizing -- and I hope to see everybody again on a trip sometime soon.

    June 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      And a BIG thank you for the Yoga instruction, Sarah!

      June 28, 2013

  • Ellen F.

    Ranger Cat called. No luck on the tent, but she was so nice. She offered to post notices on some hiking boards and keep an eye out for it. Who know, it may show up sometime.

    1 · June 28, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Ellen! Just got back in town, and got your messages. I went on up to Virginia, so did not get to get back on the trail at Roan, thus not able to look for the tent. I hope it shows up!

      June 28, 2013

  • Lea

    What an incredible trip! Absolutely gorgeous place, fantastic people, camp yoga and square dancing!! Does it get any better than that?! Thx Deena,you can really throw a party girl!

    June 28, 2013

  • Amy

    Belated THANK YOU to Deena (organizer) and all y'all Nashville BP'ers! Although Roan Mtn/grassy balds is one of my all time fav's, it was really special to have shared the experience with you super nice, fun, zany hikers. Thanks again for the warm welcome-- really enjoyed getting to know you all and sharing such a beautiful backpacking trip. Happy hiking! (and I finally figured out how to use my new Mac photo stuff, so hope to post a few additional pics to complement Jeannie's).

    June 27, 2013

  • Ellen F.

    Amy, I have contacted the AT regional office and left word asking for Ranger Cat to contact me. Maybe I will hear from her. I will follow your suggestion about contacting Deena and Mountain Harbor. Good idea.

    1 · June 25, 2013

    • Amy

      Any news, Ellen? Hoping for some AT "trail magic"... and perhaps an extra measure of old-fashioned human good will! :-)

      June 27, 2013

  • Ellen F.

    What a great trip! This was really a fun bunch of hikers. Thanks Deena for organizing this hike and helping make it a trip to remember. Only one sad thing-I lost my new tent. Alan said he spotted a tan bag hanging on a bush by the trail about a mile from Carver's Gap. Not knowing whose it might be, he left it hoping the owner would be back for it. Instead, the owner didn't miss it until she unpacked everything this morning, a very long way from that bush. Lesson learned! I'll double check, no triple check, all my gear before I hit the trail-especially when I am tired!

    June 24, 2013

    • Amy

      Ellen, just reading this... sorry to hear about losing the new tent... YET... I think that Deena is still staying at Mountain Harbor Inn and in the area, so perhaps you can text/call her OR the MH Inn (should she be out of cell phone range). OR, if she's not around, I also wonder if there's a way to contact someone else (AT roadrunner?, Mountain Harbor Inn folk who might be giving someone a shuttle, etc) to see if there's any chance it can be retrieved? Seeing that it's only 1 mile in from Carver's Gap, that would not be so hard for a person to bring to the gap. Just a thought!

      1 · June 24, 2013

  • Doug E.

    Excellent hike. enjoyed meeting everyone and hope to see everybody again on the trails. Thanks Deena for keeping everything together.

    June 24, 2013

  • Jeannie

    Fabulous! It was a wonderful weekend in every way!

    June 23, 2013

  • Jeannie

    I'm just now heading out, so I look forward to seeing everyone this afternoon.

    June 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Woo-hoo! We're at CMSP and the fun has begun!!!

    2 · June 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    One more person is seeking a ride from Cumberland. Alan, Fishbone have Ellen, but do you have room for one more? Let me know - it's for Josh.

    June 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Ellen is riding with you guys. We'd already arranged that for her . One of the Memphis folks can probably get him a ride.

      June 20, 2013

    • Alan F.

      right, sorry, i meant to suggest that josh and jeannie car pool

      June 20, 2013

  • Amy

    Deena... thanks for update... see you all at Mountain Harbor Inn for a 2 pm shuttle tomorrow (Friday). Looking forward to it... weather seems good for the weekend! Also... is the Sunday shuttle from Carver's Gap at 1 pm... which would get us back at Mountain Harbor by 2 pm. I need to be back in Durham, if possible, by 6 pm. So... Hoping we'll be on schedule for that. Look forward to meeting you TN folk for a fun weekend of hiking/backpacking!

    June 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      We will see if they can pick us up earlier. I'm sure we'll all be ready to go before then! It takes less than an hour to get back to the Inn, so you will be fine. Also, Fishbone will have my car on Sunday, since he is thru hiking to the Inn, so I'll see if he can come get a few of us back to our cars. We'll save money if we run our own shuttles on Sunday. We'll work it out!

      June 20, 2013

    • Amy

      Thanks, Deena,... I'd say 6 pm is a "roughly" time for me... I just have a few Monday deadlines for my work and I really need those 4 hours upon return. See you all soon!

      June 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey all! I am heading to Cumberland tomorrow. Here is my cell phone number so you can check in, or if you need anything.
    [masked]

    1 · June 19, 2013

  • Sarah

    Should I be bringing my own map or GPS navigation device? I think I can download a GPS app for my phone, but then I'm not sure I'll get cell service up there. What are other folks doing about this issue? I am tempted to just try to stick with the group and/or stay on the AT -- but those could be famous last words. :)

    June 17, 2013

    • Alan F.

      i am going to try and bring a map and compass-old fashioned but fun

      June 18, 2013

    • Sarah

      Thanks for the responses everybody. I will go with the stick to the group strategy. I am looking forward to meeting you all!

      2 · June 18, 2013

  • Ellen F.

    Hi Deena, just checking in. I wanted to be sure I understood correctly about meeting the Cumberland Mt. Campground group. Do I need to contact someone specifically about a ride or is that somehow already settled?

    June 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      We have you a ride Just meet us at the park at 9:00 am sharp. Thanks for checking in.

      June 17, 2013

  • Al B.

    I just reserved site #1 in Campground 1 for myself and Alan.

    June 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I have accidentally reserved it before, and had to move. It really doesn't make it clear that it is handicapped.

      June 17, 2013

    • Al B.

      Called the office; all is okay for me to reserve the site.

      1 · June 17, 2013

  • Doug E.

    What is the water source mentioned above?

    June 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Water source is a spring at the overnight shelter where we camp,

      1 · June 17, 2013

  • Amy

    Even though we'll be at the OverMountain Shelter both nights (Fri Sat) are you all still bringing tents? Just curious... sometimes it can be mighty crowded and then be nice to have the option of tenting either in the field nearby or even hiking along to another area just off the AT.

    June 17, 2013

    • Doug E.

      bringing a tent

      June 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Tenting. I don't like mice. :)

      June 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    If you are planning on staying at Cumberland Mtn campground on Thursday night, please go online or call and make a reservation at
    https://tnstateparks.itinio.com/cumberland-mountain. There will probably be a site available when you get there, but we can't all stay on my one site! They only allow 2 "tents" per site, so we will need a site for every 2 folks, unless you're going to sleep in your car. I have site 2 in campground 1.

    June 15, 2013

    • Doug E.

      I have site 3 in camp area 1

      1 · June 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Welcome Amy! It was nice "chatting" with you, and I am glad you are joining us!

    1 · June 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Jeannie - I know you are at Bonnaroo now, but make sure you message Alan - he has room for one more passenger, so you can discuss riding with them and where to meet on Friday.

    June 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Al and Fishbone - can you pick up Jeannie on Friday when you come through Knoxville? She can meet you somewhere off the Interstate.

    1 · June 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm catching a ride with Lea out if Mphs, we will camp thurs nite at Cumberland mtn park, see y'all then!

    June 12, 2013

  • Jeannie

    I would love to catch a ride if anyone is coming through Knoxville.

    June 10, 2013

    • Jeannie

      Thanks, Deena. Heading to Roo. Life is good.

      1 · June 12, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Lucky duck!

      1 · June 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Attention!!!! We are going to change the meetup time for Friday, to help folks out with the long drive, and I have changed the shuttle arrangements. You will need to reply and ask for the details, as I will only send them to YES rsvp's once I hear from you. I got us a campsite at Cumberland Mtn state park for Thursday night, for those wanting to shorten the drive for Friday. Please message me for the campsite number.

    June 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    1 · April 10, 2013

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