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
- 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!
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.