This is the "Crown Jewel" of Virginia Highlands Fall Hikes. Since so many people are on the "Triple Crown" wait-list I thought I would seek out an alternative fall foliage location. The good news is that we did a long version of this hike in May 2012 and the views were SPECTACULAR! The bad news is that the 7-8 hr drive dictates a Friday thru Monday trip.
Here's the basic plan:
Day 1, Friday 12 October; Depart Newport News around 7AM, intent is to try to arrive around 3-4 PM. Drive to Grayson Highlands State Park. Park in the Overnight Backpackers Parking lot. Hike to the Wise Shelter on the Appalachian Trail, about 1.8 miles. (actually hike just past the shelter to a small meadow to camp)
Day 2, Saturday 13 October; Hike the A.T. to the Old Orchard Shelter, approximately 6 miles.
Day 3, Sunday 14 October; Hike back up the A.T. to the Pine Mountain Trail intersection, then turn southwest on the PMT, then re-joining the A.T. for a campsite (same as in May) just before reaching the Thomas Knob Shelter (4 miles?). Slack pack to climb Mount Rogers, about 3 miles round trip.
Day 4, Monday, 15 October; Hike the A.T. south bound back to Graysons Highland S.P. (approximately 4 miles); drive back home.
What To Bring: Nothing is provided for you. You are responsible for all gear and food you need for the weekend. If you have questions on what to bring feel free to email me.
Weather: We go regardless of weather, although if it does rain, that sobbing sound will be me. Check the weather for Buena Vista, VA
Dogs: No problem.
Carpool: Carpools are always organized in advance, if you have RSVP'ed yes you will receive an email a week in advance to help us organize rides. Please keep an eye out for this email.
Medical: Please remember to print off a copy of the medical form, fill it out, and place it in a ziplock and put it in your pack. I will only need to access your information in the event of an emergency. If you have questions about it please contact me.
RSVPing: There is a wait-list set up if we do exceed the max number of hikers allowed on this trip. So please don't get discouraged if you're on the wait-list, no matter how far down the list you are.
No Shows/Last Minute Cancellations: We do keep track of no-shows and last minute cancellations. If you make this a habit we will start removing you from trips to allow wait-listers your spot.
Questions: Send me an email or post your question below.