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Tinker Cliffs via Andy Layne Trail Head

***HEADS UP****

Just confirmed NO WATER at Tinker Cliffs, must carry what you need for trail, dinner, breakfast, return trail, IF WE CAMP AT TINKER. There is water at the AT shelter after another 5 miles (McAfee). Thanks to "crazyaaron" on Hikingupward.

Okay, looks like we have a trip. Here's my evolving plan.

Also I just found my youtube video from my last trip, here's the link I hope.

Drive up per usual (please don't bite my head off, carpooling is the same every trip and explained in the pages section) plus I'll send out a separate email.

Park at the trail head, hike trail to the creek, I think about 1/2 mile, in the dark, so we need headlamps. This was my 2nd trip with OCB a little over a year ago, I remember the camping spot was over grown and I had to 'stomp' down a place for my tent.

The only other part I remember is there is a very steep uphill section that was massively slippery due to an earlier rain and everybody was sweating profusely from the humidity. So..if we have snow melt or fresh leaves it will be a little slow.

When we reach the camping area, we can vote whether to continue on to McAfee Knob, about 5.5 miles. Hiking upward say it's about 9 miles from the parking lot. That would make for a 4-5 hrs return trip so that is a consideration if we want to have an After-Hike-Feast at the Homeplace Restaurant in Catawba (about $14 PP)(http://www.yelp.com/biz/home-place-restaurant-catawba)

Here is the description and link from Hikingupward.com

Outstanding views, a tough climb, a cool creek cliff face, wobbly bridges, Scorched Earth Gap, and The Murder Hole are just a few reasons to hike Tinker Cliffs via the Andy Layne Trail. We were so close to this trail when we hiked Carvin Cove/Hay Rock that we knocked this hike out the same day. Tinker Cliffs is the third leg in the Triple Crown of great views/hikes in this part of Virginia, along with McAfee Knob and Dragons Tooth.

It's around 3.8 miles to the top, but be prepared for an exhausting trek. You'll go through Scorched Earth Gap to get there, then look down on the valley where the Murder Hole cave is. Read the stories linked above about how they got their names, very interesting.

  • Mile 0.0 – The yellow blazed Andy Layne Trail begins at the rear of the parking area on Route 779 (Catawba Road). You'll cross two fence stiles before reaching the first of two bridge crossings of Catawba Creek. (CAMP HERE) In some places over the next mile the trail was overgrown but manageable as of 2011. The first couple of miles you will hear the hum of the Roanoke Cement Co, this is their land they have generously allowed hikers to cross, so to get to the top you will just have to put up with the noise :)
  • Mile 0.6Cross the 1st Catawba Creek Bridge, parallel Catawba Creek with unique cliff face on opposite side of creek, then reach the next bridge.
  • Mile 0.8Cross the 2nd Catawba Creek Bridge. Start the 200ft climb to the gate.
  • Mile 1.2 – Arrive at the gate, and as long as you stay on the trail you are granted permission to go around the “No Trespassing” sign from the Roanoke Cement Co. The trail bears to the left around the gate, and in 100 yards bears to the right. The next portion begins the tough part of the hike, gaining 900ft+ feet before reaching the Appalachian Trail. One section has no switchbacks for about 0.4 miles.
  • Mile 3.0 – Reach the white blazed A.T. and stay right/south, this area is referred to as Scorched Earth Gap. Continue 0.6 miles south on the A.T. for a beautiful view to the north.
  • Mile 3.6View to the northwest of Broad Run Mtn and to the Northeast of Fincastle.
  • Mile 3.81st view of Catawba Valley but a better viewing area is about 200 yards beyond.
  • Mile 3.852nd view of Catawba Valley. Great place for lunch and taking in the views. McAfee Knob is clearly visible to the south
  • Mile 7.7 - Retrace your steps to return to the parking area.

Note: If you're adventurous and need more miles, you could continue south on the AT to McAfee Knob, this would be approximately 18 miles roundtrip from the Andy Layne parking area.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Great hike! Endless views and the best of "ridgeline hiking". The fall is too obvious when we are walking with leaves up to knee level (petite).

    November 5, 2012

  • Phil

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePJZT4Yf7u4 Here's the link to a little video of our trip.

    November 5, 2012

  • Phil

    Video link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePJZT4Yf7u4
    I had a great time! We were able to do both tinker cliffs and McAfee Knob! Wonderful views, great company. McAfee's would make a good winter hike.

    November 4, 2012

  • Phil

    Ok, here's the new plan; (Assuming Daksi drives with Evenstar), I ride with Daksi to split gas. Kevin Rides with Gunny to split gas (Kevin - contact Gunny for rendezvous details); Aanne will meet us at the trail head/campsite on Saturday morning, or catch us on the trail (and pass me while she's jogging up the mountain!). As far as linking up at the Andy layne parking lot or somewhere in route, we'll work that out after we all get our rendezvous details, and I'll call Paul and let him know what's happening with Daksi/Evenstar/me.
    (sorry if I sound like a retired Army Officer ;-))

    November 1, 2012

  • Phil

    And Daksi's new trail name is "slow to respond to carpool emails", but that's a little long.

    November 1, 2012

  • Paul H.

    That's fine, I was just thinking about my beauty sleep.

    November 1, 2012

  • Phil

    why don't we just do it friday night before we hump to the camp site? I don't mind sitting in the dark for 20 min.?

    November 1, 2012

  • Paul H.

    The parking area for McAfee and Andy Layne are 10 miles apart. We could meet at Andy Layne, drop people and gear and spend night. In morning run one vehicle to McAfee lot, then come back and begin hike.

    November 1, 2012

  • Mark

    Kitty (her trail name should be changed to "slow RSVP") is going. Since we are shuttling what is the plan to meet and get the cars in the right place?

    November 1, 2012

  • Phil

    Aanne - I sent out the usual carpool email already. Let me know if you're driving or want to ride. fyi - if you're coming from DC you probably can link up with Gunny and me at the Richmond park and ride off 64.

    November 1, 2012

  • Phil

    Mark/Paul/Aanne/Kevin, sure why not! I’m leaning heavily on going on to McAfee anyway, this would make for an easier Sunday. I haven’t been to McAfee, it’s only 9 miles, and then I wouldn’t have to carry an extra 9 lbs of water! Plus, according to the map the terminus is just down the road a bit anyway. PLEASE let Kitty know that there is a stretch that is steep going up, but not as hard as that second day ridge at 3 ridges, but tedious nevertheless. Once we’re on the ridge it appears to be pretty normal, no major ups or downs.

    From: Mark
    Sent: Wednesday, October 31,[masked]:59 PM
    To: [masked]
    Subject: Re: Tinker cliffs/McAfee Knob Carpool

    Are we shuttling as Gunny suggested also Kitty is probably going and hasn't rsvpd yet.

    November 1, 2012

  • Paul H.

    If we can shuttle a vehicle, we could leave the shelter and head south over Mcafee, but is is another 900' elevation gain in less than a mile, the first mile. That is what I did last time I was there, I think it is 5 miles +- to the parking lot.

    October 31, 2012

  • Phil

    We need to purify the water where we camp on Friday night and purify any water carried up to the top.

    There is a VERY STRENUOUS 900' elevation gain on the way up.

    So adding 2+2 (extra water plus steep climb = Phil's aching back)

    October 31, 2012

  • Phil

    Ryan - are you saying Crabtree falls is close as in 'close by' or closed? Just curious, was the gate closed to the parking area due to snow? Was the highway not yet cleared? That would have been my recommended start point for a Priest hike.

    October 31, 2012

    • Ryan M.

      Close a currenty not accessable. Due to snow.

      October 31, 2012

    • Ryan M.

      Close to where i reside.

      October 31, 2012

  • Phil

    Daksi, this is a return on sunday trip, hope you and Evenstar come!BTW this is and McAfee are part of the triple crown, it's just an out and back

    October 31, 2012

  • Mark

    When I say two I mean coming back on Sunday of course. But if not dont let me hold up the group at all.

    October 30, 2012

  • Phil

    I think I read you can start at the andy layne TH then, if motivated, 9 mi via Tinker to McAfee Knob. @ 3.5 to Tinker then about 6 more to McAfee. We could make a decision once we get to Tinker?

    October 30, 2012

  • Paul H.

    I've done it in two. Park at Andy Layne and hike south. Could probably be done opposite. Just need to shuttle.

    October 30, 2012

  • Mark

    Maui sounds nice. I have been all around the world and that was my favorite port visit anywhere. Is Tinker Cliffs a two or a three day hike?

    October 30, 2012

  • Paul H.

    Tinker Cliffs is not a bad hike.

    October 30, 2012

  • Phil

    Tinker Cliffs? then we can eat at the homeplace restaurant..

    October 30, 2012

  • Paul H.

    My last trip to Maui was nice, but my last trip to the big island was also nice.

    October 30, 2012

  • Phil

    Definitely Hawaii, but which Island!!!???

    October 30, 2012

  • Kelly

    There are some really nice spots on the AT near the priest. I was up there a few weekends ago...

    October 30, 2012

  • Kelly

    Another meetup group has already scheduled a trip to Cold mountain. You might want to skip thats spot this weekend.

    October 30, 2012

  • Mark

    Perhaps if we go to the right place we can make it thru the fourth? Just a thought..

    October 30, 2012

  • Mark

    My suggestion is Hawaii, or Bahamas. Somewhere warm.

    October 30, 2012

  • Paul H.

    Just let me know, I will follow. Although I don't believe I have done The Priest yet.

    October 30, 2012

  • Diana Butler M.

    Apple Orchard or The Priest are good too.

    October 30, 2012

  • Kevin

    I haven't been to Cold Mountain, Tar Jacket Ridge, or Apple Orchard yet, so I'd be interested in one of those!

    October 30, 2012

  • Diana Butler M.

    How about St. Mary's wilderness? I'd also suggest Ramsey's Draft, but it was a mess when I was there in August.

    October 30, 2012

6 went

  • Phil
    Drag'n, Organizer,
    Event Host
  • Paul H.
    Gunny, Backpacking Coach, Co-Organizer
  • Kitty
    Evenstar
  • Mark
    Daksi
  • Kevin
    Win-Thirteen
  • A former member

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