Ok, here is the one of my premiere trips in Virginia, McAfee Knob with Dragon's Tooth and Tinker Cliffs thrown in for good measure! We will leave Friday evening, drive to Catawba, VA and walk into the first AT Shelter and the next morning hike up to the most photographed spot on the AT in VA....maybe on the entire AT! The trail description is here:
After walking out to Tinker Cliffs on Saturday morning we will enjoy the sunset on Saturday at McAfee Knob. We will hike up to Dragon's Tooth after hiking out on Sunday morning, trail description here:
On Sunday we will hike Dragon's Tooth in the late morning without our packs due to the tough rock climbing involved. This section of the AT is considered the toughest to walk on the entire AT and you will find out why, but the views are as nice as McAfee Knob, so this is a "threefer" hike, meaning 3 great places for the price of 1! Sunday early afternoon we will eat at one of my favorite places, so bring an extra $20 for one of the best meals you will find around! The McAfee Knob hike in and back out is 8.3 miles with 1700' gain in elevation so not too bad. The Dragon's Tooth Hike is 5.7 miles total with 1500' elevation gain and rock scrambling involved, but well worth it if you read the description! Total mileage without Tinker Cliffs is about 20 miles so throw in an extra 10 for Tinker Cliffs if you can make it. This is a good "Backpacking 101" as long as you can walk 14 + miles in 2 days, but in reality a strenuous trip. This trip has something for everyone so all in all, a great trip and one you will talk about for years (don't believe me, but check out the pictures from our past trips....are those great views or what!!!).
4/3/13 - Update!
In the interest of keeping the groups on the trail smaller and with somewhat limited tent spots, we'll be splitting up into two groups taking different routes in. Please take note of which group you're in as well as the directions to the associated trailhead, lead contact info, and itinerary/maps.
Group #1 (Jim Newman):
Itinerary for Group #1:
Meet at Centreville at 7:30 PM unless you are driving down early.
Backpack in to Catawba Mountain Shelter where we will set up camp (yes after midnight, 3 miles and 900' elevation gain on an easy trail). Low is forecast for 33, so have at least a 15-20 degree bag to keep you warm, including a hat for your head in the sleeping bag.
After breakfast, day hike to McAfee Knob taking in the amazing scenery, then continue to hike out Tinker Cliffs to the end, then back to camp via McAfee Knob (23 miles total). Kirsten will turn around part way out Tinker Cliffs and go back for a ~13 mile round trip total hike (back to camp) for those so inclined.
After breakfast, backpack to the cars and drive to Dragon's Tooth trail head and (day)hike Dragon's Tooth. Afterwards we will eat at a local place I dearly love, which is the true reason for all the mileage, lol! ;-) Total weekend mileage for my group will be 31 miles, unless you went back to camp with Kirsten, which will make for a 21 mile round trip.
GROUP 1 CARPOOL
Patricia- pickup from Vienna Metro North if needed
Group #2 (Steve M):
Itinerary for Group #2:
Meet at Centreville at 7:30pm
Directions to Andy Layne Trailhead below.
Sleep in a cow pasture (~0.5 miles, 49' gain).
Pack up, hit the trail by 10:00am
Backpack 7.5 miles (2609' gain) along Andy Layne, then south-west along AT to the Campbell Shelter / Pig Farm Campsite.
Set up camp.
Afternoon - TBD.
Sunset on McAfee Knob (optional), 1.46 miles, 7:54pm.
Sunrise on McAfee Knob (optional, but highly recommended), 1.46 miles, 6:59am - wake up, start hiking up to McAfee by 6:15am.
Break camp, head back to cars, 8.1 miles.
Dragon's Tooth - 5.7 miles (~1500').
Post hike meal at a well loved Restaurant.
GROUP 2 CARPOOL
Points Of Contact:
Jim cell -[masked]
Steve M cell -[masked]
If you have not backpacked with Jim before, you must contact Jim about your experience and conditioning since this is a strenuous trip!
Google driving direction links:
Group #1 (McAfee Trailhead):
GPS coordinates: [masked], [masked]
Group # 2 (Andy Layne Trailhead):
GPS coordinates: [masked], [masked]
Its important that every one has the printed version of a map
Washington Backpackers Liability Terms:
By RSVPing or being part of this trip, you agree to liability terms mentioned below.