Mt. Rogers, Grayson Highlands - weekend Backpacking trip

  • October 18, 2013 · 12:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Mount Rogers is the highest point in the state of Virginia, with a summit elevation of 5,729 feet (1,746 m) above sea level. It lies in Grayson County and Smyth County, Virginia, about 6.45 miles (10.38 km) WSW of Troutdale, Virginia, within the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and Jefferson National Forest.  

The summit is most easily accessed from Grayson Highlands State Park by following the Appalachian Trail southbound for 3.5 miles (5.6 km) to a blue-blazed trail leading to the summit, which is covered by trees and marked with four National Geodetic Survey triangulation station disks; a standard station disk marked with an equilateral triangle and three standard reference disks marked with arrows pointing towards the station disk. Because the Appalachian Trail passes within a half mile of the summit, the area is especially popular with hikers.

Mount Rogers is the northernmost habitat of the high-altitude Southern Appalachian spruce-fir forests, which are found in only five other locations in the United States: the Great Smoky Mountains, the Black Mountains, the Great Balsam Mountains, Grandfather Mountain, and Roan Mountain. This forest type is one of the few remaining habitats of the Fraser fir, which is only found at high elevations, typically above 5,500 feet (1,700 m), in the southern Appalachian Mountains.

Elevation: 5,729 ft (1,746 m) 
Location: Grayson / Smyth counties, Virginia. 
Range: Blue Ridge Mountains

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For this 2 day trip we will maximize our time in the Mt. Rogers high country with some rock scrambling, so this will be a big highlight tour of the area. Please come prepared with good boots, socks, gaiters, etc.  Steve and I can cover some ground and I will go lighter than normal (for me) so be ready for it. Hence, buddy up with tents so we can cut down on weight as much as possible, but be ready for wind, cold and always rain.  As usual we will do a group dinner on Saturday night of Shrimp Scampi and Steak along with a selection of desserts, so will need to share the food and cooking equipment as well.  Due to the possibility of snow, this trip will be treated more like a winter trip for group safety, so come prepared for High Country Backpacking.  We will hike in from Grayson Highlands so we can cover more ground with our 2 days of "fun in the sun".  Be prepared to start relatively early on Saturday (maybe by 8 AM if we don't get in too late, hah!), hitting Mt. Rogers and staying along the Crest Zone until we drop back down to "pony heaven". Since we hike this area for Trail Days every year, I know the trails very well, however be ready for some rock scrambling as well.  Oh, and bring $20 for dinner on Sunday on the way back at one my favorite restaurants!  ;-)  If you have not backpacked with me before, please contact me so I can determine if this is the right trip for you.

Winter clothes are a must for this trip, due to altitude snow/ice that may be around.
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Massie Gap GPS Coordinates:  N[masked] and W [masked]

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Have a ride: Please post where you are coming from, what time, and how many spots you have.
Need a ride: Post that you need a ride and contact any offers via e-mail for those that are offering rides.
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By RSVPing in this or any WB trips, you agree to Washington Backpackers waiver liability terms. 
http://files.meetup.com/317560/Washington%20Backpackers%20Liabilit.pdf

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  • Jim N.

    From the great people, to fog, glorious fall colors, and magnificent views on Sunday, this trip was another Fall Classic! So thanks everyone for making the commitment and all the fun we had together and look forward to seeing you again soon!

    October 21, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Special thanks to Tom, Brandon, and Rosie for all their help organzing and running this trip. I could never do it without your help, thanks!

      October 21, 2013

  • Tom

    Good times, good people! Great job Jim!

    October 21, 2013

  • upasana

    Great hike, awesome ponies, wonderful people and lots of fun! Yeyy!

    October 21, 2013

  • uday

    Thank you Jim for taking me in for this Hike, i enjoyed every Bit of it. This was my first backpacking hike and a good learning experience. Loved the company of all the people in this trip was spectacular. would love join you guys anytime.

    cheers

    October 21, 2013

  • Trisha

    Mnt Rogers/Grayson Highlands was a perfect combo of great hiking, spectacular views and friendly people. Thanks Jim for organizing!!

    1 · October 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    What a great trip!! Jim, thanks for organizing. Hope everyone made it home safely.

    October 20, 2013

  • Tom

    Eta 7:40 and Jim is 15 miles behind us.

    October 18, 2013

  • Trisha

    Traffic stopped now at mm 117 ish. Not mm 55 as reported by news

    October 18, 2013

  • Trisha

    Expect major traffic on 81 south at mile marker 55

    October 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey all. Im here. Dark grey forester. Parking willbe tricky in overnight backpacker lot. Safe travels and see everyone soon.

    October 18, 2013

    • Trisha

      What do you mean by tricky? I'm in an SUV with Tom, Upa, Uday, and Randy on 81s mile marker 124. Our ETA is 7pm

      October 18, 2013

  • Trisha

    Ten min away

    October 18, 2013

  • Tom

    Wind gusts might be pretty extreme on Saturday evening. Hopefully we can avoid most of it. I'm packing all of my guy lines and stakes. I'll use trees and rocks to help add support. Be careful unpacking and setting up in the high wind. There was this one guy who lost a tent to the river. . . .

    October 18, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Tumbleweed tent syndrome is no fun, but thankfully there is no river near camp this time, lol! :-)

      October 18, 2013

  • Jim N.

    Looks like we are getting lucky with the weather as it will be mostly sunny the entire weekend with highs of 51 and lows of 36, so make sure you have at least a 15-20 degree sleeping bag with pad and air mattress.

    October 17, 2013

    • Jim N.

      A fresh pair of socks (liner inner with Merino wool outer) is my #1 priority in The Wild. I also use down booties when it's cold in my sleeping bag. With the wind on Saturday night, I brought them for this trip, along with my gaiters for during the day.

      October 18, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Trisha, make sure you buddy up in your tent as well. My experience is someone else in your tent adds about 10 degrees to the night time temperature in your tent, if you have a good colder weather tent.

      October 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Any other coffee addicts? I have a stove, fuel, instant coffee and powdered milk for Saturday morning.

    October 17, 2013

    • Tom

      Definitely, I take my Starbucks singles black.

      October 18, 2013

    • Jim N.

      I do french press myself with Peets ground coffee Heather I can share with you. Starbucks microground instant is my backup, but do my coffee black in the backcountry so bring your cream and sugar if you want it.

      October 18, 2013

  • Ryan

    Well Ive been deliberating all night, but it looks like I won't be able to make it. My knees are doing alright but still aren't 100%. Have fun y'all and sorry for the late bail.

    October 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Re trail maps (a few have asked below): I found a few not-great ones online but the Nat Geo map for the region includes Grayson Highlands (I think it's #318). However, I just called the visitor's center; they are open till 6 and the guy said they sell a trail map there as well.

    October 17, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Perfect Tom, thanks!

      October 17, 2013

    • Trisha

      Does kinkos have a waterproof or coated paper?

      October 17, 2013

  • uday

    i am driving from Bethesda to Centreville, if some one needs a ride please post it or message me at[masked]

    October 17, 2013

  • Jim N.

    I sent out the email to all attendees describing the trip in detail. I have had 2 major crises this week, so forgive me for being a bit late.

    October 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Jim - should I meet you guys in the Overnight Backpacker's Lot at Massie Gap? 7 pm ish? Please let me know; need to finalize my plans. Thanks!

    October 17, 2013

    • Jim N.

      We should get there by 6:30 PM Heather

      October 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sounds great. I plan to be in the area early in order to pick up a trail map. Haven't been able to find one at any of the local outfitters.

      October 17, 2013

  • Jim N.

    Use Google directions and for B input, "Massie Gap, Grayson Highlands State Park, Virginia". For A, input, "14700 Lee Highway, Centreville, VA and you will get 4 hours 46 minute drive time, but figure 5/12 hours with a fast food stop for dinner on the way.

    October 17, 2013

  • Paul A

    Sorry about late notice, but have to go to work.

    October 17, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Thanks Paul and glad you have a job again!

      October 17, 2013

  • Jim N.

    Paul, I have not heard from you yet about your suitability for this trip and sent you an email this morning. Please get back to me at [masked] or my cell at[masked], thanks.

    October 17, 2013

  • Tom

    I can drive from centreville at 12:30 or earlier. I can fit up to 5 for a total of 6.

    October 16, 2013

    • Tom

      Got it. Full ride! Can you guys post or message me your cell#. [masked]

      October 17, 2013

    • uday

      Thanks Tom, My cell no:[masked]

      October 17, 2013

  • Ryan

    Hey y'all. Just a heads up...I'm really looking forward to this trip, but my knees have been acting up so I may have to bail for safety reasons. They should be fine, but it's not worth the risk if they're even slightly sore. I'm gong to wait until tomorrow to make the final call and will let y'all know. Also, is this the place to post this kind of stuff or should I message the organizers directly?

    October 16, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Either place works for me Ryan.

      October 17, 2013

  • Parth K.

    sorry guys i had to drop out due to job related travel..see you guys next time !!!

    October 16, 2013

  • Jim N.

    In case some our government worker friends have to work on Friday, we will have a plan for you to come down late, car camp, then walk up the mountain into camp on Saturday morning, to join the group. I will detail the contingency plans in the email I will send out to attendees.

    October 15, 2013

    • Trisha

      If we get called back, I will request a vacation day or two.

      October 16, 2013

    • Nevien I.

      Congrats, the government should be open tomorrow :) hopefully the pay checks follow ;)

      October 16, 2013

  • Jim N.

    Time to decide on our group dinner on Saturday evening. We will have a great campfire and/or can cook over our stoves as well. Last year, we did Shrimp Scampi,with some steak over the fire. We can do a mexican theme (taco's/fajitas), or italian (spaghetti and meatballs), or bbq ribs, etc., so sky is the limit as long as we organize and coordinate everything. This past weekend Mimi, Christina and I did steak and shrimp over the fire with mashed potatoes and corn/green beans.

    October 15, 2013

    • Rosie

      Dito to Tom's response

      October 16, 2013

    • upasana

      I am going to bring my meals

      October 16, 2013

  • Neal

    Jim, Sorry I cannot make this. Say hi to Rusty the pony for me!

    October 15, 2013

    • Jim N.

      I will give "Rusty" your regards Neal.

      1 · October 16, 2013

  • Kathryn

    Jim, I am happy to help with a group meal. The foil pack dinners I did last weekend with Ethiopian spices were yummy. Would be happy to do that again or anything else the group wants. I can also do tacos. I just need to have an idea about quantities. I am driving and have space. The only caveat is that I am stopping in Blacksburg, VA for a couple of hours on the way back to have dinner with my son. Kathryn

    October 16, 2013

  • Naveed

    Coming from Bethesda and could use a ride.

    October 15, 2013

  • Kelly P

    Have a great weekend :-) buddy can't wait to hit the trails with you soon!

    October 15, 2013

  • Trisha

    I would like to ride with someone from the Centerville lot, please.

    October 14, 2013

  • Nevien I.

    Sorry, couldn't take Friday of :( Jim, for some reason i can't change my reservation to not attending

    October 14, 2013

    • Jim N.

      Got you taken care of Nevien and sorry you can't make it....will miss you!

      October 14, 2013

  • Melissa K.

    October 14, 2013

  • Jim N.

    First decent weather report is good:

    http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=36.6574028957064&lon=-81.53434753417969

    Friday is sunny with a high of 54 and low of 43, Saturday is partly sunny with a high of 50 and low of 40 with a 30% chance of rain and Sunday is sunny with a high of 52. I will send out details by tomorrow for routes.

    October 14, 2013

  • Hua D.

    Sorry guys, can not be in Centerville at 12:30pm on Friday. Have to drop out this. See you all next time.

    October 13, 2013

  • Nevien I.

    So, i don't think the government will stay in shut down until the trip date. Can wee meet a little later than 12:30pm? May be 5 ?

    October 10, 2013

    • Jim N.

      It is a 6 hour drive down there Nevien.

      October 11, 2013

    • Nevien I.

      I guess i will have to take the day off then.

      October 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry i had to change my answer to this trip due to unexpected work travel :-(. Enjoy the trip guys!

    1 · October 10, 2013

    • Mark H

      Understand but still a bummer :(

      October 10, 2013

  • PaulD

    Not going to this. I hate beautify scenery. Now dry-walling and painting, that's a real blast. Too much fun. So much fun in fact that I might even paint the fence while I'm at it! Good times.

    4 · September 15, 2013

    • Neal

      Way to go tom sawyer

      1 · October 2, 2013

    • craig l.

      Could I help with the whitewashing?

      October 7, 2013

  • Peter F.

    sorry but I gotta bail on this....I have extended my stay in da olde country so I won't be in the neighbourhood (yes this word is spelled with a 'U' )....sorry to be missing it though....it's one of my favourite places.

    October 5, 2013

  • Amy

    Sorry but have to change my res. Morgan wants me to take her and her boyfriend camping this weekend, but he has never camped, let alone backpacked! I am going to break him in a little more gently than Mt. Rogers, lol! Hopefully I can bring my "herd" next year :)

    October 2, 2013

  • Rachel

    I was able to sign up this time for a spot. Oh yay!

    October 1, 2013

  • Moira S.

    So sorry to miss out! Turns out I have to leave on a business trip on Sunday. Hope you all have a great time.

    October 1, 2013

  • Rachel

    I went to amazon to pay..forgot my password.then went back in and the spot filled. .so just waiting for another opening...

    October 1, 2013

  • Jim N.

    We will divide into groups again so we can take more people, so hang on waitlisters!

    September 18, 2013

  • Paul

    Now off to Utah for that weekend! Have fun

    September 14, 2013

  • upasana

    I would come if I can get a ride from any of the red line metro stations. I stay in Bethesda and do not have a car:-)

    September 7, 2013

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