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(Overnight) Fall Foliage IX - GSMNP - Big Creek

  • Oct 18, 2013 · 12:00 PM

DIRECTIONS TO BIG CREEK GROUP CAMPGROUND: NOTE I 40-if you got on I40 at exit 275-that means you are 275 miles to the Tennessee border and +/- 5 more miles and +/-20 minutes to the campsite.

1. take I 40 EXIT 451 (first exit in Tenn.) 2. CROSS the PIGEON RIVER on the bridge. 3.LEFT when you get off the bridge and FOLLOW THE PIGEON RIVER UPSTREAM, the road curves right away from the river at the POWER PLANT.  CONTINUE STRAIGHT THROUGH a 4 WAY intersection (there may be a shop+horse lot here) and follow the road into the park past the ranger station and straight on to the campground and look for the bath house. BEAR LEFT at the bath house for about 150' and park  in our group campsite.

FOOD-ALL FOOD, COOLERS,etc. must be locked in your cars ANYTIME it is unattended, maybe even toothpaste,etc.that may have an odor that may attract vermin: bears, skunks, racoons, alligators, mice, henrys, or whatever. DRIVERS-BRING extra key(s) for riders in case you are on different hikes, sleep times, etc. so they can access their food, etc.

BIG CREEK CAMPGROUND  is at 1700', can be chilly-bring some warm clothes, cap, gloves, raingear, etc. Many hikes will require good raingear, layers-something warm for the weather-fleece- synthetics best-avoid blue jeans: heavy cotton can get wet and cold with rain, your lunch, sturdy footware-boots best, maybe trek pole, etc.

 

 

DID you know the GREAT SMOKY MT. NP has the WORLD'S GREATEST BIODIVERSITY OUTSIDE THE TROPICS!

   !www.nps.gov/grsm/  then to camping on right, then scroll down to group camp and then to Big Creek then click on reserve now for description of our campground facilities, etc. I will post good directions, more info, etc. the week of the event.

 This RSVP is for Big Creek site. Big Creek is located on the northern tip of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Big Creek allows easy access to Mt Sterling (via Baxter Ridge Trail), Mouse Creek Falls/Midnight Hole (via the Big Creek Trail) and Mt Cammerer (via the Chestnut Branch/AT trail). THOG has used Big Creek in several years past and this site does not disappoint.

In fact, the views from Mt Cammerer are among the finest in the southeast!

Having said that, Mt Cammerer and Mt Sterling are considered strenuous hikes, but the effort is worth it!

Nearby activities of interest include Cataloochee Valley (1 hour away) for elk viewing and Max Patch (1 hour away) which offers spectacular views.

Your responsibilities:

This is "car camping" You will need to provide your own sleeping arrangements (sleeping bag, tent), food and water. There are NO SHOWERS! Showers are nearby at Standing Bear campground. Weather can be a bit nippy in October, so warmer weather gear is advised. Food and supplies are less than 20-40 minutes away and traditionally some members choose to eat out on Saturday night. Cost of the campsite will be shared among participants. Water is available at our campsite and a bathroom with flush toliets+cold water sink a few steps away. In addition to your car camp gear: BRING: food for lunch-snacks on hikes, raingear-even a $2 poncho, and gear for hiking.

RSVPs will be available for signup starting on September 9, 2013 at 7PM. Organizers of THOG may add themselves to the list at anytime, as long as spots are available. If you RSVP and have a history of unreliable behavior (ie no shows or last minute cancels), your RSVP may be removed without warning. If you RSVP "yes" it is your expectation that you are going on this trip (ie you have already ensured that you are not working, or have other commitments that weekend). Last minute cancellations with excuses like "I forgot something came up" will get you on the verboten list for future events!

HIKES: 1.MT. CAMMERER 12 miles up and back, 3000' elevation gain via Chesnut Branch trail and the AT. Strenuous, but great views from tower at top. I will probably lead a hike there Sat. if weather is good.RAINGEAR of some type required. 2. BAXTER CREEK starts near our campsite and goes all the way up to the top of Mt. Sterling-also Strenuous, but can be done for shorter distances out and back. 3. BIG CREEK TRAIL starts at our campsite and follows the fire road up the creek-go as far as you want and come back-5 miles out to Low Gap Trail and contiues on -beautiful creek-good for short hike or long, Sat. or Sunday. 4. Drive to CATALOOCHEE VALLEY (at least one hour on sometimes one way dirt rd.) to view Elk in the meadows, old church+farmsteads, and trails: Boogerman -Caldwell Fork Loop 7.5 miles or just follow it upstream-another beautiful creek. This is a good Saturday option. 5. MAX PATCH BALD: 360 Degree views from top, AT crosses the top, WOW! for views. Other side of I40 and about a hour drive on dirt rd. to park. A good option for Sunday return.

WAIT LIST: PLAN ON COMING. IF you do not get a spot in the group camp, there are options:1. www.standingbearfarm.com/    is nearby+/- 4 miles and will have tent spaces for sure for $15/night for 2 people incl. hot showers, internet, etc. Maybe bed in bunkhouse $15 night. Close enough for you to cook, enjoy campfire, hike with the groupetc. [masked]  2. Individual park campground right next to group camp-12 sites first come first served. $14 night for 4-2 cars, 2 tents. Usually there are sites available. phone me for help.

 

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  • Henry H.

    a small group for this event due to some type of fuck-up by our sorry ass gov't. (we did not know park would be open till Wed.) However we had a good time with campfires, hiking, no rain, and no one et by a bear. However, we were threatened by a large mob of those vicious wid turkeys.

    October 21, 2013

  • Mahesh

    As a result of flip flopping i lost my entire carpool entourage and i am not a fan of driving alone for 4 hrs. Is there a room for one in any of the carpools that start after 12 PM on friday. Or if someones still looking for a ride, please let me know. Thanks.

    October 17, 2013

    • Mahesh

      Yay! Vipul offered me a ride. Now i can sit back and fall asleep. Thanks Vipul.

      October 17, 2013

  • Mahesh

    Found GPS Coordinates in this Link
    http://www.reserveamerica.com/camping/Big_Creek_Group_Camp/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70915

    GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):[masked], [masked]°45'8"N, 83°6'32"W

    1 · October 17, 2013

  • bdodge

    http://www.wbir.com/story/news/local/sevierville-sevier/2013/10/15/smokies-park-reopening/2989559/

    "The Great Smoky Mountains National Park reopened Wednesday morning, and visitors are already crowding Cades Cove and other favorite areas to see the fall leaves and enjoy the beautiful scenery."

    October 16, 2013

  • Mahesh

    Well i am back again (i know i am fickle). I will be leaving Raleigh at 1:00 PM and picking up Steve near Burlington at around 1:30. We have room for 2 more if any one needs a ride. Thanks.

    October 16, 2013

  • Kayla R.

    Hi Everyone,
    I was wondering if anyone would be interested in carpooling? I live with a friend of mine in Chapel Hill and since we only have one car it would be tough for me to take it for the whole weekend. Obviously I am happy to split gas, and if you want, we could share food/water expenses as well. Looking forward to meeting everyone and spending time in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park!

    Cheers,
    Kayla

    September 14, 2013

    • Vipul

      That sound good.

      October 7, 2013

    • Jamie B.

      Well luckily the park is open, but unfortunately I need to be back early on Sunday so I may have to pass this time. I'd love to meet you at another event.

      October 16, 2013

  • Jamie B.

    Is anyone coming back early on Sunday. I need to be back by 1. Otherwise, if anyone is staying back, I'd love to do a local hike.

    October 15, 2013

    • Donna K.

      Jamie, I just realized this may not work (woke me up in the middle of the night). My plan was to back by one but unless you live in the same general area, I can't give you are ride home and get home by one. I live pretty far north of Raleigh and I actually take the 85 split when heading home. Where to you live? Will this work?

      October 16, 2013

    • Jamie B.

      I'm in Cary so maybe not. I guess I'll try for the next outing. Thanks.

      October 16, 2013

  • Henry H.

    Joe and I are planning to leave around 9-10 Friday morning and stay to hike most of the day sunday. We would like one more rider.

    October 15, 2013

  • Robin K

    Sorry. it is so uncertain ... I made plans that I know will happen.. Sorry

    October 15, 2013

  • Kidist B.

    I am really sorry, I already made other plans for the weekend.

    October 15, 2013

  • Johnny M

    Sorry folks, but I'm dropping out on this one -- with the uncertainty of whether or not this will be happening, I'm going with alternate plans that I know will be for sure. I hope y'all still get to go and have a blast!

    October 15, 2013

  • Donna K.

    Assuming the national park is still closed, are we all going to go to standing bear farm? and this is my first trip, so I apologize if I missed the memo, but do we pay for this in advance?

    October 8, 2013

  • Chris C

    FYI, due to the government shutdown, all off GSMNP including trails and campsites are closed. If this does not get resolved by the 18th, this trip will be involuntarily canceled due to the incompetence of our government. There may or may not be good alternatives. Just a heads up

    October 1, 2013

  • Henry H.

    CARPOOL TIPS: Post here the following: where you can easily meet-make sure a car be left if nec. Eubanks NO, times you can leave Friday, and when you need to be BACK Sunday and what you'd like to do Sunday. Then exchange phone #'s via email. do not post your phone # or email here-anyone on the worldwide web can see it.

    September 14, 2013

  • Genya A

    Is there are any limits for a size of a tent? I have a tent that is considered as 6 persons tent (in real life no more than 4 people comfortably). But I wonder if I have to buy a smaller tent due to camp site size limits. Also in a past I had only camping with my son with cub-scouts and always had some help with pitting this tent due to its large size. I hope to get some help if i bring this large tent.

    September 10, 2013

    • bdodge

      REI rents tents, so you can try before you buy. Their Half Dome 2 is highly rated for the price -
      http://www.outdoorgea...­
      http://www.rei.com/pr...­
      http://www.rei.com/pr...­
      http://www.outdoorgea...­
      Walmart house brand Ozark Trails are cheap, but you get reasonable bang for the buck
      http://www.walmart.co...­
      Also you could try http://raleigh.craigs...­

      September 12, 2013

    • Genya A

      Thank you everybody who e-mailed me with info regarding the tent purchase, Bdodge thank you for posting detailed information. With all your help I think I will be able to get ready for this hike.

      September 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sadly I don't think I will be able to make this because of the driving/logistics. Have a wonderful time!

    September 12, 2013

  • Henry H.

    I am looking for a carpool that would leave early to mid day Friday and staying till late Sunday in order to get in some hiking Friday and a full day or close sunday.

    September 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just to clarify, is this a two night trip, leaving on Friday after work and returning Sunday? Would it be possible to only go Friday night and return late on Saturday (paying the whole way, of course).

    September 12, 2013

  • Henry H.

    Meals are every person for himself, unless you make arrangements with others to share. Saturday, I wil lead a hike to Mt. Cammerer, 3000' elevation gain, if the weather is good.

    September 11, 2013

  • Donna K.

    Its my first trip with THOG. Are dinners group meals or every man for himself? Wondering if I should bring my gas stove or my backpacking stove. Also, I have an Odyssey so we can use my car for carpooling. Does someone have standard liability forms for that sort of thing? I know we had some when I did Inner City Outings. Not sure if it is an issue with a meetup group.

    September 11, 2013

  • Grace

    John and Heidi - I was wondering who is leading this trip? I see that you both have dropped out! Have you both changed your minds and doing another trip instead?

    1 · September 10, 2013

    • John M.

      Grace, I won't be back in time from hiking the AT in New York.

      1 · September 10, 2013

    • Grace

      Have a great time.

      1 · September 11, 2013

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