Mid July should be hot and muggy in central Shenandoah - sounds perfect for a couple days of big climbs. I'm still playing around with the route, but my goal is to have a super short Friday, a big Saturday, a flexible Sunday, and to avoid the Saturday crowds on the popular central SNP trails.
Here's the general plan: We'll meet at Vienna North parking lot on Fri after work and drive to the Old Rag parking lot. We'll hike in ~1 mile and set up camp along Nicholson Hollow.
Saturday, we'll make our way to Cave Falls (along the Hazel River). The route will be 20-25 miles and >5500ft of climbing, and will include a selection of highlights such as Hot-Short Mountain, Sam's Ridge, Hazel Mountain, Buck Hollow, and maybe even Mary's Rock. We may make a quick out and back to snag the waterfall campsite midday, depending on our route (and the crowds).
Sunday, we'll have even more options depending on how we're feeling. But ballpark 15 miles and 3-4k ft of climbing. No sunrise hike here, but the trails up around Hazel Mtn are great and less commonly visited (although will likely be very overgrown this time of year). Looking forward to taking a group to see Cave Falls.
No fires (boo), a swimming hole at camp (yay!), bear bags required. VMO for climbing in the heat - bring electrolytes!
Going to keep the group to 8 so we can be a bit more flexible on campsites, just in case. We'll decide on riders later on, but plan on giving your driver $15 if you catch a ride.
Some map resources:
- NatGeo Shenandoah or PATC Map 10
- CalTopo for a variety of potential routes: https://caltopo.com/m/9GPH
By RSVPing to this trip or any other DC UL trip, you agree to DC UL's waiver liability terms (http://www.meetup.com/DC-UL-Backpacking/pages/Liability_Waiver/).