Starting Point - Petite's Gap (Blue Ridge Parkway mile marker 71)
Ending Point - Sunset Fields overlook (Blue Ridge Parkway mile marker 78.4)
Hike Distance/Rating/Elevation - 10.8 miles/Strenuous/2500 feet of elevation
Disclaimer #1 - This hike is a point to point hike through the Thunder Ridge Wilderness Area. The Thunder Ridge Wilderness Area is a designated wilderness area. Since this hike is through a designated wilderness area, this hike is going to be capped at ten hikers and no more.
Disclaimer #2 - Since this hike is rated as a strenuous hike, all hikers will start the hike on the wait list until I can verify the hiking experience of all hikers. Those hikers, who have not hiked with me before will need to answer the following questions.
1. How often do you hike?
2. What strenuous hikes have you done?
3. When and what was the last strenuous hike that you completed?
Answers to these questions need to be answered within one week of the RSVP. Failure to answer these questions within one week will move the hiker from the wait list to NOT GOING. The answers can be emailed to me at [masked] or via Meetup messages.
Hike Highlights - Petite's Gap, Thunder Ridge Wilderness, Appalachian Trail, Thunder Ridge Overlook, the Guillotine, Apple Orchard Mountain, FAA Radar Dome, Apple Orchard Falls, Sunset Field Overlook, Apple Orchard Falls Trail, Apple Orchard Falls
Hike Details - This is going to be a point to point car shuttle hike in the Thunder Ridge Wilderness Area. This stretch of Appalachian Trail offers a lot in this part of Virginia. We are going to start by forming carpools at the Fontaine Research Park in Charlottesville. We are going to be leaving promptly at 8:00 AM for the Petite's Gap parking area on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Upon our arrival at the Petite's Gap parking area, we are going to form a car shuttle and leave cars at the Sunset Field Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, our end point. We are going to start the hike by hiking the Appalachian Trail southbound. We will have a long and steady climb up to the Thunder Ridge Overlook. From the Thunder Ridge Overlook, we are going to have amazing views of the wilderness area and of the Devil's Marbleyard. After soaking in the amazing views, we are going to continue on the Appalachian Trail through the Guillotine and make the climb up to the summit of Apple Orchard Mountain and FAA Radar Dome. This will probably be our lunch spot. We are going to continue onto the Apple Orchard Falls Trail. We are going to turn right and go down to the base of Apple Orchard Falls. This is going to be a steep descent and a steep ascent back up from the Falls. The last time I visited these falls, it was amazing. We will retrace our steps past the Appalachian Trail and up to the cars parked at the endpoint of this shuttle hike at Sunset Field Overlook.
As is tradition with my hikes, there will be an optional post hike at a local restaurant/brewery. We can arrange carpools, for those who wish to partake in the post hike.
What to Bring - broken in hiking boots, trekking poles, sunscreen, 3 to 4 liters of water, moisture wicking clothing (NOT COTTON), a good day pack, lunch/snacks, $10 for your driver if not driving, personal first aid kit, insect repellent
Disclaimer #3 - GetHiking Charlottesville's Organizers are not professional guides. Expect the same risks and take the same precautions you would take if you were hiking alone. With your RSVP you agree with this disclaimer - Disclaimer (https://www.meetup.com/GetHiking-Charlottesville-Charlottesville-VA/pages/21088739/Disclaimer/)