What we're about

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.” John Muir

Have you ever driven in the Blue Ridge Mountains or the Rockies, or been to Yosemite National Park or the Grand Canyon? Have you car camped in one of our National Forests or National Parks? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to venture out beyond the campground or overlook?

We are the one Meetup in the Hampton Roads area that ventures into beautiful mountain forests, following trails that meander over high ridges and cross beautiful mountain streams. We hike in the 'tree tunnels' along the Appalachian Trail, lined with Mountain Laurel and Rhododendrons. We hike over the passes of the Colorado Rockies and fish in the glaciated lakes of the Wind River Wilderness. We see views that only those who leave the trail head will ever see.

Our trips are normally Friday thru Sunday, with two nights camping and about a day and half hiking. Normally, we arrange carpools and/or convoys from this area to the forest trailhead and link up at the Friday night campsite. Due to differing work schedules, some people can arrive Friday in the afternoon, some may not be able to drive down until after work, arriving later in the evening, setting up in the dark by head-lamp. Saturday morning is breakfast and a meet-n-greet for late arrivals, then it's off down the trail to that days destination. Saturday night usually has a campfire with people preparing their meals and socializing. Sunday morning after breakfast, the group heads back towards the trail head and heads home. Many times the group will stop for lunch or early evening meal (victory feast!) for one last chance to socialize with everyone and to say 'so long'.

Backpacking can be expensive and time consuming and may not be for everyone. But if you're looking for get-a-ways that allow you to break-contact with the day to day rat race, commune with nature, make new friends, and above all, have fun, then please considering joining one of our trips!

We ask that you try to answer all profile questions and provide a photo when joining. This gives trip organizers a glimpse into the experience levels of those signing up for trips, as some trips are more difficult than others!

So, whether you are already an experienced backpacker who wants to hike with a new group of friends, or even lead trips, or if you've never taken that first step away from car camping and have wondered what it would be like to hike over that mountain and camp by a beautiful mountain stream, then give backpacking a try and join us today!

Upcoming events (5+)

Seneca Creek Photo/relax Hike

seneca creek

https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5433335.pdf We will leave Verona, Virginia at 12 PM, Friday May 24th. We will travel to Seneca Creek and park at the Seneca Creek Trailhead. My plan is to hike in 4.5 or so miles to a nice spot north of Judy Springs and set up camp. Saturday and Sunday we will spend the day exploring and photographing the many waterfalls in the area and relaxing. If your looking for miles, you can take a day hike, but this is not a mileage trip. If you can't do Friday, come up Saturday and Join us.

Canyons Of the Escalante

Escalante

The Canyons of the Escalante. We will backpack the Escalante River Canyon. From UT Route 12 to the town of Escalante trail head. Mid-week will base camp and day hike up to the beautiful narrows of Mamie creek in Death Hollow. Trip mileage is 21 miles. For more information on this guided trip please check out www.fourwindstrekkingco.com

Smokey Mountain AT traverse, US 441 to Davenport Gap

Newfound Gap Parking Area

Details: Backpacking From Newfound Gap Parking area (US 441) on the Appalachain Trail (Northbound) to Davenport Gap( TN 32/NC 284) 32.9 miles OVERVIEW: We will Meet at 8:00 AM on June 24th at Newfound gap (US 441) to arrange for setting up a second car to be parked at Davenport Gap. This is a spectacular section of the Appalachian trail. Its high elevation tread gives way to many beautiful vistas. A walk through the red spruce and fir forest each day will give a sense of backpacking in New England. Most afternoons give out to afternoon storms that create this verdant lush environment. We will hike from shelter to shelter from June 24th through 28th. We will finish up on the afternoon of June 28th no later than 5:00 PM. Permits are needed for this trip. We will close sign up for this trip on MAY 20th. The cost of each permit is $4.00 per night ($16.00 total for 4 nights). I will handle making the group permit. Each attendee will pay me the $16.00 fee upon arrival at the parking area at US 441. If you decide to cancel last minute I would appreciate being paid back for forfeiture via paypal. DATES & TRAIL PLAN: Mon. 6/24: Meet at Newfound Gap parking lot (US 441) at 8:00 AM. We will arrange for one of the other attendees to help out with a shuttle car for this traverse (everyone is expected to pitch in some cash for gas money on the shuttle end, please have at least $10 cash with you) After the cars are moved and parked we will hike northbound on the Appalachian trail climbing 989 feet in elevation from Newfound gap to the Ice water Springs Shelter Where we will camp for the night. Total miles: 3.0 Tues. 6/25: We will break camp and be hiking by 9:00 AM. We will continue down the Appalachian trail heading north. Today we will see such pretty views from Charlies Bunion and the saw teeth. We will arrive mid-afternoon and camp at the Pecks Corner Shelter Total miles: 7.4 Wed. 6/26: We will break camp and be hiking by 9:00 AM. We will continue down the Appalachian trail heading north. Today we will see the view from Eagle rocks. Skirt the edge of the famed Mount Sequoyah at 5941'. Afterwards we walk closer towards the high point for the day at 6249' on the east ridge of Mount Chapman. We will arrive mid-afternoon and camp at the Tri-Corner Knob Shelter. Total miles: 5.2 Thurs. 6/27: We will break camp and be hiking by 9:00 AM. We will continue down the Appalachian trail heading north. Today we will begin a slow descent from the high country. We will see some great views at Deer Creek Gap. We will arrive mid-afternoon and camp at the Cosby Knob Shelter. Total miles: 7.7 Fri. 6/28: We will break camp and be hiking by 9:00 AM. We will continue down the Appalachian trail heading north. Today we will visit the famed Mount Cammerer Lookout tower. We will continue are final day of descent to Davenport Gap to our parked cars. Total miles: 9.2 PACE: 1.25 - 1.5 mph PREREQUISITE: Moderate backpacking experience. Leave No Trace (LNT) ethics will be followed on this trip. If you sign up, you pledge to pre-read and adhere to LNT principles. https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

Iceland Laugavegur Backpacking Hike – from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork

From primary reference: https://www.nat.is/laugavegur-hike-from-landmannalaugar-to-thorsmork/ https://www.bookmundi.com/t/the-laugavegur-trail-the-ultimate-trekking-guide Laugavegur Hike – from Landmannalaugar to Thorsmork Hiking time: 4 days Difficulty: moderate Length: 54 km Elevation: 539 m. m Highest Point: 1059 m. m The Landmannalaugar – Thorsmork route is called “Laugavegurinn”, The Hot Spring Route The trail “Laugavegurinn” is one of the most popular and most travelled hiking trails in the Icelandic wilderness. The trail offers a great variety of landscape. Mountains in almost every color of the rainbow, great glaciers, roaring hot springs, big rivers and lakes. Generally the hike lasts four days and the starting point is Landmannalaugar (altitude approx. 600 meters). Overnighting is in huts but you have to supply your own sleeping bag. Those with confirmed reservations have a higher priority so it is important to look in advance if you want to have a certain place to stay. Your other option is to camp, which can be done outside the main huts for about 1200 kr per night. You can also normally use the kitchens in the huts for an additional 500 kr per night. Here's the plan, comments welcome. 1 July 19 - We take the Trex bus (your choice of the 2 bus stops) https://www.nat.is/bus-schedules-reykjavik-landmannalaugar/ From Area Bus Stop Departure Time Arr Time Reykjavik Tourist Info City Hall 1230 Reykjavik Camping Laugardal[masked] ISK 9400 (about $83) book in advance Bus to Landmannalaugar Trail Head, ARR 1640 am. Camp or Hut (make your own reservation, I'm camping). 2 July 19 - Landmannalaugar-Hrafntinnusker, 12 km, 4 – 5 hrs. Side trip to icecaves (approx. 1.5km from the hut) 3 July 19 - Hrafntinnusker – Alftavatn, 12 km, 4 – 5 hours. Two huts (58 persons). or Camp 4 July 19 - Alftavatn – Emstrur (Botnar) 15 km., 6-7 hrs., Huts in “Botnar” (40 persons). or camp 5 July 19 - Emstrur (Botnar) – Thorsmork, 15 km., 6-7 hrs., Here we decide to hut or camp or bus (if running) back to raykavid. The hut in Thorsmork is Basar huts in Godaland, in Langidalur Hut Skagfjordsskáli and cottages and huts in Husadalur. 6 July 19 - Travel/Fly Reykjavik or travel/overnight Reykjavik/ whatever

Past events (258)

Grayson Highlands AT/Pine Mtn Loop

Massie Gap

Photos (20,096)

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