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+)

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

Greenbrier Rail Trail, Bike touring from Cass to Caldwell, WV

Details: Bike touring the entire Greenbrier rail trail from Cass, WV to North Caldwell, WV. 80.4 miles. We will bike trough the old railroad towns as we follow the beautiful Greenbrier River. We will bike crossing over bridges and going through tunnels while surrounded by the beauty of the Monongahela National forest. OVERVIEW: We will Meet at 9:00 AM on July 8th in Cass, WV . at the rail trailhead parking lot. We will organize our car shuttle and proceed to North Caldwell to drop of car(s)( please have $10 in cash to help pay for gas with shuttles). We will ride each day from 23 to 14 miles to the southern terminus. Camping along the way at the free campsite the state of WV provides. Most sites have water and fire rings. Opportunity is available to stop and eat at a few restaurants along the way in some of the larger towns. (food should still be carried on your bike). We will conclude our ride on Sat. July 13th at noon in North Caldwell, WV DATES & TRAIL PLAN: Mon. 7/8: Meet at Cass, WV. rail trailhead parking lot. After shuttles are set up we will return from North Caldwell to Cass and begin our ride. The first day we will only ride 1.9 miles south from the northern terminus. We will camp at milepost 78.5 Total miles: 1.9 Tues. 7/9: We will break camp and be riding by 9:00 AM. We will continue down the Greenbrier rail trail heading south. Today we will pass by many small communities that once dotted this former C&O line. We will ride through Sitlington, Stony Bottom, Clover Lick. We will go through the famous Sharps Mountain tunnel and cross its bridge at 511' in length. We will end our day camping at milepost 63.8 Total miles: 14.7 Wed. 7/10: We will break camp and be riding by 9:00 AM. We will continue down the Greenbrier rail trail heading south. Today's ride will take us by the only remaining historical water tower left along the former Grennbrier rail line. We will travel through such towns as Clawson, Marlinton, and Buckeye. We will end our day at milepost 49.3 where we will camp for the night. Total miles: 14.5 Thrus. 7/11: We will break camp and be riding by 9:00 AM. We will continue down the Greenbrier rail trail heading south. Crossing on the old Watoga bridge and continuing on pass the towns of Seebert, Denmar, and through the 402' Droop mountain tunnel. We will finish our day and camp at milepost 28.5. Total miles: 20.8 Fri. 7/12: We will break camp and be riding by 9:00 AM. We will continue down the Greenbrier rail trail heading south. Today we will ride through the small villages of Renick, Anthony, and Harper. We will finish our day and camp at milepost 4.7 Total miles: 23.8 Sat. 7/13: We will break camp and be riding by 9:00 AM. We will continue down the Greenbrier rail trail heading south on this final day. We only have 4.7 miles to finish up at the parking are in North Caldwell WV. Total miles: 4.7 PACE: 2 - 3 mph PREREQUISITE: Beginner bike touring 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

Backpacking the Adirondacks High Peaks, NY

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Backpacking the Adirondacks High Peaks, NY OVERVIEW: > Achieve vast views from atop New York State's four tallest mountains, plus many more, on this backpacking adventure in the Adirondacks High Peaks Wilderness. > A warm-up day hike or two, then: backpacking 5 days, 4 nights, ~48 miles, ~15,000 feel total elevation gain (and loss). Mileages and elevation-changes noted below are approximate. DATES & TRAIL PLAN: > Sat. 7/20: Drive to Heart Lake, stay in campground or Adirondack Loj there. Google Maps says: 620 miles, 9hrs 50 mins from Charlottesville. > Sun. 7/21: Visit nearby lakes, and hike 2.4 miles and 1,750 feet up to the summit of Ampersand Mountain, for 360 views. Round trip 4.8 miles. > Mon. 7/22 (bkpk day 1): 8.4 miles, +1700 & -700 feet, summit Mt. Jo, camp at Wallface Ponds. > Tues. 7/23 (bkpk day 2): 9.1 miles, +2,050 & -2,400 feet, views from Summit Rock, camp at Lake Colden. > Wed. 7/24 (bkpk day 3): 9.7 miles, +3,900 & - 3,750 feet, summit Algonquin Peak and Wright Peak, camp at southwest end of Avalanche Lake. > Thurs. 7/25 (bkpk day 4): 9.2 miles, +3,600 & -3,200 feet, summit Mt. Colden and Mt. Skylight, camp at Panther Gorge. > Fri. 7/26 (bkpk day 5): 11.3 miles, +3,000 & - 4,100 feet, summit Mt. Haystack and Mt. Marcy (highest in NYS at elevation 5,344 feet), end at Heart Lake – where we started. Stay in campground or Adirondack Loj there. > Sat. 7/27: If all of the above goes according to plan, this day is: drive back home, perhaps passing by some lakes along the way. > Sun. 7/28: Please schedule nothing for this day (in case for some reason one of the earlier days in this trip gets delayed, and we end up driving home on this day). PACE: On relative scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being super-fast -- *NOT* mph -- pace will be 3.0 to 4.0 out of 5. Leader will trek at 3.5 or so (this is not miles per hour, it reflects a slightly faster than average speed); everyone will have a walkie-talkie and will need to stay within range. GUIDE: Matthew Rosefsky, Wilderness Medicine Instructor-Trainer & Geo Medic FEE: None! Leader is volunteering his organizing & leadership time. Cover your own expenses (including food); split shared expenses (including travel and satellite phone rental). Requested $200 donation to Wild Virginia, see below. PREREQUISITE: Significant backpacking experience & stamina required. INTERESTED? 0) 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. Also, everyone will be required to sign a liability waiver. 1) Fill out this form: http://tinyurl.com/n5vuedu AND then right away: 2) Email: matt (at) solowfa (dot) com to say (1) you filled out the form; AND (2) what is your backpacking experience, including *all* of the following: total number of times, when last time, longest duration, maximum total mileage, typical daily mileage & elevation gain you're accustomed to; AND (3) your questions. 3) Spaces limited (max 8). It'd be a shame to turn people away when the trip fills up, and then someone drops out with too little notice for a waitlistee to clear their schedule and come. To minimize this happening, when your email is reviewed and approved, a $200 deposit is required to sign up & secure a spot. If you make the deposit but then don't show up for the trip, it's not refundable. If you do show up, you will receive your $200 back. If you are able, and wish to show appreciation to the Leader for organizing and guiding, then please strongly consider having the $200 become a donation to Wild Virginia, a fantastic non-profit in need of funds, to enable them to continue their hard work in protecting many of Virginia's wilderness areas -- which we love to visit, and so future generations will be able to enjoy it as wilderness. If you are not able to afford the donation or some portion thereof, it is perfectly fine to receive the deposit back once you've showed up for the trip.

Past events (260)

Canyons Of the Escalante


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