Past Meetup

Canaan Mountain Backcountry and Winter Backpacking 101 Trip

This Meetup is past

11 people went

Price: $2.00 /per person

Centreville Park & Ride Lot

14700 Lee Highway · Centreville, VA

How to find us

Silver VW Jetta Wagon and my cell is 443-465-4848

Location image of event venue


Once again winter is almost here, this is a great way to start off the season. I have done this trip the past few years and it is usually the first place that gets reliable snow.

We go to a lot of effort to prepare for this trip, so we always have a great time on this one with lots of great memories and fun!

Prepare to have a huge bonfire and beverage of choice and this trip always has a great group dinner on Saturday night. We will plan the hike around the snow and weather conditions, so could do anything from a few miles to most of the day hiking, as there are many great places to visit in this wonderful area! Please read my Backpacking Write up here, including Winter Backpacking:

If you have any questions feel free to contact myself or any of the leaders with questions as we want you to feel prepared, so you can relax and have fun on your winter adventure!

Canaan Mountain Backcountry is a high elevation plateau ranging in elevations from 4,145 feet at Pointy Knob to 3,100 feet near Blackwater Falls State Park. The semi-primitive area consists of approximately 13,532 acres on the top of the plateau. Since Canaan Mountain is relatively flat, there are many seasonally wet places.

Fees: None


Keep fires small and use only dead and down branches, however, we encourage the use of lightweight camping stoves.

Closest Towns: Canaan Valley, WV and Davis,

WV Water:

All water should be considered to be contaminated by an intestinal parasite called Giardia. Vigorously boiling the water will destroy the parasite. This is the best method for getting rid of it as some filters may not be small enough to catch the parasite and chemical treatments such as iodine or chlorine are not considered reliable. The Sawyer filter system as well as some others will produce potable water.

Restroom: None

Operated By: Monongahela National Forest Service

Map for Canaan Mountain Backcountry here:

Otter Creek Wilderness is 20,698 acres in size. The Otter Creek Wilderness lies in a bowl formed by Shavers Mountain and McGowan Mountain. Most of the streams flow north into Otter Creek. Vegetation consists of second-growth timber, rhododendron, and a variety of mosses and lichens. Elevations range from 1,800 feet at the mouth of Otter Creek to 3,900 feet on McGowan Mountain.

Map for Otter Creek Wilderness is here:

Click the link for Monongahela National Forest, Canaan Mountain Backcountry or Otter Creek Wilderness "Trail Map" to download your map and print it off and bring it in a zip lock bag. We will be car camping on Friday night at a great little spot I know. This will allow us to get an early start on Saturday hiking out to some stellar overlooks such as Chimney Rocks and Pointy Knob to name only 2 of many, and also enjoying some of that one of a kind high mountain red spruce and rhododendron in the snow on a high "Canadian Like" plateau to help get you into the Christmas Spirit! Total distance of the hike will be about 12 miles with about 2000' elevation gain/loss which makes this the ideal Winter Backpacking 101. You will get sweeping vistas, gorgeous high mountain bogs, majestic spruce, hemlock, moss and rocks, with some roaring streams thrown in for good measure. If there is enough snow, this is a great place to cross country ski and snowshoe!


Our campsite is in a great hiking area with hikes from 2 to 12 miles depending on weather and snow conditions.

Saturday dinner: Cost is about $15/pp.

Saturday group dinner for will be Texas Chili, Dutch Oven Style, with all the sides and fixins'. So you are responsible for Friday dinner and your breakfasts and lunches for Saturday and Sunday.

Additional Information on the Area here:

Finally my How to Backpack in all weather conditions and styles:

Scroll about halfway down the page to "Jim's Backpacking 101 and Advanced Backpacking..."


Please secure your ride by posting your comments and coordinate among yourselves, making friends & sharing cost.

*Carpool ride is NOT a free ride: Please pay your driver(s) min $20/pp. *If you can offer a ride: From where and how many you can take. *If you need a ride: From where or carpool location.

More and more.....

Come prepared for some sleet just in case, but normally there is plenty of snow up on this high mountain plateau.

We will also stop for a great meal on the way home in nearby Davis. So time to saddle up for one of the finest areas you did not know about in the Midatlantic, one of my old haunts, and a grand adventure high up on the mountain, WB style!


Update FIrewood Prep for trip!