I loved this rigorous hike. Good hiking shoes are a must, on this hilly rock laden part of the AT. I almost ran out of water today and it was a sunless breezy day (brought 36oz, should have doubled, as this would have not had enough on a hotter day). I look forward sharing this special hike with friends and can't wait to do it again.
Russ P. on Appalachian Trail: Snickers Gap to ...
We backpacked from Blackburn trail center to Ashby Gap through the Rollercoasters in two days. Approx 5500 feet of vertical and carrying 30+ pound packs made this trail challenging. I'm over 50 in ok shape and it took two 11 mile days with 7 hours of hiking each day. There aren't huge mountains but the continuous up and down adds up. We took our two Labradors and they made it ok; very tired like their owners. The trail is well maintained and well marked. There is a mix of rocky, sandy, smooth dirt, gravelly, small stream crossings, great overlooks...basically a small sample of everything you can expect to see on the AT. There were many good water sources, shelters and campsites. Overall I enjoyed the challenge of completing this section and imagine it would be much easier doing an out and back day hike, but then you miss the opportunity to enjoy an amazing sunset and sunrise camping on one of the overlooks.
This is a fun hike. I would personally say its not a a very strenuous hike even though I am just a beginner hiker.
I also dont think there was a 4800ft elevation - can someone please comment on this information.
This was definitely not a loop trail, I am not sure why it says so - its very misleading. For all those who are planning on hiking this one - please be advised that its about 7 miles one way. So if you want to get back to your car parked on Route 7 its about a 14 mile hike and you will ve to retrace your steps.
Something I found out at the end of the hike is that the ATC offers shuttle service. Look up the ATC website for more information - you might ve to contact them a week or so in advance to use this service.
I hope this information helps a few hikers and please correct me if I am wrong anywhere.
Agreed that poles and boots are a good idea due to the small rocks. I used my microspikes for the ice/snow on certain portions of the hike. Lots of gentle up-and-down in the terrain. My big dog did really well with frequent water breaks (every 30 mins). I love hiking the AT in the winter because it's not crowded. Great workout!
Get to this trail at the parking lot just north of 7. Easy access. Nice up and down hike. You can get a worthwhile hike in 30 minutes if you are in a hurry. Or, if you have more time, you can go up and down for hours and get a great workout. Good views. Never too crowded.
I love this hike. Have done it many times with friends and family. Once even had an office brain storming session on this trail. For whomever asked about dogs on the trail: one, young, and in shape animal might work if you went midweek in cooler weather. This hike has a lot, and I mean a whole bunch, of rocks which could be hard on dogs feet. VA summers are really humid, there is one small stream along the way. multiple animals might be difficult since the AT traffic can be frequent. I personally wouldn't do it.
I.m. P. on Appalachian Trail: Snickers Gap to ...
There are only a few parking spaces at the trail head on this section of the AT and we were lucky enough to get the last one. The trail is very rocky and challenging at the point where it steeply drops down about a third of the way to the Crescent Rock Overlook. Some of the other hikers on the trail gave up and turned around at this point. The view from the Crescent Rock Overlook makes it worth the effort to get there. After you finish the hike, the restaurant down the road at horseshoe curve is a good place to stop for lunch.