Explore June 2017 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

June 2017 Map
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just completed this but started further out at iron mountain gap. loved the trail. Plenty of water and some rain with high winds which was awesome. The last few miles going down was really rocky so keep that in mind if you have bad knees or feet. I would use boots instead of trail runners. Short walk down the road to Mountain Harbour B&B at end so turn left once you get on 19E.

It was a good trail, but I would not recommend it for anyone’s first time backpacking or camping. It had rained the few days prior to me and my gf doing it and the creeks were so full and crossing them was pretty dangerous. But overall a great trip. Plan for it to take 2-2.5 full days to complete the trail if it has rained recently.

hiked this in may 2018 and loved the hike. lots of elevation change and beautiful views from the balds. plenty of good water sources and places to camp. stayed at mountain harbor hostel first night and caught shuttle to Hughes gap. then hiked back there in 2 days and stayed another night. then they dropped us up the trail to slackpack back. the three days of hiking were very diverse in scenery and terrain. would recommend for anyone. also I did calculate Hughes to the hostel was about 21 miles.

I did this trip in July with my 10 year old daughter who was carrying her own pack for the first time. We did it in 2 nights instead just an overnight. The first night we stayed at 37 after a pretty easy day. The second day was much more strenuous, going up hill for 5 miles. But site 38 is worth it. Beautiful views and sunset from the fire tower. The last day was all down hill back to big creek. I'll always have fond memories of the trip.

The trail is well maintained, so expect to do this fairly quickly for a 21 miler (did it in about 8hours). It was cloudy and rainy, so that might have affected my experience, but I felt it was all that great. The best view points are at the begining, doing the whole loop is a bit excessive.

Just finished this as a 3 day with my daughter and a friend. we parked at mt. harbour inn and shuttled to Hughes gap to start in the afternoon and get a few miles in for camp.

Water was abundant and we hiked fast but only progressed at about 1.5mph because the was so much to see that we had to stop and enjoy; that's why we're here.

Highly recommended section!

The distances are slightly off from the trail map. From the Gregory Bald Trail/AT junction to Mollies ridge Shelter is 3.1 miles (10.1 miles total). From there to Russell Field Shelter is another 3.3 miles (13.4 total). From Russell Field Shelter to Anthony Creek Trail junction is 3.5 miles (16.9 total). Then Anthony Creek is another 1.6 miles. Following the Anthony Creek Trail back to the Cades Cove Picnic area you come across the horse campground on your left approximately .2 miles from the end. Camp #9, #10, and Russell Field Shelter were all closed on June 22, 2018 for bear activity.

Water source at Russell Field wasn't the most enticing. But not many other option along the route between Mollies Ridge and the Anthony Creek Shelter.

I also took a trip up to Gregory Bald which is .6 miles of steady climbing up from the Gregory Ridge/Gregory Bald Trail junction. The Azaleas this time of year were beautiful.

We didn’t do any part of the hike, this review is about some inaccurate info in the trail description. The description of the hike says dogs are allowed, but we were told by park rangers that dogs are not allowed on any section of the AT and are allowed on only two trails in the GSMNP.

A decent weekend loop. The Forney Creek trail portion follows an old logging road, which is a little uninspiring if you’re backpacking. The creeks are pretty, and the terrain is nicely varied from the high ridge-top hiking along the AT to the hollows along Jonas Creek.

Great hike up to the ridge line and back down the next day. Stayed at double springs gap shelter. Lots of springs and river crossings so you need waterproof boots! Stayed just above freezing fortunately.

It's a gnarly run. The downhill from Spence Field to the Cove will trash your knees if you aren't careful.

I completed this section with my wife and with my 10 years old daughter. We stayed overnight and came back next morning to Hot Springs campground.

You will hike one mile next to the river...

Was our pleasure to meet two Appalachian thru Hikers... great stories and good motivation!!!

I rate this section Hard.

Views = good ( different points to stop and take some pics)

Hiking shoes highly recommended. I saw some people with running shoes having a hard time...

My wife and I, our three teenagers, and our dog found this hike to be a great mix of elevation gains, forested ridges, and grassy balds. There were plenty of water sources along the way, as well as many different options for setting up camp each night. The views from the balds are amazing. Highly recommended.

Nice trail, good views, not a lot of people

This section is a nice walk in the woods and relaxing stroll through the Roan Highlands. The views are amazing going over the balds and Hump Mountain. Doll Flats was a nice surprising gem.

Very cool bridge on this hike. It's very photogenic and just fun to cross. When we hiked this trail, we didn't see any other people. I don't know if that's normal, but we enjoyed the seclusion! Bug spray is recommend as you are pretty deep in the woods. I got bit a lot, but it was definitely worth it!

backpacking
Sunday, July 23, 2017

What a great trail! if you are looking for a good trail to prepare yourself for a multiweek trail hike, this is it. I would not advice anyone with minimal or intermediate experience to take on this trail. this trail will really test your limits and your gear to the fullist. Before you go out also check to see how much rainfall has come down the past week. the creeks you will cross will swell up even with the slightest rain. (You cross about 18 creeks in all I believe). Once you get to the last 8 miles your gonna be climbing straight up the whole time. stay hydrated and energized. all in all it was a awesome trail and very rewarding once you finish!

backpacking
Monday, July 17, 2017

A beautiful route but slightly longer than the 18 mile listed distance. We deviated and walked up the Grassy Ridge Bald, which added to our mileage, but not significantly. Water sources are flowing well as of July 15, 2017.

I took Swallow Fork Gap trail to Mt Sterling Trail to Mt Sterling. The weather was clear. I am an experienced hiker and found this to be a frustrating, but rewarding hike. Frankly, it was ugly (early June), with the trail largely overgrown or rocky, no vistas, and no water source for the entirety of Swallow Fork Gap. The rewarding/redeeming part was getting it done. I would do it again for the sense of reward, but if you want a hike that gives you something pleasant to look at along the way, this is not the trail for you.

I want to give this loop 5 stars. We got rained on for 48 hours straight. The creeks swelled and made the crossings damn near impassible. Brutal boots off conditions in fast water. This hike tested my limits and my gear.

If they're calling for rain, do yourself a favor and reschedule this one.

backpacking
Thursday, April 13, 2017

What a great loop! We got to the parking lot around 12 noon and took a stroll to the DOME to enjoy the view and warm up our legs a little. There was still some some snow on the ground which made the first mile a little tricky but as soon as we really started to drop in elevation the snow was all gone. We continued to back country camp site 69 which was a great place to stay. We had multiple river crossing and were ready to stop by the time we reached camp. Camp 69 has a couple places to hang but we set up camp to the left close to the river. We used the fire ring and the area close to it to prepare meals and hang out. There are two bear bag hangs. The next day we continued down hill wth two or three more river crossings before reaching camp site 70. This would be a great place to stay if you have a tent and or get on the trail a little earlier than we did. From camp site 70 you will head UP HILL for most of the day. It was a brutal day but when we finally got to the ridge line it was all worth it. We finally intersected the AT with our shelter about 1.7 away and a little over 4 to the parking lot. When we got to the shelter it was VERY crowded and we decided to push it back to the car and get a Wendy's Frosty. We had a great time and this loop trail was physically challenging for my 16 year old daughter high school soccer player and my self but the one on one time with her was well worth it!

hiked this loop counter clockwise over labor day weekend, great weather had a great time!

Beautiful views, very hard trail

Monday, February 27, 2017

Didn't complete the entire duration but this section of the Nat Park is hands down my favorite.

Short hike but cool because we got to see a lot of mountains because we were really high up! My daddy was pretending a bear was following when he kept throwing rocks ahead of us!

Very cool and short hike. We only did 2 miles. Really cool view!

fun over all and amazing views to be seen

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