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You will not find better views off the AT. The most underrated hike out there. Love love love.

Excellent trail! Definitely difficult and I would not have packed my own water because there are plenty of water spots along the trail if you are camping. Beautiful views and a really awesome camping site at about the halfway mark.

Me and my husband did this as a day hike on July 27th and fully expected it to be challenging and long based on the reviews we read here, and it was that! We started at Reeds Gap and went clockwise, leaving Mau Har for the end and were happy with that decision as the scenery of the falls made you forget about all the climbing. My Garmin also came in over 16 miles for this loop but I believe that is because in “hiking” mode the miles keep adding even when you’re standing still, I noticed this when we stopped to eat. Regardless, the entire hike took us just under 8 hours to complete. The scenery was beautiful with a couple of gorgeous lookouts and the wildlife a bit scarce; worms, butterflies, squirrels and a snake. I would definitely recommend this trail to others but probably wouldn’t do it again as I’d prefer to see other sections of the AT.

Did this hike July 13th with great weather for a rigorous hike. I followed the AT Trail up and then looped back down following the Mau-Har Trail. Took me about 9 hours to complete- stopped for breaks to enjoy the scenery frequently at the stunning lookouts this trail has. It’s predominantly canopied, thickly wooded forest- but has a surprising amount of biodiversity on the ground. This loop definitely earns its “hard” rating- long sections of uphill hiking with 4 distinctly difficult 1/4 mile stretches. But the views on top of the ridges makes for a very rewarding experience. Will have to come back soon and do the opposite direction.

hiking
2 months ago

We did this trail on accident, intending to do Cole Mountain but weren’t disappointed. There is a steady incline towards the end which can get challenging but nothing too hard. We are only able to see the east overlook when we reached the summit because a rude family was taking up the entire west overlook and wouldn’t clear the entrance for us to go up and see. We went on a Saturday at 11 am and only passed them and 1 other group.

*note, it says this trail features a river but we never saw or passed that.

I love this trail, depending on the time of year, the path is lined with rodadendra, mountain lorel and blueberries.

hiking
2 months ago

Went on a Monday in early June and didn’t see a single person. It was amazing. My girlfriend and I took the reverse route, clockwise around the loop which I would recommend as it gets a longer harder hike out of the way first.

Incredible pink/purple flowers in full bloom at certain points and so much incredible green everywhere.

The hike is very enjoyable, the perfect mix of leisurely strolling and some moderate climbs. Took us about 1hr45 to get to the summit and 1hr10 to get back to the car.

Both summits have amazing views but the west facing summit is something special. The rocks look great and it’s almost as if there’s a man made flat rock there just for people to sit and have lunch. One of the most enjoyable hikes I’ve done in this area.

The gravel track leading to the trailhead is kinda rough so be prepared to drive very slow for a few miles if you have a normal car.

Also, I have read a lot about a fire affecting the blaze markers - this has clearly since been rectified as I felt the trail was incredibly maintained. Almost too easy!

I will def be back and want to try and do it overnight!

hiking
3 months ago

This was such a nice treat to hike! We decided Sunday morning to go hiking, found this one and couldn’t resist the views. Despite a large number of cars at the first parking area (passed “no motorized vehicles” sign), we continued down the road to a more secluded area (recommend SUV or truck, etc) where we parked. From there we decided to take the clockwise loop. We only passed 3 groups our whole time—also had overlooks to ourselves. We took our too dogs with us and they enjoyed it as much as we did! Highly recommend as a day trip or overnight.

Great Day hike if staying at the Wintergreen Resort as TH is only .5 miles from entrance. Drive down to Devil's Backbone brewery for a nice finish. Trip took me 5.5 hours total with just a few short breaks for water, food and change of clothes as it was very humid. Nice views and running along the river with waterfalls was nice. Typical canopy hiking on the AT.

My first backpacking experience... not sure I would have picked this trail for a first timer, but I survived. The scenery definitely made all the hard work seem worth it. Trails are very clearly marked and everything looks pristine despite the many hikers. It might be a little while, but I would definitely do this again. The rangers were very helpful and friendly.

Such a beautiful quiet trail. This is where I solo hiked for the first time and it is a hike I will never forget and find myself visiting at least once a year!

My son and I started at Reeds gap and hiked in to the Harper’s Creek Shelter. Due to some slight rain and all of the boulders on the AT side it was extremely slippery, but a beautiful hike. Even if it did take eight hours to hike in. On the second day we hiked back to the car by completing the loop. The waterfalls were absolutely wonderful. This was the first backpacking trip for my 18-year-old son and I. I now understand the labeling of difficult as this trail was. It will make you sore, but the views are very much worth it. We had a great time.

We started our hike Friday March 30th from Reid’s Gap and hiked the top of the first peak where we set up camp. It has a beautiful view and great site for setting up. The temperature was around mid 60’s during the day; however, the temperature dropped drastically getting down to right above 30 at night. The next morning we began our loop beginning at Maupin Shelter and going clockwise towards three ridges. The hike was difficult with steep inclines. One you hit the peak of three ridges you descend over several areas of boulders, not easy on the knees. After a couple of miles we landed at our second camp site Harpers Creek Shelter. The camp site is great with a great water source. The next day you start off by doing a pretty hefty incline followed by steep descending trails to end up by some fantastic waterfalls. Take you time and rest because the next mile was grueling. Maybe not as hard but just as challenging . Ascending in short but steep inclines combined with rocks along the river was definitely challenging but very rewarding. We finished our hike and headed to devils backbone for much needed meal with beverage.

hiking
8 months ago

My all-time favorite hike in Virginia

backpacking
8 months ago

my wife and I did this trail for the first time during the end of NOV, we mad it a 2 day/1night trip. the trail has the potential to be a good trail but with some little changes. first the trail is about 12.5 miles loop.

2.5 on one trail.
4 on the jeep trail
4 on st Mary's trail
and 2 on the last trail

on the whole loop their are only about 3 blazers which makes it really hard to navigate and some points. Their are very minimal signs that are helpful. and the other growth was outrageous. some parts of the trail are relatively flat, but the other parts are either steep incline for miles. or steep decline. plan to spend at least 30 min trying to find the correct trail because their are alot of self made trails.

pros. Their are alot of self made camp sites along the way. one that even over looks the the valley( but there is no water at this site) another real good one is half way thru st Mary's trail, right next to the creek. there are also alot of places to get water.

overall I will probably not do this trail again do to the lack of information and trail blazers.

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked the Old Hotel Trail in November after the leaf drop. Completely different than when everything is in bloom. Both times are a great time to hike it. Moderate 6 mile hike with great views all along the way. Windy at the top. One of our favorite hikes. We keep coming back.

Hiked this loop twice now and loved it both times! Went with a couple buddies and split it up over 2 nights for fun. All I can say is be prepared if you are doing the loop counter-clockwise, that elevation gain is no joke. Doing it clockwise is much easier.

hiking
10 months ago

Nice hike.when my dog and I did it we only saw one other backpacker with his daughters. Their very first backpacking hike. We went counterclockwise since they were heading in clockwise. Beautiful hike my setter was pointing unknown critters most of the way. Not a lot of water so pack in plenty. Beautiful views this was done mid October. Will go back with less foliage,

Did this as a day hike and its very hard...there is very little water to he found on the AT section..plenty if water in Campbell creek on the Mau Har part...some steep inclines and lots of rock fields to hike across...very nice views along the top and very dense forest in the bottom...be prepared for some tough hiking if you do it in a day..split overnight it shouldnt be too bad

Great loop, extremely hard, not much water on the Appalachian side but tons of water on the Mau-har side. Stared at Route56 and followed Appalachian trail to the start of Mau-har, spent the night at the shelter then finished the next day. about 10 miles first day 5.5 second. Great hike.

Great trail and will be doing again. I did the trail clockwise and will do it the same way again. Puts you at the summit just past halfway. My trail recorded this trail at 5.2 miles but I noticed it did not record the summits. that adds another mile to the total distance.

I really enjoyed this hike! Both trails require about the same amount of effort, but I recommend heading to the top first. There are a couple vistas you can hang out on, they're worth a few moments to soak it all in. Have fun!

We backpacked this weekend. Since there has been no rain, there was no water resupply sources at creeks that were dry. Also, no waterfalls. We had to camp back by Tye river to ensure we had necessary water. I'll go back in the spring or fall when water conditions improve.

Ran the loop with my dog. Very challenging, but the views and waterfall are worth it. Very few flat stretches of trail so if you're not going up, you're going down.

hiking
Sunday, July 23, 2017

I absolutely love going to Mount pleasant! I've done the hike twice now! the second time seemed much harder but I think that's because the trail was much more overgrown than the previous. no matter how difficult, THIS HIKE IS WORTH IT! literally the BEST views in VA! Very Rocky, so be prepared for that

hiking
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Fantastic views throughout the trail. Lots of incline so be prepared to be very tired.

backpacking
Monday, June 26, 2017

Chose this as my girlfriends first overnight backpacking trip. Perfect distance and difficulty for someone right off the couch. Views were great on the east summit, picturesque camping site on west summit. We chose to go counter clockwise. Make a figure 8 loop with Cole/Cold Mountain trail for a great multi night outing.

wanted to see how fast I could finish the loop. Completed the whole loop in 6 hours and 30 minutes. I kept a consistent pace throughout only stopping for some brief scenic breaks which I also used as my snack/Water intake. Booked it down the mountain side, and took long strides coming back up Mau-Har.

For me liquid calories were essential to stay steady climbing back up Mau-Har. Over all ending at meadow mountain to wrap things up felt amazing and it was well worth the pace and effort. i plan on doing this loop again very soon.

really enjoyed the incline. great views.

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