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    Haley Byun reviewed Art Loeb Trail

    13 days ago

    Started the Art Loeb Trail at Davidson River on 11/23/3018 and ended at Daniel Boone on 11/25/2018.

    MY EXPERIENCE
    My friend and I completed the trail in 3 days.
    - Day 1 (12 miles): The entire 12 miles was in the forest with NO views - at least no views were worth the exhaustion. We passed many great campsites along the way, but we ended up having to camp near a road, because the sun was about to set by the time we reached 12 miles.
    - Day 2 (8 miles): The second day consisted of 8 miles of torture with the first lookout view of the trip. We trekked through a variety of terrain and ended at Black Balsam. For about 90% of the day, I questioned why I agreed to go on the backpack. There are periods where you just keep going up, and you think that you can't go any higher, but you make a turn and go up some more.
    - Day 3 (11 miles): The third day consisted of a moderate 11 miles. This was the best day - beautiful scenery and relatively easy hike (compared to the first 20 miles). We hiked a variety of terrain, and I enjoyed the majority of the last day. There's about 1 mile of steep, rocky uphill, but other than that the trail is easy/moderate. Watch out for the last 4 miles of downhill - it's "easy" because it's downhill, but it really messes with your knees.

    RECOMMENDATIONS / TIPS
    General Tips:
    - If you don't care about finishing the entire trail and just want some good views, I would recommend skipping the entire first 20 miles of the Davidson to Daniel Boone route. Instead, make it a 2-day out-and-back backpack by parking at Daniel Boone and hike around 11 miles toward Davidson until you reach the final bald, then turn back. If you want a relaxed 3-day backpack, add in a stop near Cold Mountain the first or second night.
    - Have GPS or a map/compass. It gets confusing in the Shining Rock Wilderness.
    - Bring trekking poles - especially in fall when there's a probability of ice on the trail. I would have busted my head open and injured myself severely if I hadn't brought my trekking poles.
    - Water was abundant between Cold Mountain and Daniel Boone. Other parts of the trail, we had a decent number of water sources due to recent rain, but I could see many of them drying up. Jump on any water source you can and carry enough water to drink/cook for the day.
    - It was EXTREMELY windy on Black Balsam the evening we arrived (but no wind the next morning). If it's windy, set up camp before you reach the top, walk down the side-trails from the bald and find a site that blocks more of the wind, or go an extra 1-2 miles to find another campsite.
    - Cover up for the Shining Rock Wilderness portion. The trail was pretty overgrown, and I would be extremely concerned about ticks in the warmer months.
    Mileage Specific Tips: If you plan to follow my itinerary, the following tips may be useful
    - The nearest campsites to mile 12 were around mile 10-11 and 13-14
    - The nearest reliable water source to mile 12 was at the shelter at mile 9. Have fun carrying up the water.

    Haley Byun completed Art Loeb Trail

    13 days ago

    Haley Byun reviewed Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point Trail

    8 months ago

    If you have to choose one day hike at the Grand Canyon, I recommend this one.

    As reference, I completed the South Kaibab Trail to Skeleton Point the day before the Bright Angel Trail.

    Difficulty: I thought the Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point was easier than the South Kaibab Trail (I might have also paced myself better). The trail flattens out before reaching the Indian Gardens point (4.5 miles). If you're used to walking long distances, the walk from Indian Gardens to Plateau Point and back should be a breeze. The uphill is very gradual, so if you keep a proper pace, you shouldn't need breaks. It took me a little over 5 hours to complete the trail (includes a 20 minute lunch break at the plateau and many short stops to take selfies and landscape shots). The signs at the Visitor Center for the trail overestimate the estimated completion time (8 - 12 hours) for experienced hikers.

    Scenery: The ever-so-common views from the Rim Trail evolve as you walk deeper into the canyon. I would say the views are similar to South Kaibab up until you reach Indian Gardens. Once you reach this point, you are in an oasis. Because the trail is relatively flat after this point, you can actually look up and enjoy the scenery without stopping. The greenery with the canyon backdrop is just stunning. I was almost in tears as I walked from the campsite area to the Plateau Point. But oh man... Once you reach the Plateau Point... I couldn't stop myself from swearing. The hike is completely worth it. Spend some time at the point to enjoy a snack or lunch. Every degree of the 360 is beautiful. I'm pretty sure I took pictures of the same view about 20x.

    Trail: The trail itself is a dirt path and easy to follow. Just follow the signs once you reach the campsite. There is a point where the trail splits to lead to the Plateau Point or the Phantom Ranch / Columbia River. Beware of the mule dung / urine. I assume there is at least 1 pack of mules traveling up and 1 traveling down each day. This means that there are multiple points throughout the trail that do not smell very good.

    Tips: I learned an important lesson on my hike on the South Kaibab Trail the day before. Don't breathe in through your mouth. After hiking in more forest settings, I was not used to the amount of dust that kicks up in the dry setting. I made the mistake of breathing through my mouth the day before, and I ended up chugging way too much water. If your mouth stills feels dry despite breathing through your nose, keep a small amount of water in your mouth to keep your mouth moist. Stay hydrated, but don't chug. Your stomach won't like it.

    Haley Byun added Backpacking (USA)

    9 months ago

    Haley Byun added Yosemite

    11 months ago

    Haley Byun added Dog - Easy / Moderate

    12 months ago

    Haley Byun completed Rattlesnake Ledge Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun completed Franklin Falls Trail 1036

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun reviewed Lake 22 Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Started this hike at 7:30 AM on 11/20/2017, and it took about 3 hrs roundtrip with tons of stops for photos. The lake was mostly frozen over, and there was lots of snow near the end of the trail but it's easy to walk through (well-traveled).

    There were some icy spots on the icy switchbacks, so be careful. The trail was fine with plain hiking boots though. Expect your feet to get soaked, because there's more than 50 water crossings (we counted on the way back). I suggest bringing an extra pair of socks and gloves to keep your feet and hands warm. We were freezing by the time we got to the lake, so we couldn't enjoy it for too long.

    The view is beautiful. Literally a winter wonderland. Totally worth the wet clothes and feet. I would do this trail again in a heartbeat. A reasonable distance and relatively easy (other than navigating water crossings) for such a rewarding view of the lake and mountains.

    Haley Byun completed Lake 22 Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun reviewed Len Foote Hike Inn Trail

    about 1 year ago

    A moderate hike through the woods and up to Hike Inn with clear trail markings throughout. It took me and my dog about 3.5 hrs to complete (excluding stops for water, bathroom, and lunch at the peak). We saw maybe 5 other groups on the trail, and no other dogs. My only complaint is the view - there are maybe 2 peekaboo points and a view at the top. Don't expect too much. My favorite view was at the top of the waterfall - between the parking lot and the trailhead.

    Fall Foliage: On October 29, 2017, the leaves were beautiful (both along the drive and the trail). I would guess that their peak colors would be sometime next weekend in November (there was still a decent amount of green around).

    Terrain: I really love the trail terrain - not too rocky (no scrambling). Despite snow flurries, we didn't have any issues with ice, but the trail was very muddy at certain points (rained the day before). I had to carry my dog for a few seconds, because she refused to walk on the wooden beams.

    Haley Byun completed Len Foote Hike Inn Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun added Wellness ERG

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun added Hannah (GA)

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun reviewed Gahuti Backcountry Trail

    about 1 year ago

    I highly recommend this if you're looking for a moderate hike with your dog! It has a great mix of scenery and difficulty.

    I completed the trail today (Oct 22, 2017), and the leaves were starting to turn color - good amount of yellow, some orange / red. I expect the place to be full of autumn color the first or second week of November! It was beautiful nonetheless!

    We started our hike at around 8:45 AM (Sunday), and we only saw three other pairs of hikers on the trail. It was really nice not having a crowd.

    I brought my 45-lb dog along, and she loved it! The terrain is rocky, but there is good footing available along the entire route. I usually have some with her on "rocky" terrain, but this trail does not have rocky steps - the ground is just slightly bumpy with rocks. I felt safe even with a dog that pulls while going downhill at times.

    There are many bear warning signs, but we did not see any during our hike even while carrying snacks. It probably helped that we talked pretty loudly while walking.

    Haley Byun completed Gahuti Backcountry Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun added Bryce Canyon

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun added Zion

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun added Grand Canyon

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun added Fall Foliage (GA)

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun saved Calico Tanks Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun completed Calico Tanks Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun completed Stone Mountain Walk-Up Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun completed Columbia Rock Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun completed Lower Yosemite Falls Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun completed Neels Gap to Blood Mountain

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun completed Kennesaw Mountain Peak Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Haley Byun added Dog - Hard (GA)

    about 1 year ago