DISTANCE
8.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,607 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
2 months ago

See also: 354 Trace Ridge and 600 Spencer Gap Loop for another description. This trek is called Coffee Pot Mountain Loop, but that name isn't on any signage on the hike (just to clarify).
If you park on the southern end of this trail, the dirt road in is fun with lots of big pot holes and ruts. Be careful if you have a standard car. Our SUV handled it fine and there are a few campsites on the side of the road.
Note the intersections you'll encounter on this trek before you leave. Most of them are marked, but it was very helpful to have a map with us and know which direction we were facing at each crossing. You can mix this hike up a bit with choosing different routes, such as the view at the blue ridge parkway. We've been up there driving plenty of times so we skipped that part. The parkway was open and loud and I wanted to get to the rushing water sounds as soon as possible. The whole hike after the parkway section was awesome and not too steep descending. Very enjoyable.
There are many creek crossings. It hadn't rained for a week or so, and a couple of the crossings we still had to take our shoes off to get across. Bringing water shoes or hiking sandals next time to swap out. I wouldn't want to wear sandals on the first half with the ascents, but it would be nice for the latter part of the hike.
Note: when you are at the northern part of the hike where it splits to the blue ridge parkway, this is where the name of the trail changes to Spencer. Some signs say Spencer Branch, some say Spencer Gap. Just follow the yellow blazes and you'll be good to go.