Recently completed the loop, started at Grindstone campground. Worked out very well. Can leave your car there for additional 3 dollars a day. Great price to pay for peace of mind that your car will be left alone. Plus the mount Rogers trail can be reached from within the campground. Some great people there as well. Trip was great, highly recommended. Only downside no horses spotted, plenty of signs on trail to walk around though. On Thomas Knob they have 2 bear boxes for food close by. Electric fence may of been torn down, heard from other reviews it didnt work so well to keep animals out. Bear problems should be greatly reduced, no more treat bags hanging on the trees. Poor trees for hanging at that elevation. Hats off to people doing trail maintenance. Great spring behind Thomas Knob. Plenty of campsites around the shelter to use. The mice were on the active side when I was at the shelter. Spaces between the walls for them to hide. If doing it in 3 days the Old orchard shelter was well kept and in a beautiful setting. I went on this trip from July 28 to 30th. No reports of bears at Thomas Knob for 5 weeks prior. Bear boxes appear to be working.