Wardensville

178 reviews
backpacking
1 day ago

Just got back from an overnight with my husband and our dog from Half Moon Mountain. We had a late start on Friday evening (only two hours before sunset) and knew we had to move quickly if we didn’t want to set up camp/ find a site in the dark. We hiked the loop counter clockwise per other users recommendations. We found a camp site (one of the only sites left!) about 3.5 miles in next to a stream. We definitely weren’t alone, surrounded by about 7 other tents but it didn’t bother us. The walk there was mostly uphill, up and down quite a few steep gullies. It was hard work, but nothing horrible, considering we had 20lb packs and we also were practically jogging, trying to beat the sun. The stream worked out perfectly to replenish our water before we left the next morning to finish the loop. When we started hiking the next day, it was straight uphill from the campsite till the summit. Reached the summit in about an hour and a half from camp and had the place to ourselves. When we came down we had a portion of maybe 1.5-2 miles of VERY steep trail. I was SO GLAD we had hiked counter clockwise when I saw what I would have had to walk up if I had gone the original way of the loop. After that it leveled to a grassy, wide walkway. Wowwww that felt good on the knees after all the steep, rocky downhill. From there we continued on to pass many streams. I recommend waterproof shoes for sure. There was a tricky part at one of the stream crossings where the correct way to go didn’t even seem to have a trail, but we had used GPS so we could see we needed to keep going straight (literally almost in the stream) and then after about 5 mins the trail became clearly visible again. I’m not sure if it’s because of the amount of rain we’ve had this summer, but the blazes were very faded in a lot of sections. After all the stream crossings it was a lot of rolling hills, grassy, muddy, small rocks. Great hike overall. I agree with the other users saying this hike is more ‘hard’ than moderate because of the one, very steep and rocky section, otherwise moderate terrain and elevation. Campsites are very limited. On the summit we only spotted about 3 sites. Where we stayed, was the most plentiful. View is outstanding and a nice chilly wind comes off the summit. I would definitely do it again. Also, although we saw maybe 10 people when we camped, we only saw two other people on the trail the entire day. If solitude is your thing, this would be a good day hike. Lots of freshwater sources for backpackers and dogs!