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I am looking to you guys for advice on an upcoming trip to the Roan Highlands in June. I am just starting my planning, so please forgive my "stupid" questions. I am going to do the requisite research, I just figured I would throw it all out there in case some of you want to throw me some easy info :)
I will be making the trip with a few friends and/or family. I've planned the trip for when the Azalea and Rhododendron bloom is likely to be in full swing. It have heard it is usually a week or two later, but I am thinking the crazy warm winter and early spring will have bumped it up a bit.
We will hopefully arrive up there by late morning or mid-day on Friday, and will be looking to arrive back at vehicles by mid-day on Sunday. Everyone that will be going are relatively experienced hikers, and should be able to keep a moderate to good pace. With only having looked at a map and Google terrain view, I am wondering about doing the AT section from Carvers Gap to hwy 19E just NW of Elk Park, NC.
I am looking for the following info and advice, or the best sources for the info (specific trail guides, trip reports, online resources, etc.)
- Recommended routes: would the above idea the best? What are the options for point-to-point hiking through, or single trailhead out-and back trip?
- Water sources & Locations
- Best camping locations and points of interest. Any suggestions if there is anything off the beaten path, or that isn't readily noticeable.
- If there are "side hikes" or alternate trails that we should see or incorporate into our route.
- The best maps for the area. I prefer 7.5 minute (1:24,000), and do not like the small scale of the Nat Geo retail series. I am good with USGS quads unless they are not adequate for some reason.
- Any info concerning parking, registration, or other details that might be overlooked.
That's about it for now ;)