Elkmont to Clingmans Dome

9:54 p.m. on May 1, 2012 (EDT)
RETAILER
27 reviewer rep
103 forum posts

So I am planning on driving up to elkmont next week in GSM. I am going up there to train for my trip later this month in the Elwha Valley in the Olympic Mountains of WA. I wanted to do a high mileage big elevation gain day as a trainer and having hiked the Goshen Prong trail from Elkmont to Silers Bald on the AT before I thought I might try going the other way to clingmans dome.

its about 14 miles with >4000'ft of gain. Planning on going up to Mt Collins shelter for the night then heading down back to elkmont via sugarland.

Anyone ever tried this  crazy hike out there before?

Im going ultra light with <25 pds and in trail runners.

-Mike G.

7:06 a.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
755 reviewer rep
1,224 forum posts

Mike,

Crazy? I do that kind of hike routinely! :)

So are you going up Goshen again and then down Sugarland Mountain to / Rough Creek or Huskey Gap?

That's a fine hike. Sugarland Mountain trail is one of my favorites because it's rarely used. I've never hiked it and not seen a bear. Nor have I ever passed anyone on that trail beyond Mt Collins. I've hiked it end to end about five times.

The Goshen crossings will probably be high from spring rains but usually only calf deep or so.

The AT to MT Collins will still be a super-highway of thru-hikers most likely. I try to avoid the AT and shelters until late May if I desire solitude.  

If you wanna try something a little risky but cool: there is a manyway down to the Chimneys Trail from the Sugarland Mountains trail. You can see on the map how close they are to each other. There is (was) a ribbon tied around a tree marking the spot on the SM trail. If you've got the time it's kind of neat to walk down to the Chimneys.

12:24 p.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
RETAILER
27 reviewer rep
103 forum posts

Yeah so I noticed that the Chimney tops was near sugarland trail and Iwas intrested in maybe off trail hiking it. Now that I checked my topo where you said I see there is an established trail, or at least the markings of one. You said there should be a  marker on a tree to lead to it? correct me if im wrong but chimmney tops is one of the only "natural" places in the park that the rock precipice of the mountains rise above the tree line?


sugarland-to-chimney-top.jpg

1:41 p.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
755 reviewer rep
1,224 forum posts

 I'm honestly not sure if that is the only place that happens, and the Chimney Tops are below Sugarland mountain in elevation but I can't think of another spot like that as far as having a 360 view of the surrounding area. My current maps don't show the manyway; that's neat. I did just get a map from 1972 that shows lots of unmaintained old trails and manyways. I'll check it when I get home tonight.

 

So I'm curious, what kind of trail runner are you going to use? I backpacked in them exclusively for about four years (mostly cheap Asics Gel Enduro trail model) but found that long days like the one you have planned were making my feet really hurt from the lack of underfoot protection (especially on trails where there lots of golf ball sized rocks that couldn't be avoided).

On my last trip I tried the compromise solution: a stiff soled hiking shoe. I bought a pair of Vasque Mantra (not the 2.0). My second day was 19 miles from campsite 32 up over Brushy Mountain and back down to Porters Creek and it went pretty well (no special soreness). The true test will be doing two consecutive long days in them.

I also tried to go light last weekend and had a total weight of about 26 pounds including food and 1.5 liters of water. I did bring an extra pair shoes since it was my first time out in the new Vasque. 

5:28 p.m. on May 2, 2012 (EDT)
RETAILER
27 reviewer rep
103 forum posts

If im going to wear my trail shoes its going to be my Scarpa Raptors. they aint the best but they get the job done. I might take my heavy Lowa Rangers too, haven;t quite decided yet.

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/scarpa/raptor/

2:42 p.m. on May 16, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts

I'm going to trail run up this path next weekend to see who fast I can do it!

This is one of my favorite winter hiking trails. Great to practice on for the mountains out west. 

2:11 p.m. on May 17, 2012 (EDT)
RETAILER
27 reviewer rep
103 forum posts

goshen was a pretty fun trail all the way up. I got rained on most of my trip. tried to keep it around a 4 mph pace and was successful until I hit Mt. Love on the AT.

July 30, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Shawnee Forest Newer: Solo hiking transportation
All forums: Older: Sulphur Skyline. And a Bear. Newer: My Wedding at Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, CA