Location Selected! – Solo Winter Backpacking Trip (Pt 2)

Based on Viewer Feedback I’ve Chosen the Location for my Solo Winter Backpacking Trip!

For the second installment of this series, I’ll be talking about my final choice for the location of the upcoming backpacking trip that I’ve been planning.  How did I make my decision on the final location for my winter camping trip?  You told me!

A very big thanks is in order for all of the super helpful viewers and subscribers that shared their feedback on the previous trip planning video.  Obviously, i had to narrow it down to just one area out of the hundred of backpacking routes that we shared, but I definitely learned a ton of useful info on areas for future trips as well.

For now though, I’m going to focus on the spot chosen for this trip.  Which is, of course, – Oh, come on, you didn’t think I’d really ruin the surprise by typing it here, did you?  🙂

I plan to do continued updates throughout the whole process of planning this winter hiking trip. All the way from location selection, specific route planning, getting there, doing the actual trip, and whatever else may come up in between, so check back for updates!


11 thoughts on “Location Selected! – Solo Winter Backpacking Trip (Pt 2)

  1. Lost all my old trail info when my house burnt down 2 years ago, but I’ll dig up some old trail info from memory. I Hiked it 17 years ago. Mount Rogers is an OK hike, heard they opened it up to Mountain Bikes, though this time of the year might not be a problem. Most likely doing the AT through Grayson again in to May. If you need a flip around ride, I may be able to help out. Live about 2 hours north.

    • Nothing against Mountain Bikers, just not a fan of multi-use trails. Just wanted to clarify a majority of the side trails are multi-use, but not the AT. Looked at the map to refresh my memory, first loop was Massie Gap to the Rhododendron trail to the AT, north on the AT to the Wilson Creek and looped back to Massie Gap. I’m a photo buff and love water. Second was T again from Massie Gap to the Rhododendron trail, to the AT, south on the AT towards Mount Rogers. There is a little side trail to the left near the top of Wilburn Ridge it short connects right back into the AT, great 360 view. Can’t remember the name, I could see it on the map, but it wasn’t tagged. There’s a short side trail to the top of Mount Rogers, continued south to Whitetop mountain. Great view, too. My trip in May is going to follow this route again but continuing to Damascus.

  2. I really enjoy your videos. Each one is a little better than the last. You might consider a go fund me account to help finance future trips. Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Nepal? I would contribute. Happy trails.

  3. Grayson Highlands is awesome. You will have a blast. I hiked from Grayson Highlands to Damascus Va. this past summer on the AT. There is a loop that goes around Grayson Highlands which I am going to do in the future. You and Mike still need to come back down to the Linville gorge and hike from the first trail in down to pitch in, or if you are feeling really good, maybe all the way to lake James. Anyway keep posting the great videos and I will be watching. My two sons and myself are thinking about doing the rails to trails from Charlotte NC to Harpers Ferry like you and Mike did. Have fun, and be safe.

  4. I took a great trip down there in October, definitely one of the best multi day trips I’ve done. We traveled down from NE OHIO, and including travel stretched it out to four days and three nights with some side hikes and us screwing around exploring. One of our crew isn’t in what you might call “peak physical condition” so we have to take it easy on him. You could easily do what we did over fewer days if you wanted to plan it differently/sleep in the car and start in the morning, or do even more in the same amount of time. The are several spur trails and loops that you can take to make it longer or shorter.

    The loop we took: We parked at Grindstone Campground and took the Mount Rogers Trail up through the Lewis Fork Wilderness to the AT and the summit on day one. There is a shelter and a privy but several other campsites up near the peak, and there are trees to hammock camp. On day 2 we took the Crest Trail through the Grayson Highlands and saw the ponies, and once we got to the Scales there were herds of longhorn steer to watch. We hiked back up into the forest a little on the AT and camped at one of the sites there. On day three we stopped and camped at the Orchard Shelter because it was raining and it had dropped in temp from nearly 80 degrees on day one to maybe 40 degrees on day three and *someone* was complaining. The last day we woke up to snow and it was a fairly short hike back to the car. You could cut one day out here if doing the same loop or do one of the side trails to get more hiking in.

    Once we were out we also drove up to Whitetop Mountain on a recommendation and saw an incredible view of VA and TN. A very worthy and short side trip on your way in or out. I even saw a cool spot to camp inside the trees at the top of the mountain if you are so inclined.

    Check out the map on midatlantichikes.com/mountrogersbp.htm for a good reference. It shows water sources and breaks down the trails fairly simply. I also used a NatGeo map of the area. I have some pictures of the trip on my Instagram @zabyss if you are interested. There’s a lot more to see than we were able to get in but I hope you find a good loop, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!

  5. I have done this with the support of my friends, what’sthis? My “this”, was on the Ozark Highland Trail. Just short of 300 miles in N. AR, that links up to another 300ish in southern MO leading all the way up to the Katy trail that follows I70 to KC. The fun of “this”, is… we only carried two days of snacks, and hammok and tarps. And emergancy items. Then friends would meet us at access spots, about 20-35 miles apart with surprize dinners and beverages. My pack was 13 pounds, not including water or lion/zombie stopper. This was the best trip ever! And water is abundant along the trail, so water weight was well under 4lbs. as well as crazy views. Now… with all your fans, Im sure you could have a blast and get a cheese burger every night from a different one as well as meet a bunch of them. I would bring elk or bison with a great MO wine, maybe some MO Mud Margeritas? God bless you, Mike and you’rs.See ya in the movies. Mo-Bo

  6. Sin, I have considered doing a video myself on this, but you are a great video maker and, If I posted it, not many would ever see it, so… On my trip that I suggested on the Ozark Highland, I had to spend a day helping a guy get medical help after he cooked some dogs over his ( pop can heet, stove ). Inever found out what he used as fuel, but had it in a water bottle, unmarked and may never read the warnings. You could do us all a great service by reminding folks that unless useing white lightning, bacardi 151 or other drinkable liquid, all of these are sold here in MO and what I use in my stoves. Its a multi pourpose item. It starts wet fires, it disinfects boo-boos and you can cook a squirel, directly over the flame. It makes a pretty great MO-gerrita too! I dont think any hiker would drink etholeine glychol, or the like, but I am shocked by the amount of folks who respond with shock or surprize when I relate this story to them. Most usually state that they never thought about, or realized that cooking food over these things could make them so violenly ill. Just a thought. Keep hiking!

  7. I hiked Grayson Highland back in Oct. Great views and plenty of ponies. It was very busy and camp sites were hard to find on our second night. I don’t think you will run in to that problem during the winter. We used Hiking Upward’s trail loop. Good luck, and have fun.

  8. I’ve backpacked all through Grayson and Mt Rogers in last 2 years . One of the most beautiful places I’ve been If it hasn’t rained or snowed water will be an issue It can be extremely windy. Stay hydrated . Bring more water than you think you might need. This part of Virginia is in a drought Check Hammock forums for places to hang. Not as abundant as you may be expecting Backpackers parking lot in Grayson is safe and open if the park is open if Grayson Highlands isn’t open you don’t want to be there. Be sure to bring your sunblock and enjoy the gorgeous views

  9. I did the exact same route you are talking about starting out in Grayson Highlands from Massey Gap to the App. trail, and then to Thomas knob. We continued on to Damascus from there. I know you said you were not going to stay at Thomas Knob, but if you change your mind it is a really nice shelter and there is a spring behind it and a privy just down the trail. There are some nice camping sites just past the shelter on the right, back in the trees. Looking forward to your video on Youtube. Have fun and be safe.

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