Time  4 hours 12 minutes

Coordinates 1097

Uploaded May 6, 2016

Recorded May 2016

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5,607 f
4,705 f
0
1.8
3.7
7.35 mi

Viewed 2074 times, downloaded 18 times

near Tremont, Tennessee (United States)

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Stage 18

Tour of the Appalachian Trail, passing through the states of North Carolina and Tennessee (United States), in a south-north direction, through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park , which with its 2,108 square kilometers (area greater than that of the entire province of Guipúzcoa, and very similar to that of the entire province of Vizcaya, in Spain), it represents one of the most extensive protected areas in the eastern United States, and was declared by Unesco Biosphere Reserve (1976) and World Heritage Site (1983).

The Appalachian Trail travels this great National Park, along about 115 km, between the Little Tennessee River, in Fontana Dam, and Davenport Gap, being necessary to complete this journey, six to seven days of walking, with very few options of exit for victualling in populations near the passage.

To stay overnight in the park, it is obligatory to do it in the existing refuges, with previous reservation, obtaining in advance a permit issued by the National Park Service. Camping is only allowed to the "thru-hikers", also with prior permission and certain restrictions.

Today's stage is part of the Derrick Knob Shelter, ending at the Double Spring Gap Shelter, and corresponds to section 2.2 of the trail, according to the official distribution of stages in Georgia and North Carolina, although it is also identified in the official guides as section 18.2 of North Carolina and Tennessee.


Preparations for the day. Start of the stage in the Derrick Knob Shelter

This duplicity is due to the difficulty to determine through what state the Appalachian Trail runs in this border area between the states of North Carolina and Tennessee, since most of the route through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park follows precisely the dividing line between both states, through the crest of the mountain chain.

The day dawned a bit cloudy, but eager to get out the sun, as if wanting to claim the light and colors of spring; and the day was relatively easy, with a short, although upward journey.

We started the march from the Derrick Knob Shelter, early, among the first. At a calm and regular pace. There was no rush to get there, and it was the occasion to savor calmly every foot of the path.

The first three kilometers of the AT run below the elevation of 5,000 feet, with its short descents and climbs (Mount Davis: 4,856 feet, and Hemlock Knob: 4751 feet), but finally on a relatively flat terrain, until reaching the base of the Cold Spring Knob, located at 4,776 feet (equivalent to approximately 1,450 meters), the lowest point of the journey of this day.

From this place, the path ascends quickly through the skirt of the Cold Spring Knob, and in a kilometer of ascent is located at its peak (5,220 feet, equivalent to approximately 1,591 meters), to descend again, for one more kilometer, until the Buckeye Gap (4,817 feet).

From this hill we go up a small hill, with no known name, followed by its corresponding descent, up to the height of 4,955 feet, and from there and for three and a half kilometers, we follow the crest of the mountain range, to the top of Silers Bald (5,607 feet). On the way there is a stretch of the path recently traced, with a slope much more gradual than the primitive, and with a firm much less eroded than that. This reduction of the slope is appreciated, even if it means a few more meters of rodeo.

This summit of Silers Bald, and its surroundings, were mountain pastures during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and housed an important livestock hut (cows, horses, sheep and goats, mainly). In the desire to preserve the forest in its primitive state, the forest services have allowed the trees to recover again these pasture lands, in which a dense grass grew, considering that before the arrival of the settlers, this summit, and other surrounding areas, were occupied by the forest. Even so, there are still small bald patches of grass on the mere summit and on the western slopes of the mountain.

The descent of Silers Bald is short: only half a kilometer of gradual descent and without difficulty, and after the pass that follows, we begin the final climb of just under two kilometers, towards the Jenkins Knob (5,564 feet) and the Double Spring Gap (5,507 feet). On the way we crossed the area known as The Narrows, ridge with low density of trees and with extraordinary panoramic views to the north and south of the trail.


The Narrows. Spectacular view towards the two slopes. South slope, towards North Carolina

As we approach the Double Spring Gap, there is a sudden change in the trees, and conifers (mainly firs) begin to populate the forest.

At the end of the stage the Double Spring Gap Shelter awaits us, built on a bald spot, in a wide area of ​​the mountain ridge, with two springs of water at very short distance, one in each slope (hence the name of the place). Although both have good flow, the most comfortable to catch water is the south face, overlooking the valleys of North Carolina.

The journey has been short, but very interesting, and the day was very sunny, so we took the opportunity to dry clothes, rest, and take a leisurely stroll through the groves near the refuge, capturing beautiful images of the place.

In the afternoon, more hikers began to arrive at the shelter, which as expected, ended up full.

The night was calm, without storms, but it did not stop raining for a single minute. Mentally, each one was going to the idea of ​​finding the next day completely flooded trails, but at least we had been able to rest comfortably and regain strength for the next day.
  • Photo of Inicio de la etapa en el Derrick Knob Shelter
  • Photo of Inicio de la etapa en el Derrick Knob Shelter
  • Photo of Inicio de la etapa en el Derrick Knob Shelter
  • Photo of Inicio de la etapa en el Derrick Knob Shelter
Inicio de la etapa en el Derrick Knob Shelter
  • Photo of Sams Gap (4.840 pies). Intersección del AT con el Greenbrier Ridge Trail
  • Photo of Sams Gap (4.840 pies). Intersección del AT con el Greenbrier Ridge Trail
  • Photo of Sams Gap (4.840 pies). Intersección del AT con el Greenbrier Ridge Trail
Sams Gap (4,840 feet). Intersection of the AT with the Greenbrier Ridge Trail
  • Photo of Muy cerca de la cima de Cold Spring Knob (5.220 pies)
  • Photo of Muy cerca de la cima de Cold Spring Knob (5.220 pies)
  • Photo of Muy cerca de la cima de Cold Spring Knob (5.220 pies)
  • Photo of Muy cerca de la cima de Cold Spring Knob (5.220 pies)
  • Photo of Muy cerca de la cima de Cold Spring Knob (5.220 pies)
  • Photo of Muy cerca de la cima de Cold Spring Knob (5.220 pies)
Muy cerca de la cima de Cold Spring Knob (5.220 pies)
  • Photo of Intersección del AT con el Miry Ridge Trail
  • Photo of Intersección del AT con el Miry Ridge Trail
  • Photo of Intersección del AT con el Miry Ridge Trail
  • Photo of Intersección del AT con el Miry Ridge Trail
Intersección del AT con el Miry Ridge Trail
  • Photo of Sendero en subida
  • Photo of Sendero en subida
  • Photo of Sendero en subida
  • Photo of Sendero en subida
Sendero en subida
  • Photo of Nuevo trazado del sendero
  • Photo of Nuevo trazado del sendero
  • Photo of Nuevo trazado del sendero
  • Photo of Nuevo trazado del sendero
  • Photo of Nuevo trazado del sendero
Nuevo trazado del sendero
  • Photo of Cresta y vistas
  • Photo of Cresta y vistas
  • Photo of Cresta y vistas
  • Photo of Cresta y vistas
Cresta y vistas
  • Photo of Subiendo a la cima de Silers Bald
  • Photo of Subiendo a la cima de Silers Bald
  • Photo of Subiendo a la cima de Silers Bald
Subiendo a la cima de Silers Bald
  • Photo of Silers Bald Shelter
  • Photo of Silers Bald Shelter
  • Photo of Silers Bald Shelter
  • Photo of Silers Bald Shelter
Silers Bald Shelter
  • Photo of Silers Bald (5.409 pies)
  • Photo of Silers Bald (5.409 pies)
  • Photo of Silers Bald (5.409 pies)
  • Photo of Silers Bald (5.409 pies)
  • Photo of Silers Bald (5.409 pies)
  • Photo of Silers Bald (5.409 pies)
Silers Bald (5.409 pies)
  • Photo of Intersección del AT con el Welch Ridge Trail y vista lateral
  • Photo of Intersección del AT con el Welch Ridge Trail y vista lateral
  • Photo of Intersección del AT con el Welch Ridge Trail y vista lateral
  • Photo of Intersección del AT con el Welch Ridge Trail y vista lateral
  • Photo of Intersección del AT con el Welch Ridge Trail y vista lateral
Intersección del AT con el Welch Ridge Trail y vista lateral
  • Photo of La que parecía ser la última subida del dia, y resultó ser la penúltima. The Narrows. Vistas
  • Photo of La que parecía ser la última subida del dia, y resultó ser la penúltima. The Narrows. Vistas
  • Photo of La que parecía ser la última subida del dia, y resultó ser la penúltima. The Narrows. Vistas
  • Photo of La que parecía ser la última subida del dia, y resultó ser la penúltima. The Narrows. Vistas
The one that seemed to be the last climb of the day, and it turned out to be the penultimate one. The Narrows. Views
  • Photo of The Narrows. Espectacular vista hacia las dos laderas
  • Photo of The Narrows. Espectacular vista hacia las dos laderas
  • Photo of The Narrows. Espectacular vista hacia las dos laderas
  • Photo of The Narrows. Espectacular vista hacia las dos laderas
  • Photo of The Narrows. Espectacular vista hacia las dos laderas
  • Photo of The Narrows. Espectacular vista hacia las dos laderas
The Narrows. Espectacular vista hacia las dos laderas
  • Photo of A medida que nos aproximamos a Double Spring Gap, la presencia de coníferas es cada vez mayor
  • Photo of A medida que nos aproximamos a Double Spring Gap, la presencia de coníferas es cada vez mayor
  • Photo of A medida que nos aproximamos a Double Spring Gap, la presencia de coníferas es cada vez mayor
As we approach Double Spring Gap, the presence of conifers is increasing
  • Photo of Double Spring Gap Shelter y fin de etapa
  • Photo of Double Spring Gap Shelter y fin de etapa
  • Photo of Double Spring Gap Shelter y fin de etapa
  • Photo of Double Spring Gap Shelter y fin de etapa
  • Photo of Double Spring Gap Shelter y fin de etapa
  • Photo of Double Spring Gap Shelter y fin de etapa
Double Spring Gap Shelter y fin de etapa

10 comments

  • Photo of rutadura

    rutadura May 6, 2016

    Encantador sendero !!! https://es.wikiloc.com/rutas-outdoor/18-appalachian-trail-north-carolina-seccion-2-2-great-smoky-mountains-derrick-knob-shelter-a-double-13207815#wp-13207818/photo-8147626

  • Photo of Pablo de Gárate

    Pablo de Gárate May 6, 2016

    Muchísimas gracias.
    El Parque Nacional de las Smoky Mountains, por el que transita el Appalachian Trail durante un trayecto de 115 km (entre 6 y 7 días de marcha) es realmente espectacular en todos los sentidos. Tiene una fauna y una flora muy rica, y ahora en primavera se puede disfrutar mucho de sus impresionantes paisajes.
    Por estos senderos que ahora comienzan a verdecer, hace tan sólo dos meses había un metro de nieve (el clima de estas montañas, situadas entre North Carolina y Tennessee, es similar al de algunas regiones de Canadá).
    Toda la zona fue territorio de los indios Cheroqui, y aún hoy en día hay una importante reserva india (o mejor dicho, un fideicomiso de tierras, conocido como Qualla Boundary ) que abarca muchos kilómetros cuadrados, en la que habitan los descendientes de la tribu cheroqui de la banda oriental.
    Un gran abrazo https://es.wikiloc.com/rutas-outdoor/18-appalachian-trail-north-carolina-seccion-2-2-great-smoky-mountains-derrick-knob-shelter-a-double-13207815#wp-13207818/photo-8147626

  • Photo of rutadura

    rutadura May 9, 2016

    Impresionante tu comentario, del que ya había leído sobre la Tribu Cheroqui. Esos senderos sí que son brotes verdes reales y no como algún tunante nos quiere hacer ver. Solo de imaginar lo que estarás disfrutando, ya se me ponen los dientes largos. Un abrazo. https://es.wikiloc.com/rutas-outdoor/18-appalachian-trail-north-carolina-seccion-2-2-great-smoky-mountains-derrick-knob-shelter-a-double-13207815#wp-13207818/photo-8147626

  • Photo of rutadura

    rutadura May 9, 2016

    Soberbio sendero con toda una nueva vida !!! https://es.wikiloc.com/rutas-outdoor/18-appalachian-trail-north-carolina-seccion-2-2-great-smoky-mountains-derrick-knob-shelter-a-double-13207815#wp-13207820/photo-8147633

  • Photo of rutadura

    rutadura May 9, 2016

    Solo viendo esos brotes verdes reales se me abren los ojos, ante tanto sendero lindo y relajante 100%, una maravilla que año tras año revive la naturaleza, un abrazo y continuara disfrutando de tu Aventurón .....

  • Photo of ladylady

    ladylady May 10, 2016

    ¡¡Estupenda foto!! :) https://es.wikiloc.com/rutas-outdoor/18-appalachian-trail-north-carolina-seccion-2-2-great-smoky-mountains-derrick-knob-shelter-a-double-13207815#wp-13207831/photo-8147687

  • Photo of Pablo de Gárate

    Pablo de Gárate May 10, 2016

    Muchas gracias por tu comentario y tu valoración, querido amigo.
    Es un placer compartir estas etapas con quienes aprecian. como tú, la naturaleza y la actividad al aire libre.
    En España tenemos también senderos y rutas maravillosas, aunque a veces siento envidia de estos gigantescos y bien cuidados parques nacionales estadounidenses, y sobre todo, de la implicación que tienen en su conservación los miles de voluntarios que gestionan su mantenimiento a través de cientos de asociaciones.
    En España nos falta cultura de asociacionismo, y tendemos demasiado a esperar que sean las instituciones las que se encarguen de todo.
    Creo que una mayor implicación individual, canalizada a través de clubs y asociaciones, haría sentir a la ciudadanía que los espacios naturales son de todos, y que su conservación es también cosa de todos.

  • Photo of rutadura

    rutadura May 11, 2016

    Totalmente de acuerdo y con mucho sentido común en tu comentario, majestuosos bosques y parques donde disfrutar con todos los sentidos, sobre todo con el de la vista.
    Un fuerte abrazo.

  • Photo of UNSUB_2580851

    UNSUB_2580851 Dec 12, 2016

    Nice designed desert. https://es.wikiloc.com/rutas-senderismo/18-appalachian-trail-north-carolina-seccion-2-2-great-smoky-mountains-derrick-knob-shelter-a-double-13207815/photo-8147571

  • Photo of Gonzalo Guerra

    Gonzalo Guerra Oct 31, 2018

    Wonderful path!

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