Monday, November 07, 2011

AT Adventure - Hike from Loft Mtn to Swift Run Gap in Shenandoah NP

This past Saturday (November 5, 2011) I spent a lovely day in Shenandoah National Park to finish a day hike of the southern section. I had begun this part back in my backpacking trip late in August but wanted to complete to Swift Run Gap, approx. 16 miles with the side trail. Just last week I took the trail around the Loft Mtn campground (upon completing another wander within the Big Run wilderness) and got off the AT at Ivy Spring. This afforded me the opportunity to head back out at Ivy Spring (which used to be a former shelter area but is now a PATC (Potomac Appalachian Trail Club) maintenance shed that offers thirsty hikers an excellent spring and even privies) and continue northbound. 

Enjoy this hike in a series of pictures -

The trail meanders by the pleasant Ivy Creek.

View of the Big Run Wilderness from the trail - a great place to explore with many side trails and circuit hikes available (check the PATC map of the South Section of Shenandoah National Park)

Pinefield AT Hut is located in this section with campsites way up on the hillside and a good flowing stream.

Small patches of snow still remain for the "Halloween" weekend snowstorm that gave the park its first snowfall at about 8 inches.

Hightop AT Hut, another shelter in this section with plenty of campsites. The water flowed poorly back in early October, but now it's flowing quite well out of the pipe, thanks to the snowfall.

The summit of Hightop Mountain affords some of the best views in the southern section. Here I gaze toward the Shenandoah Valley and the Massanutten mountain range (which I hiked on the Massanutten South trail)

View from Hightop #2 - this time looking more south at the mountains I just walked and the mountains that lie in Shenandoah's southern section. You truly can see forever.

The finish at Swift Run Gap - a little chilly out but well worth it

1 comment:

Kay said...

You have some really nice views from that hike. Thanks for sharing. Don't know if you've stopped by my "Hiking With An Old Woman" blog yet. You are welcome to visit.