Great Smoky Mountain National Park - Cataloochee Loop - January 15, 2006 - Member Trip Report

Hike Name: Great Smoky Mountain National Park - Cataloochee Loop
Country: United States
State: North Carolina
Trip Rating: 4 stars
Trip Date: January 15, 2006
Duration: 1 day
Trail Conditions: Fair
Trail Traffic: None
Trip Weather: Sunny, Partly Sunny, Partly Cloudy
Trip Winds: Moderate
Trip Precipitation: None
Trip Temperature: High: 61-70, Low: 0-10 degrees Fahrenheit
Trip Report: Sunday (1/15/06) – The temperature climbed during night and it was around 22 degrees when we got out of the tents at sunrise. The plan was to wake at 6:30am and hike out by noon today, and we were actually ahead of schedule when we left our campsite. The first two miles were on the Balsam Mountain Road down to Polls Gap where we took a lunch break and met up as a group again. The sun came out during the stop, and the last six miles were pretty pleasant with warmer weather, less snow, and clear skies. We hiked down from the ridge, joined up with the Rough Fork Trail, and walked by a turn-of-the-century house on Rough Fork Creek. It had a large front porch so we all dropped the packs, toured the building and powered down some snacks. Porter and Delisle were the first to make it back to the trailhead, and they shuttled my truck back to the Rough Fork Trail. We cracked the cooler to finish off Brunn's stash of Bud Select, then drove to an overlook of the Cataloochee Valley. While we cranked some tunes and finished off some beers, etc. a ranger pulled into the lot. He was very cool and informed us that the main gate was locked to the Cataloochee area due to poor road conditions. We followed him out on the snow/ice covered road, left the park, and went to Zaxby's for lunch. By 4pm, we were back in Atlanta and I dropped Moehlich and Brunn off then headed home.



46,350 points



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