low gap shelter to old cheese factory site - August 4, 2014 - Member Trip Report

Hike Name: low gap shelter to old cheese factory site
Country: United States
State: Georgia
Trip Rating: 4 stars
Trip Date: August 4, 2014
Duration: 14 hours, 10 minutes
Trail Conditions: Good
Trail Traffic: Light
Trip Weather: Partly Cloudy
Trip Winds: Light
Trip Precipitation: None
Trip Temperature: High: 61-70, Low: 31-40 degrees Fahrenheit
Trip Report: I woke up and discovered a mouse had gotten into my food bag that I had hung on the bear cables at the low gap shelter. There was no one else around so after breakfast I decided to hit the trail at 7:30 am so I could get an early start because it would be a steep climb up to the blue mountain shelter. Just before I left the low gap shelter I decided to fill all of my water bottles in case I ran into some dry spots again. When I got to the Chattahoochee gap there are several side trails that cross the AT trail and it is not marked very well so I almost made a wrong turn. By luck I decided to go right instead of straight ahead but I must have walked a couple of tenths of a mile before I saw a trail marker which confirmed I was going the right way. Approximately 1.7 miles after the Chattahoochee gap is a side trail to the former site of an AT shelter that has been torn down and then a side trail for a water source but I did not want to climb down that steep side trail so I kept going until I hit the Blue Mountain Shelter. The view at this shelter was very nice and I thought about staying here but Since it was only 12:30 I decided to just break for lunch and press on towards the tray mountain shelter instead after enjoying the view for a bit. From here the trail drops almost 1100 feet to the Unicoi parking area then climbs back up 1000 feet over an area known as the rocky mountain trail where there are several nice views and then back down 1000 feet to the Indian grave gap where there is a parking area and the trail crosses USFS 79. In this section of trail you walk through thick sections of rhododendron bushes that have a single lane trail hacked out of the middle of them. When you look up all you see is bushes at times. It was this section of trail that I saw a baby bear cub which made me stop right in my tracks. I was close enough to see the whites of its eyes and it made me a bit nervous because I had never seen a bear up close other than a zoo and I did not know where the mamma bear was but I was sure she was close by. After stopping for a few minutes the baby bear ran up the hill a few hundred feet and I slowly took my hiking stick and hit on a rock as I walked off slowly on down the trail keeping my eyes open scanning for the mamma bear. About a tenth of a mile down the hill was the Indian grave gap parking area and I had been thinking about calling it a night and camping there because it was getting late and there was only about an hour of daylight left but after seeing the bear I decided I had to put at least a mile or two between us. Finally after another hour of hiking I reached the old cheese factory site where there was a nice grassy area to camp and a nearby water source. I quickly sat up camp hung up my food bag and decided to call it a night I was too tired to even cook dinner so I just ate a granola bar and dozed off to sleep.



10,850 points



There are no comments yet.

Leave a Reply