South Cumberland State Park: 3 Gulfs in 3 Days - Sat, May 25 2019

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South Cumberland State Park: 3 Gulfs in 3 Days

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Gruetli-Laager, TN   Backpacking: South Cumberland State Park: 3 Gulfs in 3 Days  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, May 25 2019  6:30 am >> Mon, May 27 2019 8:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 6:30 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Mon, Feb 25 2019 9:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Wed, May 22 2019 9:00 pm
Event Duration:2 Days 13 Hours 30 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D6: Advanced
Distance:40 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Eric P
Bryan E.
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:12
Minimum Group Size:6
Number Registered So Far: 5 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


South Cumberland State Park is one of the most interesting areas in the Southeast. Along the course of the trip we will pass many waterfalls, rocky overlooks, an old cabin, and even a small cave. The Memorial Day weekend gives a perfect opportunity to complete all 3 gulfs (Savage, Collins, and Big Creek) that make up the main portion of the park.

I have reserved the group campsites at Alum Gap and Hobbs Cabin. We will split the $85 cost of the permits evenly. Please bring cash for both this and your separate car pool fee if riding with someone.

Day 1: We will start at Collins West trailhead and immediately make our way into the rocky gorge. This day will see the most waterfalls and is my favorite from a scenery standpoint. We will camp for the night at the Alum Gap Group Campsite. The total distance covered during day 1 will be around 13 miles.

Day 2: We will start the day with an easy walk along the rim of the gulf before making a side trip to the ranger station and a small waterfall. We will then work our way back to the rim and drop down through a narrow staircase of rocks known as the Stone Door. Once back inside the gulf we will follow rocky paths for the rest of our day on route to our night 2 campsite at Hobbs Cabin Group Site. The total distance covered during day 2 will be around 13 miles.

Due to various reasons Day 3 will be shortened ending at Savage Gulf Ranger Station and requiring a short car shuttle. The section removed is fairly repetitive and will not change your experience much.  We will still have views and another waterfall.

Day 3: We will need to get an early start because this is our longest day mileage wise. However it may actually end up being the easiest because it is on less rocky trails around the relatively flat rims of Savage and Collins Gulfs.  There are several nice views from the rims and another waterfall.  The total distance covered during day 3 will be around 19 miles.


Required Items to Bring:


Tent  / Tarp / Hammock

Sleeping Bag/Quilt and Sleeping Pad

Food (2 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 2 Dinners, plenty of snacks)

Water and a way treat additional water

Clothes appropriate for the weather


Way to safely secure your food

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.


Change of clean clothes for the car


Toilet Paper

Sun screen

Bug Spray

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Google map directions

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):274Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 6:30 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $109.60 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.


We will split the $85 cost of the camping permits evenly. Please bring cash.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.