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REGISTRATION & PAYMENT REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page. This is a paid event with payment managed by the trip leader(s) and NOT the AOC. Please read the event description carefully for payment details and instructions.

Gregory Bald (Smoky Mountains) - Advanced Backpacking

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Gregory Bald (Campsite #13)   Backpacking: Gregory Bald (Smoky Mountains) - Advanced Backpacking  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, May 8 2021  10:30 am >> Sun, May 9 2021 4:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 6:50 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Wed, Apr 28 2021 8:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Thu, May 6 2021 8:00 pm
Event Duration:1 Days 5 Hours 30 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult
Distance:16 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Michael Johnson
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Member Cost:$4.00/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:8
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 8 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Come join us for a fairly challenging backpack trip to the summit of Gregory Bald, one of the few balds that provide a 360 degree view within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.There won't be much of a moon, so the star gazing has the potential to be amazing.

This is a loop hike that begins at Twenty Mile Ranger Station and covers a total distance of approximately 15.6 miles. We'll begin by hiking counterclockwise on the Twenty Mile and Long Hungry Ridge Trails to Gregory Bald. We will cover about 8.2 miles on our first day and we will ascend 3300 feet to the Bald. We will camp at campsite #13, which is a little less than half a mile below the Bald. The descent on Sunday is about 7 miles on the Wolf Ridge trail.

This trip has been rated a D5 because of the distance we'll be hiking and because of the significant elevation change we will incur as we ascend to the Bald. We intend to hike at a moderate pace. This is a strenuous and difficult backpacking trip. Be honest with yourself about whether you have the physical ability and desire to do this event. If you sign up and I do not know your hiking ability, I will contact you to find out if I believe you are a good candidate for this trip. I reserve the right to remove any member from this trip, who in my opinion, may not have the physical ability to keep up with the group.

Because of the elevation that we will be camping at, about 5,000 feet, it may be much colder than you're used to.  Make sure you bring a sleeping bag that is warm enough for the conditions.  I will provide more information about the weather a few days before the hike takes place.

I recommend that you bring layers of clothes, jackets, etc. to keep yourself warm at night. We can build a fire (weather permitting) at the campsite. However, we'll probably take a nighttime stroll up to the Bald where it tends to be windy and there are no fires allowed on top to keep you warm. We'll update the weather forecast just before the trip to give you a better idea of what gear you should bring to be comfortable. There is a water source near the campsite.

Note: Bears have been known to be active in this area of the park. We had to cancel this event a couple of years ago because the campsite was closed due to bear activity.

$32 is cost of the campsite for 8 people. You're only responsible for your spot. If people cancel at the last minute, I will eat the cost. I consider it a donation to the GSMNP.

Required Items to Bring:

* Meals needed

- 1 Lunch for Saturday
- 1 Dinner for Saturday night
- 1 Breakfast for Sunday morning
- (Optional) 1 Lunch for Sunday.
- Bring trail snacks

* Hiking Boots/Hiking Shoes
* Backpack for overnight trip
* Tent
* Sleeping Bag rated at 30 degrees or warmer
* Thermarest/Sleeping Pad
* Backpacking Stove
* Water, either in camel back or nalgene carriers

Please see the AOC Backpacking Checklist for other required and recommended items.

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

* Water Filter 
* Lighter or matches
* Bring layers, including a warm jacket - expect it to be windy on top of the Bald.
* bug spray

How to Get There:
Event Directions: QmmiAQ4wNbQN9bz6

I kept below to remind myself how we used to give directions before smart phones! :-)

Merge onto I-85 N/GA-403 N via the ramp on the LEFT. 11.9 mi
Take the I-985 N/LANIER PKWY exit, EXIT 113, on the LEFT toward GAINESVILLE. (0.2 mi)

Merge onto GA-365 N. (52.5 mi)

Take the US-23 N/US-441 N exit on the LEFT.  (0.1 mi)

Stay STRAIGHT to go onto US-23 N/US-441 N/GA-15 N. Continue to follow US-23 N/US-441 N (Crossing into NORTH CAROLINA). (43.4 mi)

Merge onto US-23 N/US-441 N toward CHEROKEE. (20.4 mi)
US-23 N/US-441 N becomes ramp. (0.3 mi)
Merge onto US-74 W. (22.4 mi)

Turn RIGHT onto NC-28. (30 mi)

end @ TwentyMile Ranger StationTwentyMile

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):302Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 6:50 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $120.80 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 encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Member Cost:$4.00/Person
Cost Includes:

$32 is cost of the campsite for 8 people. You're only responsible for your spot. If people cancel at the last minute, I will eat the cost. I consider it a donation to the GSMNP. However, if you have a high number of cancellations at the last minute, I reserve the right to put you on the waiting list in order to allow others to plan and join accordingly, maximizing the number of people who can enjoy this event.

Make a Payment:Although there is a cost for this event, you do not pay through the AOC. Please review the event details carefully for information about how/where to make your payment.

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