Backpack to Stratton Bald in Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness - Sat, Jun 12 2021

REGISTRATION 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.

Backpack to Stratton Bald in Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness   Backpacking: Backpack to Stratton Bald in Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Jun 12 2021  7:00 am >> Sun, Jun 13 2021 4:22 pm  (Carpool Departure: 7:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Fri, Jun 4 2021 8:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Sat, Jun 12 2021 6:00 am
Event Duration:1 Days 9 Hours 22 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D4: Moderate to Difficult (Exploratory)
Distance:17 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Grant Brown
Todd M
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:10
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 4 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes

Note: This is an "EXPLORATORY" trip. This means that there are parts of this trip, or perhaps the whole trip, that is new to your Trip Leader(s). However, they are confident that this will not be an issue.
This note is here so that you can make an informed decision. When a Trip Leader isn't personally familiar with a trip, there is an increased chance of things not going as planned and you need to be prepared. The Trip Leader may have additional details in the itinerary.



-6/11/2021 - Hi All!  A few final reminders:

-Weather is better, but we still may get some rain.

-There has been significant bear activity in the Stratton Bald/Hangover area.  Please prepare for bear country practices

-"bear triangle" [separate areas for smellable items/cooking/sleeping]

-either bring a bear canister or be prepared to hang smellable items in the storage area [Todd and I will have ample cordage for this]

-don't bring anything with an odor to your tent

-don't wipe your hands on your clothing while you are eating

-don't brush your teeth near your tent

-bring bear spray if you have it.  I will bring one.

-There have also been a lot of snakes reported in the area.  Be alert to where your feet are going.  Stay on trail.  Snakes like anywhere they can hide for protection such as grass, bushes, logs, and rocks.

-Our carpool allotment is a little short at this time.  One or two of you who checked "prefer to ride with others" may actually need to drive your vehicle.


-6/10/2021 - Hi All.  Due to the weather on Friday, we are canceling that one day.  The trip will now run on Saturday and Sunday only with the same itinerary.  The weather is a little better for those days.  Fingers crossed that we can keep the new plan, but we will re-evaluate tomorrow morning.  As is often the case, the different weather reporting services seem to tell slightly different stories.  Stay tuned!.

-6/8/2021 - We are changing this event to watersports, please bring a PFD!  Just kidding!  Some have asked about the weather.  Checking Gregory Bald weather, which is the closest Mountain Weather area, at the moment it is looking like rain on Fri. and less of it on the other days with no advisories and winds 10-15 mph.  Todd and I are still planning on going rain or shine unless there are severe thunderstorm warnings evident.


Thanks, Scott and Bob for the original design of this trip and Michael J. for photo taken from The Hangover.

Come join us for a combination of backpacking and day hiking in the Joyce-Kilmer Wilderness.  The first part of our journey will be backpacking to Bob Stratton Bald, one of the highest points in the Joyce-Kilmer Wilderness at 5240 ft.  It's a large bald with acres of open area, great views, a reliable water source, and plenty of available campsites.  From Beech Gap trailhead on the Cherohala Skyway, we will hike about 3.7 miles, with an elevation gain of about 1000', to Bob Stratton Bald. The first couple of miles are pretty easy as the path follows an old road. Most of the elevation gain occurs during the third mile, which is pretty steep and challenging.   Eventually, we will reach the Bald. 

We'll set up camp and eat lunch before embarking on the second part of our journey. We'll day hike 3 miles to The Hangover, a narrow outcropping with 360-degree views. This is a great place to relax before returning to our campsite.  The round trip distance is 6 miles to Hangover.

There is a natural water source near the camp.

On Saturday, we will do some more day hiking around the area for a total of around 7 miles.

On Sunday, we'll enjoy the Bald in the morning before breaking camp and heading to the parking lot.

For those who desire to see the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, we can drive to the other side of the mountain after we get back to the cars.  The Forest has a one-mile loop trail around old- growth trees.

Required Items to Bring:

-See the AOC backpacking checklist

-food:  3 lunches, 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts, snacks

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

camera, hat, daypack/fanny pack, water filter, campfire beverages, fire starter, first aid kit

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Directions TO the event:


Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):320Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 7:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $128.00 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.


Please contact the trip leader if you intend to bring a dog.  I will limit the number of dogs on the trip, so don't assume you can bring your dog without notifying me in advance.

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

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