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Big Scaly Mountain Loop Winter Backpack

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Big Scaly Mountain, NC
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Nov 23 2013  10:30 am >> Sun, Nov 24 2013 3:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 8:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Tue, Nov 12 2013 9:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Thu, Nov 21 2013 9:00 pm
Event Duration:1 Days 4 Hours 30 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult
Distance:11 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Michael Johnson
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:8
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 6 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes


Big Scaly is the mountain just below Standing Indian.  This backpack is a loop of about 11 miles and has roughly 2,500 feet of elevation gain (and loss...see trail profile below).  If you have not completed a D5 hike or backpack recently, expect to have some conversation with a trip leader prior to the event. 

We will start by crossing Scaly Ridge and then go down to Beech Creek (be prepared....could be a "wet foot" crossing!). We will follow the creek up scenic Beech Creek Gorge and start up the switchbacks under the cliffs of Big Scaly Mountain. We will take the quarter mile side trail to view the 200 foot High Falls, and then come back to the main trail to continue the climb. (We will have our lunch at High Falls.)

Once we reach the top of the cliffs (4-5 miles in and 2000 ft in elevation gain), we will select a campsite along the high flat valley below Big Scaly Mountain along the approach to Case Knife Gap. There is a nice small creek running through the area for a water source.  After setting up camp we can take the +/-1 mile (round trip) trail to the summit of Big Scaly Mountain at 5,060 feet and enjoy fine long range views (see pic above).  This is a western facing overlook so as an option we could gather wood for a fire, have an early dinner, and then hike to the summit for what should be an awesome sunset. 

On Sunday we'll get up, break camp and continue down Chimney Rock trail. There is an optional quarter mile side trail to the left to view Chimney Rock.  You can climb Chimney Rock and enjoy the unusual view and a bit of rock climbing exhilaration.

Then we go down to end of the road we parked on. We will walk about a mile down this road to get back to the cars (or we can shuttle a few cars up the road on Saturday).

PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT A BEGINNER BACKPACK *** You must be in good physical condition and be able to hike long distances and keep a moderate pace. ***

That said, this is not a fast hike.  The pace is moderate, and we plan to hike as a group.  We will take several breaks to let slower people (like me!) catch up.

Thanks goes to Scott Kozlowski for this original write-up!

Required Items to Bring:

Sleeping Bag/Sleeping pad
Appropriate clothing for winter camping conditions
At least 2 L of water and/or sports drink
Good hiking boots/shoes
Meals (lunch, dinner, breakfast, snacks)
Cash for the carpool
Rain gear, just in case

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

Hiking pole or poles
Gloves, hat, colder weather gear
Water filter

Would be nice if someone brings a portable saw; we can share sawing time on dead branches

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Take I-85 N to I-985 N which turns into US 23/441 to Clayton GA. Pit stop at Chik Fil A! (For bathrooms and "to go" only - we do not plan to sit down and eat.)  Then go West on US 76 about eight miles. Turn right on Persimmon Rd, near the volunteer fire department and sign for Tallulah River Campgrounds. Continue about 4.2 miles to left at Tallulah River Rd. This road will turn to gravel after a mile or so and leads thru gorge to Tate City. Follow to NC state line. Trailhead parking will come up soon on the left.

The road leading to the trailhead is gravel, so if you are uncomfortable driving at a reasonable speed on gravel please sign up to ride in someone else's car.

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):220Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 8:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $88.00 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.



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

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