Another weekend backpacking in Dolly Sods – Blackbird Knob and Red Creek Gorge

Red Creek next to camp - 10-10-2020

Total Distance: 9 miles (plus wandering)

Dolly Sods Trail Map

Route Map

Elevation Gain: ~1,500 feet

It was time for a long overdue hike into the woods. 2020 has been a strange year to say the least. It seemed like something came up every time I tried to make plans for a long-term trip. And at this point “long-term” is anything longer than a weekend.

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A weekend backpacking in Dolly Sods, WV

Fall colors in Dolly Sods near Blackbird Knob

And it was dry!

I open with that statement because Dolly Sods is notorious for wet and soggy conditions. It is a minor accomplishment to be there when it is not raining. There wasn’t much rain in the weeks leading up to our weekend, so that allowed for many of the “slushy” trails to dry up significantly.

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What do you mean I need a permit? Another lesson in preparation

I met a guy (an avid outdoorsman) a few months ago who told me the best place he had ever hiked was the Lost Coast in California. I had not heard of it before, but it’s one of the most rugged sections of the west coast located between Eureka and Fort Bragg. The Coastal Highway was actually diverted inland due to the terrain. I was excited for the challenge (and opportunity) since I was planning to drive up the coast, however I checked online and a few years ago the Bureau of Land Management instituted a permit requirement to hike the trail. Only 5 permits are issued per day, with a maximum of 60 people permitted to begin hiking the trail each day. On the 22nd, I checked the permit availability for hiking the Lost Coast Trail. There was one permit available the following day on the 23rd, and another available on…August 1st! Oh man, talk about lack of preparation on my part. I had heard that the trail is popular, but the scarcity of permits made it almost impossible for me to get on the trail in time (and it turned me off of the idea a little bit too). I had to be in Vegas on August 2nd so this wasn’t going to work unless I made the drive the following day to get the permit for the 23rd.

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True Nature – 5 days in Hoover Wilderness

Gear list

This post covers 5 days of backpacking in the Hoover Wilderness, part of Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. I divided up the days onto separate pages. This will also allow you to stop reading earlier if you tire of my tale since the pages will be shorter. I still hope you make it through the whole thing.

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