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Event Details

Date Sunday  6/16/2013
Group State CMC
Event Title Appalachian Trail Slackpack, Roan Highlands, Tennessee
Status Approved
Leader Chris Dohmen
Member Price $825.00
Non-member Price $1.00
Available Participants 8
Type Outings


For more info Contact

For more information and to register for this trip  E-mail Chris at


Hike a section of the grand daddy of long distance trails and fall in love with it! The Roan Highlands in Upper East Tennessee are widely regarded as the most scenic part of the entire Appalachian Trail. Backpacker Magazine featured it among “The Top 36 Hikes on America’s Classic Trails” in 2008; National Geographic’s Adventure magazine listed it as one of the “50 Best American Adventures” in 2009; and Andrew Skurka considers it one of his top ten hikes. So sign up and find out where you rank this stretch of trail on your list! 

All the accolades are for great hiking, stunning views and incredible wildflowers. The Roan Highlands are home to the longest stretch of grassy “balds” in the entire Appalachian range. There are more rare and endangered plants here than in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. And in the spring and early summer the wildflowers are simply spectacular.

Most notably, you will be hiking through the largest natural rhododendron garden in the world during peak rhododendron blooming time. Our first day is the last day of the local Rhododendron Festival which attracts around 200,00 visitors each year.

We will gather at the airport in Charlotte, NC and travel by van to a hiker hostel in Roan Mountain, TN where we will stay for the entire trip. We will hike 65 miles of the Appalachian Trail in five days – in slackpacker fashion. What this means is that we will be shuttled to a trailhead after breakfast each morning and picked up at another trailhead in the afternoon and shuttled back to the hostel.

We will day hike 12 to 15 miles each day; the terrain is up and down all day long. Due to the nature of the trip, not every participant has to hike every day. The expectation is, however, for everybody to intend to participate in all hikes.

One sightseeing day is planned with a visit to the Boone, NC area and Grandfather Mountain State Park where we will visit the museum, scramble to the top of the mountain and a walk across the Mile High Swinging Bridge.
Our hostel is a rustic, open-design cabin with four single beds in a loft and a queen and a king downstairs, separated from the common area by curtain. The cabin has two full bathrooms. Linen and towels are provided.

The innkeepers provide a full breakfast each morning and sack lunches on days two through seven. We will cook our own dinners at night. Every participant is expected to participate in dinner planning, preparation and clean up.

Due to the communal living and cooking arrangement, flexibility, a laid-back attitude and teamwork are necessary to make this trip enjoyable for everybody.

Hiking difficulty will be equivalent to difficult B level hikes in Colorado at a moderate pace. Rain is always a possibility in that part of the world and the trail can be wet, slick, rocky and full of roots. A good sense of balance is necessary to have a good time. Conditioning hikes will be offered prior to the trip. Participation in at least one of these hikes is mandatory. We will also have at least one planning meeting before we depart.

The trip fee includes transportation from the airport in Charlotte to the hostel and back, as well as all lodging, transportation, entry fees, seven dinners, seven breakfasts and six sack lunches during the trip.

We will travel in a 12-passenger rental van. Travel between Denver and Charlotte is not included in the trip cost. The trip is limited to eight participants.
The trip leader has led hiking, bicycling and backpacking trips for years and lived and hiked in East Tennessee for 12 years. Your leader is very knowledgeable about the area, its culture, histor