Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Username: Password:

Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: The Grand Tour, Please  (Read 6768 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Thumper

  • Thru Hiker
  • *****
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 849
The Grand Tour, Please
« on: March 25, 2003, 12:55:22 AM »

Six years is long enough to live in Kentucky without hiking more than a mile at a time in the Gorge. So, I'm planning a convoluted loop on the Rough Trail/Sheltowee Trace/et al. for sometime in April. A couple of questions though:
  • Is the Silvermine Arch Trail still closed? If so, is it still worth taking that little southern excursion from my main loop?
  • Since I want to see as much of the Gorge as I can in a couple or three days - and without punctuating the trip with any driving - do you have to be a masochist or crazy person to tie the Rough Trail to the little network of trails around Courthouse Rock via a road walk?
Logged

timbros

  • KY Junkie
  • ******
  • Karma: 5
  • Posts: 3486
  • mmmmmmmmmmm Hiking.......
    • I like the Pine Mountain Trail
Re: The Grand Tour, Please
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2003, 11:57:14 AM »

PM,

The FS still lists that trail as closed, but it was due to stair construction that I heard had been completed (I heard it here.)

How many miles do you want to do?
Logged
I can't say I've ever been lost, but I was bewildered once for three days. -Daniel  Boone

Thumper

  • Thru Hiker
  • *****
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 849
Re: The Grand Tour, Please
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2003, 04:36:43 PM »

That's sort of what I'm trying to determine. I ought to have some time during the week, enabling me to avoid some of the crowds and have some flexibility in  planning. Right now, I'm working on three options:
  • A two-day, one night loop on the Rough Trail and Pinch 'em Tight Trail with a visit to Grays Arch (15 miles or so)
  • A three-day, two night loop on the Rough Trail with a return on the Pinch 'em Tight and Koomer Ridge Trails, with visits to Hidden Arch and Silvermine Arch (a bit over 21 miles)
  • A four-day, three night loop that includes the above plus a shorter route around the Auxier Ridge and Courthouse Rock Trails, tied to the Rough Trail via a road walk on KY 77 (30 miles, give or take)


I'm leaning toward the middle option. I hate roadwalking! So I think I'll save the Auxier/Courthouse loop for another trip. Of course, other suggestions are welcome; the only real objective here is doing some of the Gorge standards.
Logged

Steve

  • Thru Hiker
  • *****
  • Karma: 1
  • Posts: 768
  • You got that right!
    • Off the Grid and On the Map
Re: The Grand Tour, Please
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2003, 06:54:34 PM »

Saving the Auxier Ridge loop for another trip is an option.  If you wanted to be adventurous (your fourth option) you could bushwhack your way from Martin's Fork trailhead over to the AR area.  By maps and just aiming yourself in the direction of a couple of big hunks of rock you could do fairly easily.  You would have to walk down the road from Martin's fork to the old road up to Raven, but it isn't far at all (quarter mile maybe?).  From there you could follow the old road up to Raven Rock, scoot back down and head over to Courthouse Rock.  There are stairs up to AR or you could continue on to Double Arch.

Another option would be to add Swift Camp Creek Trail to your Rough Trail plans.  No way to make a loop if you leave your car at Rock Bridge though.  

A visit to Hidden Arch might leave you feeling a bit empty in my personal opinion.  You really want to hit Grays.
Logged
There is nothing clean about clean coal.

Thumper

  • Thru Hiker
  • *****
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 849
llerRe: The Grand Tour, Please
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2003, 12:41:08 AM »

Hey, that is an idea. I had thought about a bushwhack directly northwest from the Martins Fork Trailhead (awfully lot of streams called "Martins Fork" in Kentucky, aren't there?). Anyway, I just got intimidated by all those contour lines so close together.

The map I have doesn't show the old road to Raven's Rock, but I was reading another website that makes it sound pretty cool. Something to the effect that it's the hardest hike to the best view in the Gorge. Steve, when you talk about big rocks you can easily negotiate, do you mean "easy" in a rockclimber's sense or "easy" in a hiker's sense?

I actually like hokey stuff like Hidden Arch. The picture in the Sierra Club's guide to the Gorge makes it look like a smaller and singular version of Angel Windows, which I think are enormously groovy.

Swift Camp Creek/Rock Bridge is actually one of the few spots in the Gorge I've already visited, so that's why I'm not including those trails.
Logged

RWillieK

  • Thru Hiker
  • *****
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 1432
Re: The Grand Tour, Please
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2003, 01:22:48 AM »

The Stairs were done late last summer when we hiked the trail.  When we went, there was nothing saying the trail was closed, the sign was simply gone.  Don't park in the campground though - we almost got a ticket for that move.  I talked my way out of it.

Robbie
Logged
Five out of four people have trouble with fractions.

Steve

  • Thru Hiker
  • *****
  • Karma: 1
  • Posts: 768
  • You got that right!
    • Off the Grid and On the Map
Re: The Grand Tour, Please
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2003, 03:05:17 AM »

Well I've never actually done the off trail, but like a lot of people I'll talk like I have.  

I think it would be pretty easy to navigate off trail by just looking for Courthouse Rock (very obvious especially as seen from Raven Rock).  I'm not talking any technical climbing.  Just keeping the big hunk of rock in site as you pick the path of least resistance (less rhodo) you could get to Courthouse rock with a little adventure.  Most of the time the cliffline in the Gorge is not impassable.  If you come across a limestone band low on the hill there will most certainly be a break either along the cliff or at an end where it ultimatly breaks down.  The sandstone cliff lines can be a little trickier, but many times they break down enough to walk right up!  I'm guessing you could walk around the northwest side of Courthouse to the saddle where you could catch the stairs up to Auxier or the trail over to Double Arch.

In Ruchhoft's Kentucky's Land of the Arches he talks of a trail linking Auxier with Martin's Fork withthe recent addition of the Raven Rock land.  Too bad this tail has never materialized.  Maybe we could all go out there and just make our own 'user defined trail'?
Logged
There is nothing clean about clean coal.

Thumper

  • Thru Hiker
  • *****
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 849
Re: The Grand Tour, Please
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2003, 01:50:09 PM »

Ah, now that I've read your post while awake, it's obvious that you meant that one could use the big rock as a landmark for navigation. I might just give that a try; the more I think about it the cooler it sounds.
Logged

Thumper

  • Thru Hiker
  • *****
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 849
Re: The Grand Tour, Please
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2003, 01:51:55 PM »

Oh, and thanks for the info, Robbie. The plan is to park at the Rough Trail trailhead on 715 and do the loop from there.
Logged

JB

  • Thru Hiker
  • *****
  • Karma: 3
  • Posts: 1080
  • proselytizing since 1972
Re: The Grand Tour, Please
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2003, 03:52:36 PM »

Off trail in the RRG is the only way to be. This past Sunday I went up a stream, discovered a cool cave and then scrambled up a crag for a great view sitting on a big boulder. No one else around and no pesky trail to tempt people with.

Once again though, my ego was crushed by a can of high life. I scrambled up a very difficult rhodo-gully and claw up some roots to this great ledge only to find an ancient can of the Champagne of Beers. This seems to be pretty common with my bushwacks.

« Last Edit: March 26, 2003, 04:05:21 PM by JB »
Logged
luck is where preparation meets opportunity

discojett

  • Guest
Re: The Grand Tour, Please
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2003, 04:41:03 PM »

Thats cool JB!  Any hints on the drainage?
Logged

JB

  • Thru Hiker
  • *****
  • Karma: 3
  • Posts: 1080
  • proselytizing since 1972
Re: The Grand Tour, Please
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2003, 04:54:54 PM »

hints:
the last word in the name is "creek".
it's near a county line
i called the crag "short wall"

Logged
luck is where preparation meets opportunity

discojett

  • Guest
Re: The Grand Tour, Please
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2003, 05:41:28 PM »

Oh.  That place.  Been there hundreds of times.
Logged

Thumper

  • Thru Hiker
  • *****
  • Karma: 0
  • Posts: 849
Re: The Grand Tour, Please
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2003, 01:07:15 PM »

Been puzzling over the map trying to figure out those hints ... think I've got it.
Logged

Cliftyman

  • KY Junkie
  • ******
  • Karma: 9
  • Posts: 4692
  • Enjoying my little wide world
Re: The Grand Tour, Please
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2003, 02:01:07 PM »

Thats funny JB, High-Life seems to have an opposite effect on me making my ego quite large.....
Logged
erchomai kurios lesous...
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
 

Privacy Policy