Dolly Sods Camping/Hiking
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David
July 14, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
A few friends and I spent the weekend in Dolly Sods. We had a blast and are hoping to go back real soon. We camped at the Red Creek Campground, which is a few miles south of Bear Rocks. We spent all day Saturday exploring the area and taking in the spectacular views. In the morning we traveled up to Bear Rocks and spent several hours climbing in and around that area. We spent the remainder of the daylight hiking in the wilderness area. Right before it got dark we went back up to Dolly Sods North to try and get lucky and see a bear, but we had no luck. All-in-all it was a good trip. Not to mention that we ate REALLY good.....

Can't wait to get back! Here are a few pictures I thought you guys might enjoy.















Look familiar? (Todd)




Roger Z
July 14, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Nice! Did you get a chance to do any stargazing? There's an overlook along the fireroad headed back to the campground, that looks into the Potomac River Valley. At night, on a clear night, the view is superlative. You're high enough up that the twinkling lights in distant Petersburg/Moorefield valley don't do much, but you can still see them, along with about 10,000,000 stars and the illuminated cliffs of North Mountain. I imagine bringing a telescope up there would be extremely rewarding!
David
July 14, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
The stars were a lot better than they are here at my house, but I don't think they met their full potential while I was there because the moon was awfully bright. The first evening I was kind of let down because it was clearer than you could ever ask for, but that dang moon was doing its best to ruin the view. Oh well, I guess that gives me an excuse to go back even sooner.... \:\)
crunchy
July 15, 2008
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
awesome pics man, thanks for sharing the love. I loooove the sods! went mtn biking up there over the 4th july weekend since you can still bike in the north sods for the time being. blueberries were already out, as well as serviceberries everywhere. yum yum!

langleyskier
July 15, 2008
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
Has anyone ever backpacked in the sods? My dad brother and I are leaving this friday and doing a 3 day trip into the wilderness following this loop. Looks like it is going to be a ton of fun and weather should be nice (mid 70's probably up there. Cant wait for the blueberries!
Roger Z
July 15, 2008
Member since 01/16/2004 🔗
2,181 posts
Beware the blueberries, those things will make you fat! Sandra and I gouged on them last July.

I haven't done that whole route but have heard it's a classic. Couple things: definitely go check out the view at Lion's Head. Also, at the northernmost point you see a blue line heading up and out of the picture? I think that's the start of the trail that runs along the top of Canaan Valley. If it is, you should head out it for a while and catch some views of the Valley below you. If you go far enough along, Timberline has been nice enough to build a park bench for weary hikers (or, maybe, for the 500K homes right below you but whatever)...
David
July 15, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Langley, sounds like a ton of fun. My only warning is to take some sunblock for the times that you will be out of the woods and exposed to direct sunlight. Another guy and I got burnt pretty good in just a few short hours (before 11:00 am) while we were exploring Bear Rocks. Also, it was definitely pretty hot up there in open but when you are under the cover of trees it feels great! Have fun and be safe!
David
July 15, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
 Originally Posted By: Roger Z
Beware the blueberries, those things will make you fat! Sandra and I gouged on them last July.



Roger, we had some awesome blueberry pancakes this morning and plans to use the rest to make some muffins tomorrow. Too bad we didn't get enough for some cobbler... \:\(
langleyskier
July 16, 2008
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
David, thanks for the advise. I am sure out in the exposed sods we will be pretty warm but I m sure it will be much more bearable than the weather around here. Im really excited for the blueberries and the scenery, we will bring as amny extra carying cases as our packs will hold! Ill definitely post as many pics as i can when we get back as well as a full TR.

If anyone has any other advise please let em know because i am sure I can use it!
langleyskier
July 16, 2008
Member since 12/7/2004 🔗
824 posts
Oh ya, and anyone know what wild berries I can and can not eat? I know most stuff is ripening right about now but i dont want to mistakenly eat a berry that will give me the runs.

Also, anyone know if either red creek or Dunkenbarger Run? If so i would love to do some fishing along the way in hops of catching a meal.
crunchy
July 16, 2008
Member since 02/22/2007 🔗
596 posts
 Originally Posted By: langleyskiier
Oh ya, and anyone know what wild berries I can and can not eat? I know most stuff is ripening right about now but i dont want to mistakenly eat a berry that will give me the runs.



blueberries and serviceberries (also called june berries and other things) are definitely edible. pictures of them both are above. You will find them all over the exposed areas of the higher sods and canaan valley for that matter.

you can also get to that hike from canaan valley a few other ways besides the directions on that hike site. the northwest intersection shown on your map link is the old trailhead that is on the border between the sods north and sods wilderness area. Its actually a stones throw from timberlines salamander slope too. So you could technically park at tline and walk up salamander or even take a lift ride up and walk down salamander a little bit till you see the sign for FS80 on the right. Also, you could drive up FS80 (which is at the end of freeland rd) and park at the top. the trailhead is about a mile from where you can park. There usually are only a few cars up there parked and IMO is alot easier to get to than going the lanesville rd route.
tgd
July 17, 2008
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
 Originally Posted By: langleyskiier
Has anyone ever backpacked in the sods? My dad brother and I are leaving this friday and doing a 3 day trip into the wilderness following this loop. Looks like it is going to be a ton of fun and weather should be nice (mid 70's probably up there. Cant wait for the blueberries!


Hey Langley - go back (oh my gosh) 4 years in the DC Ski archives and you will find this trip report I filed Dolly Sods Backpack Trip Report - 8/14-15 Ours was an overnight trip, but we hit a good part of the route you posted. Lots of great camping down in the Forks of Red Creek. Alas, the only camping we've done since then has been in the backyard of our Fairfax home. But reading this thread, and re-visiting one of my first DCSki posts from back in the day, has got me thinking it's about time to break out the packs and boots. Have fun.

Tom
Kris
August 5, 2008
Member since 03/15/2005 🔗
248 posts
Hey David, or anybody else that wants to chime in...

Can you give me a list of what you take with you camping.
Equipment wise...
Food wise...
Everything...What size pack you use...

Things like that...
I havent been camping in a while and would like to get back into it but i sorta need a checklist to go by for my first return trip. After that i can alter it to my own personal needs.

Thanks in advance.
David
August 6, 2008
Member since 06/28/2004 🔗
2,444 posts
Depends on what kind of camping that you want to do. On this trip for instance, we camped at the campground. We took coolers, a big tent, and plenty of other things to make our trip the most comfortable. Every morning we had bacon, eggs, and fried potatoes (with plenty of peppers, onions, and even a little bacon). One evening we had grilled chicken and the other we had big thick ribeye steaks over the fire. So, needless to say, we weren't roughin' it that much.

If I were going on just a backpack trip, then I would focus on a small stove (Jetboil is a good one), a small tent (this Tent is killer if you are alone), some form of water purification, and as far as food goes, I am a huge fan of rice cuz it tastes good and is easy to fix with just water, granola is another good item to have also. Don't forget a map, compass, and/or GPS (which don't always work under heavy cover). I am sure I am leaving out a few things, but these are atleast a starting point of the essientials....



Oh yeah, COMFORTABLE SHOES!!
fishnski
August 6, 2008
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Many moons ago when I 1st discovered CV, The Whitegrass folks were called "Granola Crunchers"...So I guess that IS an Important Item...I would also add...on top of Davids suggestion that Sense-able Shoes will be advised....I would also suggest..Some good LSD or PCP or maybe a little Cronic THC to really enhance your bonfire...If White Lighting is your biggest thrill of all,then by all means...Indulge!

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