AT Sobo Training – Sam’s Gap to Hogback Ridge Shelter

Friday, February 10, 2023

AT Southbound – Sam’s Gap to Hogback Ridge shelter

5.23 miles

We flew out to Asheville for a long weekend with friends and Greg and I got a nice hike in on the AT, southbound from Sam’s Gap to Hogback Ridge Shelter. I brought along my microspikes to hopefully test out, but the weather ended up being really fantastic with no snow at all and quite pleasant and sunny.

We parked at the highway 26 intersection with the AT and immediately started climbing up to the top of the ridge. The trees in the winter with no leaves make for an interesting contrast to the “green tunnel” most AT hikers are used to in the summer time. You get some nice views that would normally be missed. We gained a little over 1000 feet in 5.2 miles. The hike wasn’t easy, but certainly not super hard either.

views through the trees
heading up – no switchbacks for us!

We got to the top of the first ridge and found a sign for High Rock, which we would find out on the way back actually had a nice view. But I just decided to try and find it where the arrow on the sign pointed.

We continued on and got to the shelter at Hogback Ridge a mile or so later. This was my first AT shelter I’ve been to. It had a bear hang and a privy nearby as well.

backside of the shelter

us trying to figure out the bear hang
luckily it came with instructions

We headed back northbound and found the view from High Rock that we missed on the way down.

We got back to the car and headed back to Asheville for some breweries and dinner.

I love hiking the AT, but the PCT has always had a hold on me and I’m planning on starting on April 24th! A little more than 2 months to go!