Hiking Shenandoah National Park
by Bert & Jane Gildart (Falcon Guides)
© 2016 Bert & Jane Gildart/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Amazing Hike, very strenuous, you must be somewhat in condition to do this hike. We went on a Saturday & there were alot of hikers, I always feel better, when there are alot of people around. I am short 5" & there was 2 spots I wouldn't be able to complete without a little help, due to reach & short legs. The view was spectacular & we had a great day. This hike took us 7 hrs. There is a extra walk to the trailhead I don't think they counted.
Absolutely stunning views and overlooks. We did this in the ice and snow which is nothing to joke about, the trail in those conditions is very challenging. However, in the dry weather you can take the trail more light heartedly.
Truly a treat no matter the season. The average temperature was 23.5 degrees with windgusts up to 45 mph when unmasked from the treeline. With considerable snow and ice still blanketing the terrain it was no walk in the park but the trails sheer majesty and beauty made it overwhelmingly worth it. The rock scramble with the added ice resulted in some challenging obstacles but they made the summiting all the more worth it. A sensual and spiritual pleasure despite the wintery conditions. Do not let the cold and ice deter you.
This is the best hike we've done in a while, probably since the multiple Grandfather Mountain trails we did last August. Hiked it on our 18th anniversary and even though it was very cold and windy, it was still pretty busy on this winter Sunday.
May not be for beginners however, in fact a guy from Bethesda hiking with his son had dislocated his shoulder about 2/3 of the way through the boulder scramble. We stayed with him until the rangers arrived, which ended up being almost three hours after his son had called 911 around 1pm. We gave him a hot meal as he was not really prepared for leaning against the cold rocks for so long. His only extra warmth other than that was a young woman being a good Samaritan, who had wrapped a space blanket around him and was snuggling up against him to help keep him warm, when we arrived. He's kind of lucky. Bring extra clothes, hats, etc _and _ an emergency blanket when hiking in the mountains, especially during the winter! You just never know what can go wrong. Didn't mind helping him at all but it was interesting hiking the last hour or so in the dark...
I would like to hike this trail again some time, but I will try and be in better shape next time. It kicked my butt! ;-)
Best hike we've ever done!
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