When: Friday, March 8 thru Sunday March 10, 2013.
Details: DRAGON’S TOOTH/McAFEE’S KNOB. Backpack. Rated strenuous for cold; snow, residual and/or fresh; and elevation gain/loss. Not scouted.
Neither of these destinations alone justifies a weekend trip. A lot of research and, particularly, input from a friend of Steve’s indicates that I have found a path that will permit seeing both in one weekend.
Dragon’s Tooth (www.hikingupward.com/jnf/dragonstooth/ and other online sites) is a 4.4 mile loop. The tallest “tooth” is 35 ft above the peak of Cove Mt (3,020 ft). The loop from VA 311 (2,000 ft) to the Tooth and back has about 2,600 ft of elevation gain/loss as it climbs from VA 311 (2,000 ft) to the top of Cove Mt (3,020 ft) and a few hundred yards beyond to the Tooth. There are views of the Catawba Valley, McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs from the Tooth.
McAfee Knob (3,400 ft) is the most photographed spot on the AT. Check www.hikingupward.com/jnf/McAfeeKnob/ and many other online sites if you are not familiar with the Knob. It is the poster site for the AT. Almost every book about the scenic aspects of the AT will include a photo of McAfee’s Knob. It is a rock structure that juts from the mountain like a huge diving board over the valley for 270 deg views of the Catawba and Roanoke Valleys, and Tinker Cliffs. The hike is 8.5 mile out-and-back from VA 311, a little more or less depending on which base camp we choose, with 1700 ft of elevation gain from VA 311. Shows off some of the best of the AT in Virginia: Valley vistas, rocky ridgelines, forest and creeks.
We will set a base camp at either the junction of the Boy Scout Connector Trail x AT, .25 miles SW of VA 311 or John’s Spring, 1.0 miles NE of VA 311 on the AT. Friday will be the out-and-back to Dragon’s Tooth. Saturday will be the out-and-back to McAfee’s Knob. Sunday we will pack up and out, with a stop at the Homeplace Restaurant on VA 311 in Catawba Valley.
Group size is limited depending on experience of participants. $25 (per each person in a group/family) refundable-at-the-trail head deposit required. More information on the Sierra Club web page http://nc2.sierraclub.org/