Appalachian Trail – Davenport Gap to Davenport Gap Shelter – February 21, 2013
Location: Davenport Gap.
Distance: 2 miles, round trip.
Total Ascent: 633 feet.
Weather: Clear; 30 degrees.
Gear: Vasque Bitterroot Boots (Break-in day hike.) Superfeet insoles, Baselayers, MH Warlow softshell pants, Marmot fleece, TNF Hardshell jacket, Leki Trekking Poles (demo from www.riversportsoutfitters.com)
Looking to add some “oomph” to my break-in day hikes (I’m breaking in both myself and the boots.) I headed to Davenport Gap, which is located on the Tennessee – North Carolina border just Northwest of the Big Creek area of the Great Smokies. From Waterville Rd., turn right on Mt. Sterling Rd. and go approximately 1.2 miles to the junction with the Appalachian Trail. There is a small parking area just past the AT that is great for day hikes, but it is not recommended to leave your vehicle here overnight.
From here is is just .9 of a mile to the Davenport Gap shelter, with a moderate elevation gain of 633 feet. This is both a blessing and a curse. It is the easiest shelter to reach in the Smokies, which means the locals invariably use it for parties.
I’ll let the pictures tell the story of this short hike: