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Hike - Gregory Bald - Fri., June 14, 2013

FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013
Depart at 8:00 a.m. from the Chota (Cooper) Center
 
GREGORY BALD
Distance:    11.2 miles round trip  
Elevation Gain:   3000 feet
Rating:   Strenuous
Driving Time:    Approx. 2.0 hours
Leader:   John Winn    865-675-6272   john.winn@gmail.com
 
This out and back hike turns around at one of the prettiest destinations in the park, Gregory Bald.  Gregory Bald is famous for its flame azaleas, large shrubs with beautiful orange-red clusters of flowers.  We hope the hike coincides with maximum bloom, when the Bald is alive with flame.
The trail to the Bald begins in the back of Cades Cove (we must drive the loop).  It climbs steadily and unrelievedly uphill, with the last quarter mile being as steep as any trail in the park.  The Bald is on the main spine of the Smokies, and you can feel the change in climate, so even on a warm day, bring a light jacket.  You will need it after the exertion of the climb.  As with any spectacular reward, this one takes effort.  On the way down you can congratulate yourself for seeing a special part of the park that only a hardy few can experience.

Hiking boots and hiking sticks are recommended. Driving directions will be provided the morning of the hike.
Bring water and a trail lunch.  Carpooling is recommended, passengers are asked to contribute $6 to the driver to help cover gas, etc.