BSA Troop 328

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

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Roan Highlands Backpacking Trip

We met at Kern UMC at 11:30 on Saturday, September 7th, distributed the troop gear, and were on the road to Carver's Gap just after 12:00 noon. The drive took about 3 hours. The parking at the trailhead was nearly full but we managed to get all three vehicles off the road and in the gravel lot. The hike out to Grassy Ridge took about 3 hours and the views from the various balds were spectacular. None of the scouts have any trouble with the hike but most were ready to setup camp once we got there. We pitched the tents and had a relaxing dinner while taking in the scenery. As the sun went down if cooled off quickly and soon everyone was wearing their warm clothes. Once it was dark the view of the sky was breathtaking. We did some astronomy looking at Venus and Saturn along with several major stars and constellations. The best part was that it was very dark with almost a new moon and so that the Milky Way was clearly visible. I went to bead around 10:00PM but was awakened around 2:00AM by the sound of my tent flapping in the wind. During the night the cloud ceiling had dropped below our elevation (6280 ft.) and the wind was gusting to at least 40 mph. Sunday morning when we got up we were still in the clouds and the wind was still howling. Visibility was only a few feet. We were relieved when all the scouts were accounted for -- no one had been blown off the mountain during the night. After breakfast we packed up and headed back toward the trailhead, still in the clouds but with better visibility. We did not descend down out of the clouds until we were only about 100 yards from where we parked. We loaded our gear in the vehicles and drove down to Roan Mountain State Park to eat lunch. We arrived back at Kern UMC around 4:00PM on Sunday afternoon.

Click here for a trail map.

Here we are on the trail headed up to Grassy Ridge.

Here we are setting up camp on Grassy Ridge

Here we are getting up camp on Sunday Morning. The wind is howling and we are in the clouds.

Here we are on the trail headed back to the trailhead.