Camel Gap Loop

JD Schlandt @jdschlandt

Cracker Barrel - Knoxville, TN
7217 Strawberry Plains Exit 398 of Interstate 40

Sat, Apr 27, 2019 at 11:06 AM - 8:20 PM

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Camel Gap Loop 16.1 miles; Low Gap II 2.9; Low Gap I 2.5; Big Creek .7; Camel Gap 4.7; AT 2.4; Low Gap II 2.9 Rated Difficult due to elevation gain, and mileage. This is a rewarding trail loop of 16.1 miles and 4100′ total vertical. The hike begins from the Cosby Campground and meanders a short way along Cosby Creek before reaching the junction with Low Gap Trail II. Low Gap II is an unrelenting climb for nearly three miles and often over many, many rocks. Make no mistake, it's brutal, however FUN. Upon finally reaching the junction with the Appalachian Trail, we will be at a four way stop. We head straight across and straight down on Low Gap I, down to Camel Gap Trail. Camel Gap follows Big Creek most of the way, crossing small feeder streams with lush growth Trillium and some of the largest Vasey's Trillium in the park, replace in warmer months by Bee Balm and Cut-leaved Coneflower. At approximately three miles, Big Creek curves left, and the trail begins to follow a feeder stream, Yellow Creek, named for the colorful autumn foliage of Tulip Poplar and Sugar Maple. We should see several pockets of Pink Lady Slippers on this section of Camel Gap. Originally, the trail was called Yellow Creek. We will then start our climb back to the Appalachian Trail; “Camel” is thought to be a family name, perhaps the corruption of Campbell. After a pleasant assent, we will top out on the AT and turn RIGHT. This section of the AT is pleasant with great views on either side as the trail climbs and the elevation tops out around 5000 feet. We will soon intersect with Low Gap and turn left to return to our starting point. For Map and Profile Click here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RLcwTyi1VDC7uxmgf_fluBmqZ6X18Z8g/view?usp=sharing