Thursday, May 3, 2012
Scott Moutain Hike
White Oak Sinks 1.0
Scott Mountain 3.6
Day One: 6.8 Miles
Crooked Arm Ridge 2.2
Rich Mountain Loop 2.0
Cross to Cades Cove Picnic Area 0.5
Anthony Creek 0.2
Crib Gap 1.6
Finley Cane 2.8
Bote Mountain 1.5
Day Two: 10.9
Total Miles: 17.7
After a night without sleep I picked up Lora and we headed to the Smoky's. We registered at Tremont and started our hike at the School House Gap trailhead. The Smoky Mountain Wildflower Pilgrimage was occurring so we saw lots of people with name tags on.
We hiked up School House Gap to the White Oak Sinks which are known for their numerous wildflowers. It is an unmarked trail that goes off the School House Gap trail just past the Turkeypen Ridge trail intersection. It is a well used trail off to the left that has a horse block.
I thought for sure that I could find a yellow Ladies Slipper for Lora, but none were to be found. She did find some other flowers that she had not seen. She got to see the fall and cave as well. Then we headed back out to School House Gap and headed up to Scott Mountain.
It is a steady climb with views and flowers all along the way. When you get to the end of Schoolhouse Gap you walk right into a private yard. The Scott Mountain Trail is off at an angle to your left.
When we got to the private yard there was a pickup truck in the road and a guy was talking to a guy in the cabin. We talked to the guy for a while and found out that he owns the cabin and the house on the top of the mountain. Real nice guy. After we had been talking a while here comes the cowboy riding a horse down from the man’s house on top. He talked loud enough that you could've heard him in Cades Cove. He had ridden his hoss on every trail in the Smoky Mountains and never had seen a view as beautiful as the one he just saw at the top of road. Why everyone should go up and look at the view. We left and after we had hiked a good hundred yards you could still hear him plain as day talking about how the man should charge people to go up and look at his view.
Scott Mountain Trail is a beautiful trail to hike. We headed up to campsite #6 and set up for the night. It was a clear night and we saw lighting bugs and listened to owls.
The next morning we hiked down Crooked Arm Ridge. It has some great views of Cades Cove. It was a steep downward hike to the cove. When we got to the intersection of Crooked Arm Ridge and Rich Mountain Loop, we saw two guys with camera’s that had just seen a bear. We decided to hike to John Olivers' cabin. Just as we crossed a creek we saw the bear off to our left. He was hiding, but you could see his ears on each side of the small tree he was hiding behind. We hiked on.
After we visited the cabin we headed back towards the orientation shelter. As we got to the edge of the field, we saw our bear again. This time he was eating something, probably another hiker, down in a ditch area. We watched for a while and then hiked on.
You can't walk past the Cove's store without getting an ice-cream cone. So we did. Then we hiked through the picnic area to Anthony Creek Trailhead. We headed up the trail to Crib Gap Trail.
We had a hoss rider catch up to us right at Laurel Creek Road. We crossed over the road and noticed a bunch of cars down around the corner. We figured "Bear Jam" and that is what it was. As we hiked passed there were lots of camera’s and people pointing at us. Somewhere in between am sure there was a bear, but we could not see it. We hiked to the end of the trail and then took the connector trail that crosses under Laurel Creek Road through a tunnel or bridge since that is where the creek goes under the road.
Shortly after we got on the Finley Cane trail we stopped and had some lunch. We came across one other couple on horses on this trail. All really good trails to hike. We got on Bote Mountian trail and took it to the car.