Ascent of Doe Mountain on 2020-06-26
|Date:||Friday, June 26, 2020|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||3889 ft / 1185 m|
Ascent Trip ReportDoe Mountain, my penultimate summit of the Tennessee P1K list, was mostly an exercise in patience. As I neared the completion of the list, the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly head, closing public access to--among many other places--the Doe Mountain Recreation Area. Even as I made my discreet, socially-distanced hike up Luper, saw Windrock Park never even close, and access to the Smokies and the AT reopen...Doe Mountain remained stubbornly closed. A call to their visitor center led to information it would likely reopen in the first week of June, possibly sooner. I waited. And waited more. Took a trip to AZ for some prominence bagging as the last temperate spring weather was obliterated by summer heat. Took another trip to AR and OK for some more prominence bagging. And finally, saw Doe Mountain was open again. Then, I had to wait for a day of nice weather...
Finally, the forecast looked good, and I went online to buy a permit (you'll want the ATV passenger pass for $3). Save a PDF of this on your phone as well as the trail map, as you'll need it when you arrive. I pulled into the large gravel parking lot, already seeing a few others there on a Friday. As I was getting my hiking gear together, an employee came out to verify my permit. Everyone was friendly and nice.
I set off, getting onto the power line clear cut behind the visitor's center and finally finding signage for trail 112. The start of the trail still wasn't obvious--a turnoff a bit further SW may be more fruitful--but I picked up an old trail, switchbacked down to cross a creek, and found myself on a much more well defined trail. From here, I followed the signs as per Tom Layton's TR, passing through pretty greenery and the area marked as a quarry (not obvious as such) before reaching trail 1, the main thoroughfare leading to the lookout tower. On Tom's recommendation, I did not try to take trail 14, though I did take a little extra distance by looping on trail 16 for variety and to avoid the major traffic. I checked out Lofty Top View and the canopy view (actually better) before the sharp left to trail 25 to the summit. The lookout tower on my visit was ungated and clearly open. Views from the top were surprisingly incredible and far-reaching for a relatively low summit here, and views of Three Top were particularly nice.
I returned entirely on trail 1, dodging the occasional OHVer, and making the roundtrip hike in about 3 1/2 hours.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||1157 ft / 352 m|
| Gain on way in:||1157 ft / 352 m|
| Distance:||9.5 mi / 15.4 km|
| Start Trailhead:||2732 ft / 832 m|
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Chris Gilsdorf
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