AMC offers COVID conscious opportunities to enjoy the outdoors locally, visit many of our lodges and campgrounds, and join virtual events and activities. Participants of all in-person events should bring and wear face coverings, expect social distancing, and changes to our usual practices. To support contact tracing and hands-free signing of the AMC liability waiver, online registration is required for all in person AMC events.

Dolly Sods Wilderness Fall Adventure - Easy, 12-mile Backpacking Trip

Date and Time

Friday, September 18, 2020 3:00PM - Sunday, September 20, 2020 2:00PM


Dolly Sods Wilderness, West Virginia,
West Virginia,


Registration is required for this activity.

Registration is closed


INTRODUCTION: On this three-day, two-night backpacking adventure we will enter the Dolly Sods Wilderness by way of Canaan Valley (FR80). We will be hiking the high meadows of Big Stonecoal Run and Breathed Mountain and visiting the Lion's Head and the Forks of Red Creek. Trip features include waterfalls, stargazing, blueberries (if the bears have left any for us) and early fall foliage. …………. To ensure your safety and enable you to join us on this activity, you must register here on the AMC Activities Database web site, complete the liability waiver form, and have your registration confirmed by this activity's AMC Potomac Chapter Leader. You will be notified by email when you are confirmed as a participant. ANYONE NOT RECEIVING A REGISTRATION CONFIRMATION FROM THIS ACTIVITY'S LEADER WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO JOIN THE GROUP AT THE TRAILHEAD. AN RSVP ON MEETUP IS NOT CONSIDERED BEING REGISTERED FOR THIS ACTIVITY - THAT CAN ONLY BE ACCOMPLISHED HERE ON THE AMC ACTIVITY DATABASE WEB SITE. In the event that social distancing (6 feet) cannot be maintained during this activity, every participant must have a suitable medical or cloth mask made of two layers of fabric with them which covers their nose and mouth that they can use. DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTIVITY: The route begins in Canaan Valley on FR80 (Wilderness Way Trail) hiking about 3 miles to camp near the junction of Big Stonecoal (513) and Dunkenbarger (558) Trails.  Next day we hike about six miles on the Rocky Point Trail (554) and the Red Creek Trail (514) and camp on Breathed Mountain Trail (553).  On Sunday we hike about 3 miles back to our cars. DIFFICULTY RATING: EASY - Reasonable fitness for the expected activity is needed, but the trip is designed for those new to the activity. Expect to be active up to 4 hours/day. A bit more active time than the relaxed rating, but with generous breaks. GEAR: Each participant must have hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol or a means to wash their hands with soap and water, along with a suitable face covering. To further comply with the AMC COVID-19 precautions, you need to be self-sufficient for the entire, three-day trip; we will not be sharing any food or equipment. You must also have a bear canister or Ursack to protect your food from the wildlife. Expect high temperatures in the mid 60's and lows in the low 40's. Trails are rocky and often muddy. DOGS ALLOWED: The trip leader must approve the participation of a dog in advance. Leash required.

AMC Trip Policy



Related Link(s):

Dolly Sods Wilderness Map
Dolly Sods Wilderness Brochure

Driving Directions

Click map for driving directions

MEET UP DIRECTIONS: Confirmed participants will meet in the parking lot of the Canaan Valley State Park, Park Headquarters and Recreation Center (approximately 1/2 mile west of Route 32 main entrance) no later than 3pm on Friday. Restrooms and a small camp store are available there. From the meetup we will drive approximately four miles to the parking location on Freeland Road (FR80). PARKING PERMIT REQUIRED: You must have an overnight parking permit approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in your car to leave it overnight on FR80; no exceptions. The trip leader will provide directions on how to obtain the permit, which takes a few days, once you are a confirmed participant. COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS: Face masks are currently required to enter most establishments in West Virginia for your safety and ours, please use them if you stop along the way. For this activity, you should wear your face mask from the time you first exit your vehicle at the meetup location and until we have established our social distancing routines as a group, and at any other time as directed by the trip leader. CARPOOLING: Due to the inherent risk from the COVID 19 virus, carpooling is not recommended at this time.

Lion’s Head



Offered By







Adults (18+)


I have been leading backpacking trips for the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Adirondack Mountain Club since 1975. I enjoy taking the time to look at the scenery and have a relatively slow pace. I am patient with beginners and enjoy helping them learn new skills.


I'm a new AMC Volunteer Leader (In Training) but I have many years of experience leading small groups in the Appalachian wilderness. I'm looking forward to meeting interesting and adventurous people, and enjoying the outdoors together. I prefer easygoing trips so we can take in nature's beauty and share our experiences.