Phoenix District
BSA Troop 467
Monthly Trip

Campout leaders email information on monthly campouts to Scouts and parents. Here is a trip that Troop 467 tries to take on an annual basis and is a good example of the types of hiking and camping trips that we like to take.


TROOP 467 Campout Details

The Legend of Standing Indian

According to an ancient Cherokee legend, a long time ago a great winged monster swooped down and carried off an Indian child playing near the village. The huge creature took the child to a cave high up in the cliffs of a nearby mountain. Frightened Cherokees from across their Nation gathered to ask the Great Spirit for help in getting rid of the monster. After days and nights of prayer, an awesome, blinding bolt of lightning and a tremendous thunderclap came out of a clear sky to shatter much of the mountain, killing the beast and its offspring. The lightning was so powerful that it destroyed the trees, producing the “bald” mountain top that remains treeless to this day.

A Cherokee warrior, posted as a lookout near the cliffs, was not only killed by the lightning but was turned to stone, some said as a punishment for being a poor sentry. Most of his figure has been worn away by the passing centuries, but a pillar of stone with an ill-defined “head” at the top still remains-all that is left of the “Standing Indian.” Visitors may not be able to pick out this stone effigy from among the jumble of rocks, but they can easily see the cliffs that were torn asunder by the Great Spirit’s benevolent bolt of lightning.

Standing Indian Basin

Standing Indian Basin is the horseshoe-shaped drainage formed by the Nantahala (Cherokee for “Land of the Noon Day Sun”) and Blue Ridge Mountains. Several prominent peaks over 5,000 feet in elevation-Albert Mountain, Big Butt, Little Bald, and Standing Indian Mountain cap the rim. The Nantahala River is born amid its high valleys and bisects the drainage. As you can imagine, this is damp country. Necessities include a proper rain suit, hat, and water-proof boots, plus duck backs for backpacks, and a rain fly for your tent. We’ve used all our rain gear on every trip we’ve ever made to this Mountain top (4 times alone last year, plus twice the year before in preparation for Philmont.) Think wet.

The Trip

We will gather at the Scout hut at 8 am, Saturday morning Troop. 467 and will leave the Scout hut no later than 8:30 am. It will take about 2 1/2 hours to drive to the Standing Indian Campground (approximately 12 miles West of Franklin NC). We will start our hike from the parking lot (at 3160 feet altitude) taking the Lower Ridge Trail to the top of the Mountain (5499 feet altitude). Once at the top, we’ll take a much deserved break and look around for the Standing Indian (We’ve yet to find him, nor have we ever met the “Chunky Gal” of the neighboring mountain fame). After a short breather, we will head down the mountain and hike a portion of the famed Appalachian Trail (AT), past the Standing Indian shelter to our creek side campsite (around 4600 feet altitude). By this time we will have to immediately start dinner and set up tents to maximize the daylight hours. We break camp after a quick freeze-dried granola breakfast Sunday morning. We hike another portion of the AT to the Kimsey Creek Trail which brings us back to our original departure point. The total hike up and back should be around 10 miles-and yes, the stories are true about last year’s bad orienteering call which resulted in a 12 mile hike UP THE MOUNTAIN not to mention the 5 miles back down.

Gear

  • Backpacks with duck backs (or a large trash bag to cover in the event of rain)
  • Two man tents (To keep weight down, Scouts should buddy up)
  • A warm sleeping bag and sleeping pad
  • Flashlights and headlamps
  • Water filters
  • Gas burners and fuel
  • 2 filled Nalgene-type water bottles per Scout
  • Rain suit
  • Warm sweater or fleece (gloves optional)
  • Layered non-cotton clothing (plus extra socks)
  • Waterproof hiking boots

Food

In true backpacking style, everyone will be bringing their own.

  • One bag lunch for Saturday afternoon on the mountain
  • One freeze-dried dinner (and a freeze-dried vegetable) for Saturday night. These can be purchased at Dick’s Sporting Goods and REI
  • One freeze-dried dinner (and a freeze-dried vegetable) for Saturday night, which can be purchased at Dick’s Sporting Goods and REI.
  • One freeze-dried Breakfast for Sunday morning
  • Cocoa mix.
  • Snacks and energy bars. Beef jerky and Trail Mix.

In Summary

Our hike starts just a bit North of #1 on the map. We take the #8 trail (You can see some steep switchbacks indicated, even on this simplified map.) up to the top near #10 and then we head back down on trail #5. It’s a terrific, rigorous hike that’s an experience every Scout should get under his belt. We should be back at the Scout hut by 3:30 pm Sunday.

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