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Backpacker Magazine – January 2011

Rip & Go: Big Creek Loop

Hike from a wildlife-choked river valley to soaring mountain views.

by: Christopher Keene

Big Creek in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tad Bowman)
Big Creek in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tad Bowman)
Reader experts Art Fightmaster and Stuart Peck (Courtesy)
Reader experts Art Fightmaster and Stuart Peck (Courtesy)

trip iconTAKE IT WITH YOU
Download a printable version of this entire trip right here.


ON THE MENU


Breakfast 1
On the road
Lunch 1 
PB&J pita
Dinner 1 
Smokies Sausage Biscuits
Breakfast 2 
Bacon and Ramp Quiche
Lunch 2 Tuna melt in a pita
Snacks
Dried pineapple, granola bars


RECIPES
Smokies Sausage Biscuits
Southern vittles for the trail 

1 pound pork sausage, frozen
¼ cup green onions, diced
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup Bisquick
Pinch of ground red pepper
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
½ cup milk (from powder)
½ cup finely grated cheddar
 
Sauté sausage with onions, and drain. Mix other ingredients, and spoon batter onto skillet in a four-inch cake. Cook until bubbles form, and flip. Dress with sausage and onions. Serves 2.


Bacon and Ramp Quiche
A fortifying breakfast

1 piecrust from tube
3 slices precooked bacon
4 ounces mushrooms
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup green onions, diced
3 eggs (frozen in Nalgene)
1 cup milk (from powder)
3 ounces shredded cheddar
 
Fry bacon, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Put piecrust in pan, fill with mixture, top with cheese. Beat eggs and milk; pour on. Cook covered 30 minutes. Serves 2.


The Grocery List

[  ]  green onions (produce)
[  ]  mushrooms (produce)
[  ]  sun-dried tomatoes (produce)
[  ]  dried pineapple (produce)
[  ]  sausage (meat)
[  ]  bacon (meat)
[  ]  cheddar (dairy)
[  ]  eggs (dairy)
[  ]  pita (1)
[  ]  Bisquick (3)
[  ]  peanut butter & jelly (3)
[  ]  granola bars (3)
[  ]  tuna pouch (5)
[  ]  piecrust (7)
[  ]  dried milk (7)
 
Pack Salt and pepper, aluminum foil, ground red pepper, nutmeg, 
dry mustard


NEAREST
GROCERY STORE 

White’s IGA
208 W. Broadway, Newport, TN; 
(423) 623-3356

 
PIT STOP Local hikers gorge on ribs at Sagebrush Steakhouse, then unclog their pipes with the Highway To Hell—a signature drink that tastes like Kool-Aid but packs a rummy punch. 201 Heritage Blvd., Newport, TN; (423) 613-4900; sagebrushsteakhouse.com




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Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Wes
Oct 07, 2011

Did this loop as a day hike yesterday with a couple of friends. Big Creek is beautiful and we stopped multiple times to take photos and enjoy the scenery. Lots of fresh bear scat and prints on the trails, but no actual bear sighting. Had debated on which direction to do the loop but was glad we chose counter-clockwise and followed Big Creek first; it was more scenic than the Baxter Creek Trail imo.

Felix
Aug 29, 2011

Great hike! However there is no water source where the article mentions. As M. Morgan says, the closest water is a small trickle .5 miles past campsite 38 (if you follow the path of this article).

M. Morgan
Apr 27, 2011

Did Big Creek Loop with a few friends over the weekend. AWESOME. Start the first day early--it will take longer than you think, particularly the last few vertical miles. Be mindful of water sources on the ascent and take advantage of every one. The last few miles of the ascent offer no water and the nearest water source to campsite #38 is a mile round-trip. The 6-mile descent is physically a breeze but hard on the feet. Watch for snakes (almost stepped on a garter snake), and take advantage of the on-site bearproof hangers to hang packs/food.

tree
Mar 18, 2011

just finished this last weekend...be wary of rain forcast...it WILL be snow at higer elevations!!

tree
Mar 18, 2011

just finished this last weekend...be wary of rain forcast...it WILL be snow at higer elevations!!

Dan
Mar 17, 2011

Be advised: The 2 campsites metioned are RESERVATION ONLY. Also, FYI; the "Mt. Sterling Ridge Trail" and the "Baxter Creek Trail" are AKA, and part of, the Benton McKaye Trail.

Diane
Jan 27, 2011

Hiked this area in the different directions you can take from Big Creek campground. It's my favorite place to hike or go for an easy overnight or two.

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