Dolly Sods Wilderness, WV

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Meadow in Dolly Sods

We backpacked in the Dolly Sods Wilderness area in West Virginia last weekend. The Lions Head hike, a 21-mille loop that begins and ends on Forest Road 75, was one I’d wanted to do for some time, and we decided last month that we’d go for it over Memorial Day weekend. As it approached, it seemed the weather forecasters concurred that this was a good weekend to be outdoors. So, apparently, did most of the DC-metro region, and they were at Dolly Sods in droves. College types, casual hikers, some families.

Hikingupward.com, where I got the specs for the hike, rates it a 3 out of 5 for solitude. Obviously my judgment will be skewed by having gone over a long weekend comprised of the best three consecutive weather days in recent memory, but I think the 3 is a bit high. To be fair, the hiking didn’t feel crowded, most of the time, so maybe I’d rate that a 2.5. But the camping! The camping! And the group of yelling guys who decided to set up shop nearby — NOT a 3 out of 5! I’ll be generous and say 1.5. Again, who knows — the entire region was out there.

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