View Full Version : Shelter Reservations?

Bipolar Roller
04-10-2016, 18:06
Hi. I'm not sure about the shelter reservation system. I'm planning to stay in a tent. Our group of four will actually have two tents. I read a post mentioning a ridge runner checking shelter reservations. So I thought to ask. We will hopefully staying at the shelters between Watauga dam and Damascus.

Lone Wolf
04-10-2016, 18:09
there are no reservations for shelters in that area

Bipolar Roller
04-10-2016, 18:12
Hi. Lone Wolf. You get my message?

Spirit Walker
04-10-2016, 22:25
The only places you need reservations for shelters are the Smokies and Baxter state park in Maine. Everywhere else it's first come first served.

The Cleaner
04-10-2016, 22:55
That's not how it works.:eek:

04-11-2016, 06:57
I can see why the OP might have thought this since they are from Michigan - when we hiked the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin, you had to reserve the shelters (at least in some spots). We were surprised and confused!


Jack Tarlin
04-11-2016, 08:38
On the A.T. other than Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Baxter Sate Park in Maine, one does not "reserve" or pre-arrange a shelter. It is strictly first come, first served, until the structure is full. It is also uncool to get there and "hold" spots for people that are expected later in the day. Because of the uncertainly of getting a spot in a shelter at day's end, this is why the prudent hiker on the A.T., either weekended, section-hiker, or long-distance hiker, always carries some kind of personal shelter, i.e. tent, tarp, bivy, hammock, etc.

04-11-2016, 13:12
I gets a chuckle out of hikers "racing" literally to the next shelter when its a small one that sleeps 6 and they know it will fill up.

Heck, by barely after noon often the lazy shelter dwellers have set up camp to assure they wont have to rough it in a tent.

Gambit McCrae
04-11-2016, 13:38
Love my tent lol

04-11-2016, 13:40
If you are hiking the Great Smoky Mountain National Park on an AT Thru Hiker permit, you don't need reservations for the shelters there either.

Only people hiking GSMNP with a 'General Hiker' permit must make reservations for specific dates for each camp site and shelter they plan to stay at.

People hiking GSMNP with an 'AT Thru Hiker' permit are not committed to specific AT Shelters for specific dates. Instead, once they enter GSMNP, they have 8 days to leave, and my stay at any AT shelter in GSMNP during those 8 days.

However, AT Thru Hikers are also required to relinquish their shelter spots to those with 'General Hiker' reservations (so you must be prepared to camp 'in the general vicinity' of the shelter).

Bipolar Roller
04-11-2016, 15:42
Thanks for all the info. Due to my disability I find the need to stop frequently and make use of short less than ten mile days. I have done short hikes of the area already and hiked Ga to Nc just after border. But my health is slowly declining. I have to get back. Thanks again for all the assistance. I do plan to tent outside the shelters.