View Full Version : Fontana dam shelter and hammocks

07-26-2016, 22:55
I'm planning a long section hike this fall and was thinking about taking a zero day at Fontana dam before tackling the Smokies. Something that I read somewhere left the impression that there are not many trees around the Fontana dam shelter. I use a hammock and would rearrange my schedule if I could not use a hammock at Fontana dam. Can anyone tell me if there are an adequate number of trees around the Fontana dam shelter? Are there any problems using hammocks around this shelter?

07-26-2016, 23:14
There are few places to hang next to shelter....However, there are trees near by. This would mostlikely be a super "stealth hang" as the rules are unclear as to hammocks in the Fontana area. It can be done, if you get guff for it I am unsure. Look at some youtube videos to see the trees in the area 50 yard radius of shelter. Make your own informed choice......good luck....

07-26-2016, 23:21
I hammocked near the Fontana Hilton. There are a couple of spots between the shelter and the restroom.

07-26-2016, 23:30
So your going to carry a hammock in GSMNP? Not allowed to attach to shelter , and you are required to stay in shelter. Presuming you are walking AT of course.

07-27-2016, 00:22
You'll be fine with your hammock there, don't sweat it. As tiptoe mentioned - among other places, there are spots on the little hill between the shelter and bathrooms/showers.
Do be aware though, that "the hilton" is a bit of a party spot, and the bears have started getting real used to people and the fact that there is unfortunately, all to easy food there (at and around the shelter)....
Also, expect bears in the park. I saw at least a bear a day in the three days it took me to hike through the park. Some didn't run away, but stood their ground - hackles all stood up and hissing loudly.... Ya gotta be pretty close to hear'em hiss, lol.. Interesting experience(s)...
And the "top half" of the park is really quite beautiful and amazing. I hope you get good weather for the top half at least, if not the whole park.

I went through there a few weeks back now.


07-27-2016, 01:14
Thanks everyone for the information and advice. I'll check out some of the you tube videos. I'm planning to take the BMT through the Smokies rather then the AT. That way I can use my hammock through the Smokies! Rather then taking a zero day at Fontana I may just do a short hike to the first BMT campsite in the Smokies