View Full Version : Dec hike

11-06-2018, 16:48
Hi I'm planning a Dec hike from Sams Gap NC to the I40 crossing in Tn. Has anyone experienced a Dec hike in that are? Any weather, hostels that stay open year round or any general knowledge would be appreciated.


Gambit McCrae
11-06-2018, 17:18
There is a hostel AT sams Gap - not sure if they are open year round..

Laughing heart in Hot springs is open Year round and has always been empty when I go to HS in January.

Weather I would be aware of would be coming over Max Patch and SnowBird Mountain and not camping in those locations due to possibility of snow/ winter storms

11-06-2018, 17:30
Thanks Gambit,

Natures Inn Hostel? That's where I plan to leave my vehicle if they are open..

11-06-2018, 17:37
Nature's Inn and Mother Marian's are at/near Sam's Gap.
Hot Springs you have: Elmer's Sunnybank, Laughing Heart and the Spring Creek Tavern rents rooms as well.
On the I-40 end you have Standing Bear.

11-06-2018, 17:38
I'm not aware of any hostel at Sams Gap, and none is listed in the AT Guide.

There is a hostel at mile 289.7, Hemlock Hollow Inn, that is listed as open year round.

Hot Springs has a couple of options. I enjoyed Laughing Heart when I stayed there in 2016.

Standing Bear is right at I-40, so probably not much use. The 2017 AT Guide says open year round.

I would recommend picking up a guidebook. The AT Guide lists nearly everything you need to know about a section.

Weather wise, I would be prepared for almost any weather for a section that long. Below freezing, rain, snow, ice.

11-06-2018, 17:39
Nature's Inn and Mother Marian's are at/near Sam's Gap.
Are those new? I don't see them in the 2017 Guide.

11-06-2018, 18:29
When in December will have an impact on the weather. The later in the month you go, the greater the chance of encountering a winter storm. It's really hard to predict what you'll have until you get to within a week or so of the trip, then plan accordingly. If they forecast nice sunny weather, pack for a blizzard :)

11-06-2018, 18:44
You will need to check the weather a few days out. We have anything from 20* with a blizzard to mid-50s & sunny with an overnight low around 30. This far out it is a crap shoot to predict.

11-06-2018, 18:57
Thanks for the input

I've got my winter setup and have hiked in winter conditions so that's not an issue (until it is an issue) My time frame is 20-27 Dec. I imagine the trail traffic is scarce that time of year.

11-06-2018, 19:15
Nature's Inn is incorrectly listed as Spivey Gap in the 2018 guide, not sure on the 2017. Marion's is new as it wasn't there when I was planning in 2017. I show both as Sam's in Guthook.