View Full Version : Water in the Smokies

10-20-2019, 18:05
Helping a friend thru the Smokies next week and want to know about the water with the recent rains. Any info would be greatly appreciated as we will not go if the springs at shelters are dry.
Thanks in Advance,

10-20-2019, 19:21
i would think, and i have not been in the Park, that the springs should be flowing with the rain we have gotten...

but your best bet is to call the backcountry office....

10-20-2019, 21:23
How much rain has there been this week?
I hiked the AT between Eagle Creek and Fontana last weekend. The prior week there had been about 1or 2 inches of rain, and water was plentiful below the ridge (like 1/2 mile below Spence Field). But even after the inch or so rain, seems like I heard every shelter spring was dry along the ridge between Doe Knob and New Found Gap.

10-20-2019, 21:36
it rained saturday night going into sunday.....

not sure how much rain was had and im too lazy to ask my meteorologist....

however, there have been a bunch of photos on facebook saying the streams (of course the lower ones) are higher than they were last week...

i would guess that the springs along the ridge would be flowing at least a little.....

10-20-2019, 22:52
Looks like NOAA says less than 2" of rain fell:
You need enough rain to saturate the water table for the springs to start flowing again. It's been so dry that the ground might have just soaked all that rain up and is holding on to it.

It literally works like a sponge. You start dripping water on a dry sponge and nothing drips off the sponge until there's more water added to the sponge than it can hold. I don't have enough experience with GSMNP to hazard a guess if 2" of water is enough to get those springs flowing again. A week ago, Spence was 100% dry (not even a drip).

BTW, Eagle Creek had enough water that all the crossings were still mid-calf to knee deep, and the creek was flowing STRONG right up to 1/2 mile below Spence Field. But just a little higher and we couldn't collect any water (my son and I each carried 1 gallon of water from that 1/2 mile spot below Spence).

10-21-2019, 11:29
Like HooKoo said, not enough rain yet to soak in and make a difference.

For the past four or five seasons I've helped maintain an AT section in the park and asked to be copied in on ridge runner reports in order to be aware of blow-downs and such.

The report from 10/14 had Ice Water flowing slowly, Pecks very slow with a puddle to dip from, and Tri Corner "slow but reliable ". Personal observation was that Guyot springs were dry six weeks ago. Cosby Knob spring is "flowing well".

Ridge runner report from 10/20 was that Mollies was dry, Russell Field was not flowing but had a dip-able puddle. Spence Field is not flowing, but water is available 1/4 mile downhill.

More rain in forecast for overnight in the area.