View Full Version : Fontana Nightmare

07-21-2003, 06:55
I decided to take a day hike from Stecoah Gap this weekend to Fontana Dam; 16 miles and 3700 of climbing. Since it was hot, I did not take any heavy clothes. I was going to stay at the Hike Inn. The plan was to use the phone at the visitor's center to call the shuttle at the Hike Inn. Very bad plan. After a long hot day I finally arrived at the visitor's center assuming I was home free. Wrong! I asked the receptionist if they had a phone, and he told me there was a pay phone at the opposite end of the center. I was a little dubious about this since I had tried it in April and it was not functional. OK, I walked around to the back of the building and sure enough, the phone was completely dead. It wouldn't accept coins, it wouldn't take credit cards, it was totally dead. I am sure the receptionist knew this now that I can see the whole thing in perspective. I walked back and informed him of the dead phone and asked if they had one in the visitor's center. He lied and said "No, we don't have one. All we have is a cell phone and it don't work." But, being the kind hearted soul he was he said I could walk back up the hill to the police station and perhaps they would let me use their phone. I walked up the hill and as he well knew, the police station was totally abandoned and locked. Now it was getting dark, I had no clothes to spend the night and I was getting desperate. I had no choice but to walk back to the visitor's center and tell them I had to spend the night there. The sweetheart at the fron desk still had another great idea... I could walk to Fontana Village that night! Maybe someone would have a room. Just then a lady walked in and asked why I didn't just call someone. After all, they had a phone on the desk right in front of them! Unbelievable... I am sure that if I was having a heart attack the man running the front desk would have watched me expire before using the phone. I have no idea what his problem is with hikers, but I warn you in the strongest terms against relying on any phone at Fontana Dam. The Hike Inn is a great place but make your arrangements before you get to the dam.


07-21-2003, 08:42
Sorry about your problem at Fontana Dam. Last year you could call the Fontana Inn for their shuttle between the dam and the village. And, if it was after hours, the police would drive the shuttle for you. We used the shuttle to go from the Hilton to the village for laundry and dinner, and then back again.

Don't know about getting to the Hike Inn however.