View Full Version : Hitch-Hiking in the Smokies

07-22-2007, 13:04
I am planning a trip to hike the smokies. We (3 males) are planning on hitch-hiking from Davenport Gap back to our car at Fontana dam.
Is this possible?
Is there any "hitch-hiker code" that I should know about?
Any other tips that would help out?

07-22-2007, 13:13
I would not accept a ride in a van.You may have noticed that
when a harrowing story is told on WB about hitching or unpleasant
encounters with the locals there is always a van involved.Just a thought.

9 Mules
07-22-2007, 17:03
You can hitch back either the east or west side of the smokies. If you go west side you'd have to slide thru Gatlinburg and then Cherokee and then finally south.
I'd go east side thru around Waynesville and then its almost a straight shot to Fonatana.
You come out at Davenport Gap, Exit 451, there's no traffic there but maybe get lucky from some N.Carolina rafting types that are heading East. Jump off at Exit 20 in N.C. and then your on your way South.
If no love at Exit 451, Hartford Exit 447 is the best nearby Exit for getting a ride, but you need a ride to get there. No hitching/walking there on the Interstate.
Call SBF and talk with Curtis.

Baum Trigger
07-22-2007, 18:05
I will gladly offer you a ride if you can let me know when the trip is occuring. I regularly hike in the Smokies and maybe I can plan a dayhike in the area around the time you'd be finishing up. Of course, the drive will be of no charge to you and I only have a Toyota Corolla si if theyre's more than 3 of you, it may be a tight squeeze. Keep me posted if you're interested.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
07-22-2007, 18:39
Hitching there is not great, but possible. I'd check with SBF or with Nancy & Jeff at The Hike Inn for a shuttle. Both are reliable and reasonably priced.

07-23-2007, 11:33
Wow, that is a very generous offer. We are set to leave (atlanta) on Sun. August 5th. I think we are looking at 7 days which would put us at Davenport Gap on the 11th (Sat.) or 12th (Sun.). I will contact my buddies and figure out the exact day we will be there. If the offer is still on the table it would be the best for us, so i will keep you posted.

Baum Trigger
07-23-2007, 15:38
Replied to your PM. Let me know!

Tennessee Viking
07-23-2007, 17:59
Watch out, Cocke County Sheriff's Office and Tenn Highway Patrol usually sit at the Waterville exit on I40. So don't let them see you hitch there.

Call the Smokies Hiking club to see when they have a maintenance outing or have a volunteer to shuttle you back.

07-23-2007, 18:32
Hitching to or from Davenport Gap would be hard....you could get lucky and have some nice person pick you up or get even luckier and have a hiker type see you...but it's not that easy.... I40 through there is a "bad" stretch of narrow road with barricades, tight lanes and lots of turns...not a good place to be standing on the side of the road and really...if traffic is busy it'd be really hard to pull off to pick you up.
I hate driving through there in perfect conditions.
I think you'd be better off getting a shuttle...and FD already mentioned Nancy & Jeff...
Hitchhiking from Davenport Gap to Fontana would be tough...that's a long, long way on roads that aren't packed full of people that would pick up 3 guys...not saying it wouldn't happen...but I'd get a shuttle.

07-23-2007, 20:22
I am local to Smokies area. Boaters often use the road to get from Nantahala to Asheville or to the Big Pigeon at Waterville. Boaters will almost always be happy to give a ride. It might not get your whole group back to the car- but you never know. A ride from Nantahala to Fontana might be possible from a boater heading on 129 to get back to knoxville or maryville, but it is a little out of the way. I have hitched in the park many many times. Rangers will not give you a ride, but they have never hassled me. Its just part of the park. I have also used the local trolly to get around - it was only .50 last year.

07-24-2007, 05:46
I agree with the other posters here - a hitch from Davenport Gap will be difficult - especially with the closing of Mtn Mommas

I would call Jeff and Nancy Hoch at the Hike Inn. There number is 828-479-3677. Their web site is thehikeinn.com. They are fabulous people. I've used them for a couple of my shuttles. They let me park my car at their house when I walked from Springer to Fontana.

07-24-2007, 06:44
I may be able to help out if you need a ride this Sunday. PM me your plans & phone #. I plan to be in GSMNP Fr-Su this weekend.