View Full Version : AT thru the GSMNP

Uncle Mike
11-12-2003, 17:44
Starting to plan out a trip to do the AT from Fontana Dam to Davenport. Any information from you guys would be appreciated, how long it should take, what to look out for, cool side trips, etc. I've been in the park a lot, but haven't done much of the AT in the GSMNP. A buddy and myself are planning this, but if anyone is interested in joining you would be welcome! Tentatively thinking about July 2003.

11-12-2003, 20:05
ummm - that is July 2004, right???

11-13-2003, 09:58
Fontana Dam to Davenport Gap is 71 miles. Usually takes a thru-hiker 5 or 6 days to traverse. As a section hike, I'm sure there are all sorts of good blue-blazes to be done. Backpacking in GSMNP requires permits. (your section hike will not qualify as a thru-hike) Check with the officals before starting your trip.

11-13-2003, 10:01
The trail is the Smokys is very nice, although I haven't hiked in the park during the dead of summer. Definitely make the side trips to Charlies Bunion and Mt. Cammerer. Mt. Camemrer is at the end of the AT, past Cosby Knob, and is one of the best view points in the park. Charlies Bunion is almost on the trail. Spence Field, Double Springs, Pecks Corner, and Mt. Collins all have privies. Mollies Ridge, Silar Bald, Ice Water, and Pecks are all remodeled shelters and quite nice. In terms of time, you can do anything from a 3 day hike to 7 days (more, if you really wanted to). A reasonable schedule might be to stay at Mollies Ridge, Derrick Knob, Mt. Collins, Pecks Corner, Cosby Knob, and then out. If you are looking for more of a challenge, try something like Spence Field, Mt. Collins, Triconer, and out.

Uncle Mike
11-19-2003, 09:58
We're thinking six days. Since we hike in the Smokies a lot we probably won't focus on trying to do many side trips along the way, except maybe to take pictures at the Bunion.

Uncle Wayne
11-20-2003, 02:04
Uncle Mike,

Unless you've been there so many times it would make you sick to go back, Mt. Cammerer Lookout is a must see. On top of the ridge before dropping off, (if you're going north on the AT), toward Davenport Gap. It's an easy half mile off the AT and worth each step. I have some pictures posted of it and the views in my photo gallery on White Blaze.
I didn't even know about the place until several of the regulars on White Blaze encouraged a visit.
A little further off trail than the Bunion but much better, IMO. In fact it's one of those places that made me think of a lyric in a John Denver song (not sure of the title). He's describing a mountain scene, I think, and says "you can talk to God and listen to his casual reply." Colorado, Rocky Mountain High seems like the title?
Mt. Cammerer Lookout, it's a special place.

04-08-2004, 20:49
I'm planning a similar section hike myself in late June. I can't say from experience but I'm planning on taking a side trip to the chimney tops. A steep hike for sure, but from the pics I've seen a spectacular view is the reward. Fare thee well.

04-08-2004, 22:25
I'll be hiking from NOC to Davenport in September. If anyone will be going around this same time, drop a note.

steve hiker
04-08-2004, 22:31
From now until Labor Day, expect LOTS of other people on the Smokies AT. Don't count on shelter space.

04-08-2004, 22:51
I will be making the same trip in early June, maybe 2nd week. I plan to take 5 days. Haven't given the trip a whole lot of thought yet, but I do plan on taking in the firetowers or whatever they are, one closer to Fontana, Shuckstack or something like that and the the other mentioned by others above.

I just went up the Chimneys trail mentioned above. The trail is one of my favorites so far in the Smokeys because of the variety along the trail. One of the best I've been on for picturesque mountain streams, but you would miss that part coming down from the AT. The Chimney rock formation at the top is interesting and the view is good, but I'm not sure that the view is all that more spectacular than many of the views from along the AT sections or other areas I've been to in the park. It is a very steep climb.

04-09-2004, 09:43
See Charlies bunion & Mt Cammerer.

AND: Reservations needed for All of the shelters on the AT, and the one campsite. reservations taken 30 days before the start of your trip. I suggest you call on that day, be prepared to call & call & call & call, last time I made reservations it took a week, calling 5 to 10 times a day to get thru. The backcountry rangers (if they have ANY) are stretched thin, but the Mt Collins shelter is only a 1/2 mile walk from the road.

I have been on the chimneys, GREAT views, but a rugged, long hike from the AT & back. I would recomend that if you have the time AFTER your hike, park at the newfound gap rd. parking lot (about 3 miles toward Gatlinburg from Newfound gap, on the left) & taking about 2 hours round trip to see them. Be careful on the tops, its quite a fall if you ain't careful, might make you dead.


Brushy Sage
04-17-2005, 16:08
According to Raleigh News and Observer, President Bush will speak in the Cades Cove area of GSMNP on Earth Day, Friday Apr 22, 2005. This is not likely to affect thru hikers, unless he decides to explore the AT while he is there!


SGT Rock
04-17-2005, 16:26
Did they find oil in the Smokies? ;)

Someone tell him the Beverly Hillbillies was just a TV show, there really isn't bubblin' crude to be found up in them there hills. :sun:

Nearly Normal
04-17-2005, 16:31
Compared to the GA section of the AT how would you rate the Smokies? Same, easier, or harder?

SGT Rock
04-17-2005, 16:38
About the same I feel.

Brushy Sage
04-17-2005, 17:36
Did they find oil in the Smokies? ;)

Someone tell him the Beverly Hillbillies was just a TV show, there really isn't bubblin' crude to be found up in them there hills. :sun:

The paper says he is planning to talk about cleaning up the air. I'll bet the air in Cades Cove is already cleaner than the air in Washington, D.C.

Rain Man
04-17-2005, 20:06
Compared to the GA section of the AT how would you rate the Smokies? Same, easier, or harder?

Just knocked off the Smokies section last week. I feel they're easier than the PUDS in GA and NC. Nothing in the Smokies made me grunt and groan nor took my breath away, except for some vistas, that is.

SGT Rock, I heard you were giving out magic just a short ways down a side trail from me, and didn't tell me. Shame on you! LOL



SGT Rock
04-17-2005, 20:25
We put a sign out. Sorry:(

To be totally honest I was only invited to help. Wildcat and Rebel with a Cause put on the feed. I just helped cook, carry the stuff out, and do some shuttles.

04-19-2005, 17:17
I've been hanging out at New Found this spring offering rides to Gburg and handing out
the regular goodies. Lots of thrus heading through the park latley.

Monday 4/18, a helicopter was making supply runs to all the shelters and Mt. Leconte.
I wasn't aware that George W. was heading into Cades Cove. Too bad, I am gonna hate to see the park mined, drilled, cut and devastated.

Uncle Mike: I haven't found a bad side trip in the park. Problem is the permit issue.
You're gonna have to think about where you plan to spend the night...and be at that location for that night. From time to time the park will close primitive campsites with little notice due to "bear concerns".

So far this year the park is being pretty attentive to permits- they are checking.

04-20-2005, 00:40
I wasn't aware that George W. was heading into Cades Cove. Too bad, I am gonna hate to see the park mined, drilled, cut and devastated.

Havent you heard, Cades Cove is the site for a new Walmart. And since GW is in bed with all the oil sheiks and since every single item you buy at Walmart is made with earth killing, petro consuming plastic, then obviously this is a means for illegal aliens to get jobs supporting jihad against the US in an international biosphere reserve. I cant believe the CIA & FBI missed this one. Obviously the president should be impeached. If not for this offense, then draw up the "articles" for what he is doing to social security. ;) BTW, have you seen that eye on top of the pyramid on the dollar bill?.....