View Full Version : Standing Bear Hostle

12-11-2003, 20:45
A newish hostel. Its just north of the Smokies, about 4 miles past the North border. When you reach the gravel Rd (for NBers) turn Left, in about 200 yards on the right is the hostel. Great people, limited but well thought out re-supply stuff. 2 showers, 2 bunk houses, nice cooking area with stove, internet access, & phone. There is also a fairly large area for tenting out.

There is a large bunk house with 10 bunks (as I remember there were 10, may be more) and ample room for checking out your gear. There is a nice (large) porch on the back and a smaller one on the front. It is closest to the cooking area & phone. When I was there in April of 2003 there was no electricity in this (or the other) bunkhouse.
There is a smaller bunk house with 4 beds, a little nicer, good if you have a group that size. It is a little closer to the privy & showers.
The "Kitchen area" has a large table & benches, a 2 burner gas stove. There is a water faucet about 10 ft away. The "camp store" is a few dozen yards away, it is on the honor system & has granola bars, ramen & such.
Toilet facilitys is a privy.
The 2 showers are in seperate "buildings" connected by a porch, there is ample room inside each to change clothing. To take a HOT shower requires the owner to turn on the water heater (this is on the "rules" posting by the frontdoor of the big bunkhouse, but I sort of failed to read this & so took a cold shower :p )
They also accept mail drops.

My impression: A must stay place IMHO.


12-11-2003, 21:54
Regrettably didn't stay here, however I picked up a maildrop in the early AM and hung around for maybe 3 hours, eating, checking email, letting gear dry and chatting with Curtis, the wonderful host of this place. This place is a hikers dream. This is one hostel (Kincorra another) that doesn't care about the money. This is a project of his (and his wifes). He built all the cabins and buildings himself and seemed to genuinely love hikers. Hes done a lot of hiking himself. They also supposedly run a fine mexican/bluegrass restaunt open on weekends called the front porch. The resupply is a bit shotty, but they do hold maildrops for free.
We all picked up a few items to get us to hot springs. Curtis would make a quick estimated guess as to how much to give us. Unfortunately his lax system can end up hurting his business, but that apparently is not why he does it. The food was very reasonably priced. They've got cook it urself hamburgers with a grill and fixins etc.
In short, great place!

12-12-2003, 11:12
During my 2001 thru I was the 12th hiker to stay at the Standing Bear. It's just what I visioned a AT hiker hostel would be like. Curtis and Maria are just great people. I had the best Mexican breakfast, cooked by Maria, I ever had. It's a great location and I consider it a must stop along the way.

12-12-2003, 12:34
Curtis rocks, in a subdued low-key sort of way. Maybe he pebbles. Sitting around the firepit pulling cold beers from the stream adjacent the cabins was one of the more relaxing and enjoyable evenings I had on the trail. And I dig his carpentry style.

If you get a chance, mosey back up to the old barn and tobacco-drying shack behind his place while you are there. It's fun just eyeballing the old debris and detritus.

12-12-2003, 14:21
Overnighted there on my hike this year. Great place and great people. Make sure that you take in a trip to the Mexican Blue Grass restaurant where Maria (Curtiss's) wife works. You have to bring your own 6 pack (funny beer/liqour laws) but the food and atmosphere are great. Yee Haa !!

12-12-2003, 14:22
Is this on the same road that Mt. Momma's is? You turn left rather than right? I don't remember it in 2001. We did go to Mt Momma's though. I won't complain about that here :)

Gravity Man

Jack Tarlin
12-12-2003, 15:30
No, it's a different road, but it's only a little bit past Mountain Mommas's, and is, in my opinion, a much better spot. Beautiful place, beautiful people, very highly recommended!

Details on how to get there can be found in either the Thru-hiker's Companion or the Thru-Hiker's Handbook. (The Companion is availablke on-line at www.aldha.org)

Spiritual Pillgrim
03-13-2006, 14:33
Just wanted to give a big thanx to Curtis for letting me hop on the net in his house as I was passing thru. The hikers monitor in the washroom was kaput. Didn't want to have 8-10 days of journal updates to do once I hit Hot Springs.

03-13-2006, 15:25
Standing Indian Bear.Great place, good people.

06-08-2006, 06:40
Standing Bear is a perfect location if you want to section-hike GSMNP. Here's what we did: drove down from Michigan on a Saturday, stayed overnight at Standing Bear. In the morning, Curtis shuttled us over to Fontana Dam to start our hike. We left our truck at the hostel all week and it was very protected and safe - no worries about vandalism.

We spent 7 days hiking through the park. About three miles north of Davenport Gap, the AT crosses the road on which Standing Bear is located -- you only have to hike a couple hundred yards off the trail to get to the hostel.

Curtis is great!

06-08-2006, 08:38
I had the greatest time at Standing Bear Farm....spent a couple days over Easter. A memory that will not soon be forgotten!.......look for the rock over the foot bridge about 1.5 miles past 41. It's worth it!

06-08-2006, 10:06
Spent quite a bit of time there this year. Had a great time Curtis is one of the true original characters on the trail. He loves hikers and is very laid back and mellow. The whole farm is a real treat. Hangin', playin' horseshoes, havin' a beer. The fire at night with some music in the background. Standing Bear IS one of the must stays on the trail.
p.s. like Miss Janet's his place is on the honor system, so don't screw him over!

Rain Man
06-08-2006, 10:32
In April 2004 I dropped my truck off at SBF and my sister shuttled me and her son (my nephew) around to The Hike Inn near Fontana, where we spent the night with a bunch of snow-bound thrus. On Monday we hiked into the GSMNP (sister picked up my nephew at Newfound Gap and I kept hiking). Friday evening I came back out at SBF and a thru and I drove over to the restaurant in Cosby that Maria manages for her parents. Got to listen to some good local live music as we ate some good Tex-Mex.

In November 2004, wife and I went back to SBF, spent the night in the cabin over the creek, and hit the trail the next morning. Curtis shuttled my truck up to Hot Springs for us and it was there at the trail head parking lot when we got there three days later.

SBF is a nice place, has a nice rustic quaintness, and Curtis is a great host and has always been helpful on the phone or by email. He maintains a darn good re-supply inventory, plus frozen pizzas. He'll even run you into the nearest town if he can fit it into his schedule.

The web site is at--
Maria Guzman or Curtis Owen
4255 Green Corner Rd.
Hartford, TN 37753
mailto:[email protected]

The only reason I won't be back soon is that my section hiking has gotten me past SBF now.



06-08-2006, 10:40
I second everything good that has been said here about SBF, Curtis and Maria.
I had one of the best trail experiences ever at Standing Bear Farm. Stayed a couple nights over Memorial Weekend. It is memories like this that I treasure most!

John B
06-08-2006, 12:28
And I second SouthMark's second. SBF is a great place and deserves all the accolades that it receives. Three cheers to Curtis and Maria for running a great hostel!

06-05-2007, 11:07
Stayed here in May 2007 and got a shuttle from Curtis to Spivey Gap. He was very efficient, and even gave us directions to Maria's Mexican Bluegrass restaurant (food is a little suspect there, but it was fun). Curtis is quite a character with a fun sense of humor.

Most of the register comments I've read along the way were very positive. However, there was a female hiker who had a negative experience. There were two women in our party who had no problem.

We stayed at two hostels during the section hike - Elmer's and Standing Bear. Two very different places, but nice & fun nonetheless

Chaco Taco
06-18-2007, 08:40
If the computer monitor is down, anyone out there got an extra to donate to him. Did he ever get his dryer fixed?

Yea I think it is pretty obvious who the man is. Curtis you are the best. See ya in August. Ill bring more Whisky!

08-07-2007, 10:09
The dryer was working June 28th, 2007 when I stayed there. http://flyingfishmanky.com/id28.html