View Full Version : Smokies AT Photo Project

Saluki Dave
05-05-2004, 21:18
Hey All,

I'm doing the Mollie's Ridge - Derrick Knob section for the AT Photo project and I was wondering the best way to handle the to/from logistics. I'm planning on going Fontana to Clingman's and hitching to the car at Fontana on Sunday. being just back to work, I'd like to avoid paying the $75 or $100 for a shuttle if I could help it. Is this wishful thinking? What's it like hitching out of the park?


05-05-2004, 22:16
Well...that's an easy one. I just got back from Clingman's Dome. I did some sunset photos from the tower. Cold up there tonight- strong breeze.
Met two nobos that started April 18...both female and neither had a trail name yet. Yup, there are still people heading through the park.
Anyway, It is 42 miles from my driveway to Clingman's Dome Parking lot.
What time do you want me to pick you up on Sunday ? :)

Saluki Dave
05-05-2004, 22:32
...for the offer, but we won't be there til the 31st of this month. Can I take you up on it then? Gas and lunch (or dinner; I'm kinda slow) is on me.

05-06-2004, 02:01
Bummer. The 31st is Memorial Day. I won't be able to do it. Sorry. The good news though is that you shouldn't have a problem finding a ride that weekend. The park will be a zoo.

05-06-2004, 11:40
Hitching to/from Fontana to/from Clingman's will be a little tough, as Fontana is a bit out of the way. It is doable, but I would give yourself plenty of time to do it. Another option is to do a loop that takes in the Mollies->Derrick section. In fact, I have a trip report of something like this somewhere in the the Members Reports section. Basically, from Fontana, head up the AT all the way to just past Silar Bald, from there, you can pick up a sequence of trails taking you back to Fontana, passing by High Rocks, which is one of the better viewpoints in the Smokys and is out of reach of day hikers. The entire southern area is fairly remote, and I've seen the most (wild) bears here. Take the Welch Ridge, Cold Spring, Hazel Creek, and Lakeshore trails back to Fontana. The Lakeshore has been re-routed, but I hiked the old one and found it in good condition. It was rerrouted because the old route involved a lot of stream crossings. This is longer than what you have planned, but I think it is also a lot nicer.

Another (long) loop would start in Abrams Creek campground and go up and over Gregory Bald before dropping down to the AT and up to Mollies Ridge (about 23 miles). Then, along the AT to Derrick, dropping down on some of the many trails back to Abrams. This is long, like 70 miles. It can be shortened by a tremendous amount (maybe down to 30-40 miles) by starting near Cades Cove.