View Full Version : 6 Days for the AT, which shelters?

06-29-2009, 21:10
I'm planning on doing the 70 miles of GSMNP in 6 days. I just don't know how to break it up to make it as easy as possible. The obvious shelters for the first and last nights are Mollies Ridge and Cosby Knob. What should be the other shelters I stay at?

06-29-2009, 21:43
Plan under the assumption the shelters are chock full every night... because it's more than possible.

06-30-2009, 11:58
For my upcoming section hike, I'm planning:

1 Fontana Dam, NC to Mollies Ridge Shelter 11.0
2 Mollies Ridge Shelter to Derrick Knob Shelter 11.7
3 Derrick Knob Shelter to Silers Bald Shelter 5.5
4 Silers Bald Shelter to Mt. Collins Shelter 8.0
5 Mt. Collins Shelter to Peck’s Corner Shelter 14.9
6 Peck’s Corner Shelter to Cosby Knob Shelter 12.6
7 Cosby Knob Shelter to Davenport Gap, Tenn. 8.0

06-30-2009, 12:13
I should add that since past sectioning experience has shown the third day is when I feel the pain the most (on my tired old trailegs), I always try to plan an easier day #3. After a short day 3, I'm usually ready for anything. Plus, my pack's lots lighter!!

06-30-2009, 13:27
Thanks a lot Pyro. I'm going to go off what you said and make the 3rd day the shortest.

Here is what I came up with:

1. Mollies Ridge 11.0
2. Derrick Knob 12.0
3. Double Spring Gap 7.2
4. Icewater Springs 13.8
5. Tricorner Knob 12.6
6. Big Creek Ranger Station via Chestnut Branch Trail 15.8

06-30-2009, 13:49
I like it. I just realized, my itinerary is 7 days...duh! I like your plan.

06-30-2009, 13:58
south of newfound gap is tougher hiking than north of newfound gap! after ice water springs shelter the hiking is easy. alot of thruhikers do their first 20 mile day on this section. maybe your longer days could be north of newfound gap

07-01-2009, 00:18
Not sure when you are heading out, but check the park service regarding shelter closings due to bear activity. There are bear warnings currently at Mollies Ridge, Spence Field, Mt Collins, Icewater, and Tri corner. Russell is currently CLOSED.

Your itinerary looks manageable. Do note that your hardest day, per the current schedule is from Mollies to Derrick Knob. You will be feeling the affects of your first day out (mostly uphill) and you are planning to go over Rocky Top and Thunderhead, in addition to the roller coaster between Thunderhead and Derrick. Give yourself lots of daylight hours to get through that section.

Have a great hike.

07-01-2009, 12:01
Forgive me, I'll try not to hijack the thread, but original poster may benefit as well...if Mollies Ridge to Derrick Knob might be tough (especially with a full food bag), to change this we'd have to do some bigger miles elsewhere...

So what's the hike like from Derrick Knob Shelter to Mt Collins Shelter (13.5 mi of mostly ups, over Silers Bald, Clingmans Dome, and Mt. Love)?

07-01-2009, 12:30
From Derrick Knob, you have a gradual uphill to Siler Bald, not bad at all. From Siler, you have a climb up Buckley, then a gradual uphill to Clingman's. It is pretty manageable. From Clingman's, it is a gradual downhill most of the way. There is a slight climb up Mt Love and a slight climb up Mt Collins. This is definitely an easier 13 miles than from Mollies to Derrick.

The section from Siler Bald to Icewater was worked as part of the National Trails Day project in the Smokies. We had 160 volunteers working on steps and waterbars in that section. It is in pretty good shape.

07-01-2009, 13:11
[quote=pyroman53;862128]if Mollies Ridge to Derrick Knob might be tough (especially with a full food bag), to change this we'd have to do some bigger miles elsewhere...

north of newfound