View Full Version : Clingman’s Dome to Fontana Dam - Can it be done in 2 days?

02-14-2010, 16:45
I am doing some preliminary planning for a 2 day hike in the Smokies in mid-June.

My son and I will be staying near Gatlinburg for the week, but will only have 2 days available to hike. I know that the AT in the Smokies is rugged, but I was wondering if it was possible to hike SB from Clingman’s Dome to Fontana Dam in just 2 days. Since we would go SB, there would be more downhill than up, but I know that there will be plenty of both. It looks like it is about 32 miles, and we would plan to spend the night at Spence Field Shelter or Russell Field Shelter (for which I know we would need reservations).

Is this a totally unrealistic goal? We hiked last year from Springer to Deep Gap, NC in 5 days without too much trouble.

Thanks for any advice you can give.

SGT Rock
02-14-2010, 16:51
It can be done.

You are looking at doing a little over 32 miles in two days. That is a solid pair of 16 mile days. The last day is mostly downhill.

Hopefully you already have your trail legs or close to it. Some people have trouble banging out two 16s when they first get moving.

02-14-2010, 18:45
Uuh, sure, it can be done in two days

02-14-2010, 19:30
THe distance can be done in 2 days. Actually, there have been hikers that have done it in one. And there are hikers that speed hike the entire park in a single day. It depends on how much you are carrying, whether you are in shape, and the weather.

The road to Clingman's dome from Newfound Gap is closed until mid May. That will tack on an additional 7 miles on day one. Also, expect snow at higher elevations anytime through mid April. (may not be there, but could be)

02-14-2010, 19:35
You shouldn't have any problems doing that in 2 days. Russell Field is the shelter that is in the worst shape in the park. I would avoid it if I could.

02-14-2010, 21:08
Absolutely can be done without much problem at all. Done it myself. Oh, and the road won't be closed in Mid June...

02-14-2010, 21:57
Sure. Just be in decent shape mentally and physically. I hiked it uphill (Fontana to Clingman's) in two days on my thru-hike. And have your reservation for your shelter in order.

02-14-2010, 22:23
I second the motion to avoid Russell Field Shelter. When I was there in September it was still closed but it smelled pungent and there was actually mildew on the sleeping quarters. Spence Field would be a great spot for you, you will both likely be very tired after the climb to Thunderhead and Rocky Top. The only climb you'd have on day 2 would be from Russell Field up to Mollie's Ridge. Have a great time!

05-15-2010, 07:29
I did it in two long days .

05-15-2010, 23:57
They're now saying 18 June for the road opening...