View Full Version : PLanning GSMNP on the AT during Thanksgiving week

09-13-2010, 20:26
I have been on the AT going N & S into Damascus VA in the early spring for 2-3 days at the time. Not sure about the GSMNP at the end of Nov.? I'm in no rush and going to take my time, however I need some helpful hints. Going North staight thru. I am excited! Not happy about staying in the shelters for I snore and loose friends quickly.:rolleyes: I plan on taking a bivy to keep my bag dry just in case. This is my first week long trip and need to learn the ropes. I'm sure I came to the right place. I do know to get a permit. How cold can it possibly get that time of year, do I still hang food at night in Nov.?, what degree bag to take? etc... 20 years ago the Army gave me what they thought I needed. Just don't want to be surprised. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks guys!

09-13-2010, 21:18
10 - 20 F bag - depends on you, daytime clothing to deal with 25F and RAIN, go on the park service website for weather info reservation/permit info etc, make your reservations asap, bivy is always a good idea/back up plan for staying in shelters, if you snore remember- you did not make the smokies shelter rules- hang food all year, mice etc. are less in winter but are still around. I may possibly do the smokies in Nov, keep in touch, I will PM my direct email

09-14-2010, 10:06
Ive hiked the smokies and nantahalas the week befor thanksgiving every year for the last 10 or so years and you never know what to expect. Ive had days in the 60s and days of constant rain or snow. Go prepared to stay dry and warm and you should be ok.

09-14-2010, 11:55
Check out the National Park Weather Web page: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/weather.htm

Scroll down to "For Clingmans Dome (high elevation)"

That will give you an idea of the "average" climate at the upper elevations of the AT through the Smokies. But like chelko said, you really have to check weather forcasts to know what you are LIKELY to encounter. Even then, the weather up in the moutains can be different from the weather forecasts.

About the only thing that can be said with much of any certainty is that the nights are most likely to be below freezing, and you most likely won't see many other camper (at least compared to spring time).

09-14-2010, 11:59
Not happy about staying in the shelters for I snore and loose friends quickly.:rolleyes:

Any help will be appreciated. Thanks guys!

Bring a packet of earplugs. You may keep the friends longer.

09-15-2010, 19:21
Thanks guys! I will prepare for possible rain and take the plugs. I am hoping for snow.