View Full Version : GSMNP first week of December

11-01-2010, 17:09
Planning to walk the AT through GSMNP the first week in December and wondering if a 20 degree bag would be enough? I'm guessing water conditions might not be any better by then. My first time through the Park...any advice/suggestions appreciated. Cheers.

11-01-2010, 19:59
It is hard to say. Late Nov and Early Dec are hard to predict weather wise. 1 year I was up there for Thanksgiving and it was very moderate temps. Last year I was up there the first week of Dec and had freezing rain/sleet. Temps at night are likely to be dropping into the low 20s, maybe even teens at the higher elevations (Silers, Double Springs, Icewater, and TriCorner).

Inside the shelters, with extra layers of clothing, you will probably be ok with 20 degree bag. It also depends on whether you are a warm or cold sleeper. If you tend to get chilled easily, then plan to take a couple extra layers to sleep in while inside the bag.

Have fun. Maybe I will see you out there. I will most likely be in the Mollies/Russell/Spence area the first weekend of Dec.

11-02-2010, 09:04
I hiked the Northern section (NFgap-I-40) last year Thanksgiving weekend & when I got to New Found Gap to start it was frozen over, 16 degrees & very windy it was a great hike & did warm up during the day to 40ish. I had a 15 degree dDown bag which & a 1.5" thermarest & was fine.

Serial 07
11-02-2010, 09:28
most likely your gonna be cold...

11-02-2010, 10:17
I have been up there in December before and you don't know what to expect. Take a zero degree bag or a 20 with a bag liner.

Hikes in Rain
11-02-2010, 12:10
When I did the Smokies in November, it dropped to 8 degrees at Derrick Knob, with what felt like a 40 mph wind whipping over the ridge. Cut right through my down parka, the two wool shirts, and the base layer. I carried my big, bulky, beautiful old -15 degree bag from my time in Alaska, and was very happy for it. Especially the looks I got with my few shelter mates when I announced I needed to take some clothes off so I wouldn't get too warm!

11-03-2010, 23:41
Last November I hiked from double spring gap shelter to clingmans dome in shorts (weather is the high 60's low 70's). A couple of weeks before they actually had snow up that high and a week later temps were in the teens. Prepare for cold temps because you just never know.

11-04-2010, 08:47
Coldest I've ever been was in the Smokies. Has a 15 deg bag, a 1# down jacket, rain/wind gear, etc. Freezing cold, snowing, howling wind. It was early October. This was following a day when I hiked in a tshirt and skirt and was perfectly warm.

11-05-2010, 02:02
Published AVERAGE temperatures show Highs in the mid 50's and Low's around freezing in Gatlinburg, with Highs around 40 and Low's in the mid 20's at Clingman's Dome.

But by example of what others mean that you just have to wait and see what that week is like... I'm in the Deep South, it's the 1st week of November, and temperatures are dropping to mid 20's this weekend.

11-06-2010, 10:22
I have to agree that it's hard to predict. One of the coldest nights I ever spent in the Park - about 5F - was on Cataloochee Bald, which is about the same altitude as the east end of the AT, and that was in mid-October...