View Full Version : Smokies Loop

02-13-2011, 23:56
So, I am getting out for another hike in the Smokies. Highly anticipating it since my January hike was canceled due to weather.

It will be my wife and I and one of my buddies. I am really wanting to get my Lunar Duo set up so not looking to stay in a shelter. We will have 2 full days of hiking and then only enough to allow us to return back to our car and drive the 5 hr drive back home (of course and hoping that I won't get home too late since we work the next morning).

So, here is one option that I am looking at:

Day 1:
Park at Fontana
AT North ~ 3.7 miles
Twenty Mile Trail ~ 1.9 miles
Twenty Mile Loop Trail ~ 2.9 miles
Wolf Ridge Trail ~ 1 mile to CS #95 for the night.

Day 2:
Continue on Wolf Ridge Trail ~ 4.2 miles
Bald Trail ~ 3.2 miles
AT South ~ 2 miles to CS #113 for the night.

Day 3:
Continue south on AT back to Fontana to car and head home.

So, does anyone have any comments about this section? How about the camp sites? I see that 95 is not a reservation site, so how is it? Is it clean? Is it a relatively nice camp site with a decent place to put a few tents?

How about 113? I will have to reserve it, but what kind of condition is it in?

How about water sources? It looks like we will cross a few small streams on Twenty Mile Trail and it looks like there is a small stream near CS 95, but after that it looks like nothing. So, would we need to load up on enough water for 2 days at CS 95?

How about the trail conditions? Elevations? I will pull out the little brown book and look at each trail listing a little closer, but haven't done so yet. Any tips though?

How about views through here, any good ones?

I am not dead set on this trail, but it seems to be about the best one I can come up with. I don't want to really do any sections I have already done, which is the Alum Cave and Newfound area. Since Clingmans Dome is not open til April that shuts down a nice little loop back there. I have also done the section up around Cosby. Haven't done the Mt Camerer loop but CS 35 is still shut down. My only time concern is getting any reservation sites reserved since I am now in that 30 day window.


02-23-2011, 01:23
Well, the above itinerary is the one we decided on going with.


We planning on driving in somewhere around Fontana late (maybe 12 or 1 am) the night before we start our hike the next morning. How about a place to stay around here. Don't want to bust into a shelter that late at night and disturb everyone, but any campsites or other options? Hotels?

Also, is there a place for us to grab some breakfast at Fontana before hiking out the next morning, or should we break out our stoves and make some?

Thanks for any suggestions.

02-23-2011, 01:38
Fontana Village is not far from there and has accommodations. Cherokee is also relatively close to there with numerous hotels. If you go to Cherokee eat at Peter's Pancakes. It's the bomb. Cherokee is about an hours drive from there but Robinsville is thirty minutes closer. I suppose it really depends on where you're coming from. Might want to stay at the last big town before Fontana.

I would imagine water isn't a huge issue on the trail you're taking but it might involve some treking down hill and then back up hill.

The climb up to Sassafras Gap where Twentymile branches off from Fontana is fairly steep and then you'll go downhill again on Twentymile and then uphill again to the ridge line where 13 is but you're not making huge miles at all so you should be more than fine.

I have not been to Campsite 113 as when I walked by it was a bit downhill from the AT but I've heard it's quite nice with tent platforms.

02-23-2011, 01:41
There's a spring past Gregory bald on the Gregory Bald Trail.
95 used to be real nice but I haven't been there in a long time.

02-23-2011, 01:42
You have The Hiker Inn which is East 6miles down the road.Here is the name 828-479-3677 and Fontana Lodge 800-849-2258.Hope this helps.HS

02-23-2011, 01:44
The lodge at Fontana Village is usually pretty reasonable.
Robinsville has several motels. Sometimes it's full of bikers but may it be to early for that.

02-23-2011, 01:51
Awesome, so what about parking at the dam? I would like to walk across the dam heading north to start our hike, if that is possible.

Thanks for all the replies.

And HS, how is that tat looking?

02-23-2011, 02:01
Several years ago I left the RV at the Fontana Dam to take a 7 day hike in the park.

The day we got out I asked the security guard at the dam if there was a camp ground around close. He told me to just back it up to the back of the parking area and spend the night, he said lots of people spend the night there getting ready to hike the next day.

He also told me if I did not want to sleep in the lot, there was a campground at the bottom of the Dam. I spent the night in the lot.

It may be different now, maybe you could call the visitor center and ask if it is.

02-23-2011, 07:49
Parking at the dam is good. There's a big parking lot.

02-23-2011, 11:04
Awesome, so what about parking at the dam? I would like to walk across the dam heading north to start our hike, if that is possible.

Thanks for all the replies.

And HS, how is that tat looking?

Tat is awesome!going to have alittle touch up work on the white blaze once we get back from hiking this weekend(max patch/Hot Springs).Have fun on your hike,looks like a good plan.HS