View Full Version : Preparation

03-13-2011, 16:38
My friends and I are planning to hike a section of the Appalachian trail in June. We want to hike somewhere around the great smokey mountains. I have several questions though.

1) Where is a good section to hike, we plan on hiking for 4 days
2) Where do we park?
3) Do we need any permits for parking or camping?

Llama Legs
03-13-2011, 20:38
How about Dicks Creek Gap southbound to Neels Gap? Should be able to make it in 4 days and you can leave a car within walking distance from Neels Gap. You could also stay overnight at Mountain Crossings when you finish. Nice sample of the AT without dealing with GSMNP permits...

03-13-2011, 20:47
If you want to hike IN the GSMNP, you'll need permits to camp. Or you can hike either just north or just south of the park, and you'll find great scenery and not need camping permits.

The 60 miles south of the park, from Fontana Dam to Winding Stair Gap, is a nice hike. Tough terrain with a lot of up and down, though, so it might take longer than 4 days depending on your experience level. But there are several places to make a shorter hike if you want (start at Stecoah Gap and hike south to WSG, for example. That would be a great hike.)

Several places to park and get shuttles in the Franklin, NC area.

03-13-2011, 21:13
Park at Standing Bear Hostel, have Curtis shuttle you to New Found Gap, hike back to your car @ 35 miles. Easy hiking & great scenery. Reserve Shuttle early

03-14-2011, 07:31
I'm with bigcranky, although I'd hike INTO the NOC. Great way to end the hike with food, beer, and a shower! :)

Chaco Taco
03-14-2011, 08:09
Hike Fontana South to NOC. You avoid the 2 insane climbs, Stecoah and Cheoah but you still get the great views. Unless you enjoy uphill and dread downhill. The climb up the back end of Cheoah from Stecoah is moderate climb.

Chaco Taco
03-14-2011, 08:11
Newfound to Standing Bear is great also, but you have to stay in shelters, which sucks. If you do this, Id suggest going up Leconte via the boulevard for a little added bonus. Great views from Myrtle Point and the climb is unique

03-14-2011, 14:32
Thanks everyone. I'm going to start looking into all the suggestions

03-29-2011, 15:44
Change of plans, we decided to hike out 2 days and back 2 days. So I assume we could do 15 miles a day and we have 4 days to spend so from where to where should we hike and hike back?

I know it's not ideal, but it's the only thing that works for us since we're low on $$$

03-29-2011, 16:11
Look into doing a loop hike then, out and backs suck. Get the Trails Illustrated map of the Smokies and just pick something convenient. You really can't go wrong with any of the trails in the Smokies so whatever random loop you choose will turn out awesome!

03-29-2011, 16:14
Yeah, I'd definatly look for off-AT hikes in the smokies.

You can camp at one of the campsites, have 2 people park the car at newfound Gap and hitch back to the campsite, then finish the hike at your car.