View Full Version : Fontana Dam to Clingman's Dome

08-01-2011, 15:35
Will be doing this section over 3 days this month. Has anyone been out on this section lately? According to the thru-hiker handbook, water looks plentiful. Is there any reason to think otherwise?

Next question: I stopped a section at Fontana a few years ago; and from what I remember, I was very glad to stop instead of climbing out of Fontana (looked steep). Is that climb as bad as it looked?

Morning Glory
08-01-2011, 15:50
It's been pretty dry in this area. I wouldn't count on having much water on day 1, including at Mollies Ridge. The camping area about 5 or 6 miles in may have water.

08-01-2011, 16:00
The first 4 miles or so to the shuckstack fire tower are pretty steep but the trail is well graded. I would do this hike southbound. I have done it both ways and starting at Clingmans Dome is much more enjoyable. Day one about 10 miles to Derrick Knob. Day two 11.5 miles to Mollies Ridge. Day three 9 miles to Fontana. Park you car at the trailhead parking at lakeview drive west. (park side of dam). Then hit the showers after your hike before you head home. This is such a great part of the trail. It would be a shame not to enjoy it because you are continually sucking wind from climbing all day.

sore ankle
08-01-2011, 19:53
Be sure to take the side trail to the fire tower on Shuckstack. The views are incredible.

08-01-2011, 20:44
I did this section in May. It was all uphill for those 4 miles, but really not too bad. I liked it so much I did it twice (just before the tower, I realized I forgot my food bag at the Hilton, doh!)

08-02-2011, 08:57
Thanks for the info everyone!

08-03-2011, 00:15
I 2nd the SOBO direction but I say park at the visitors parking lot on the other side of the dam. Walking across the dam makes a great finish to this hike! I did this section a year ago, You'll love it & definitely climb the shuckstack!

08-03-2011, 08:17
I 3rd the SOBO I did it the first of May this year & glad I did it south.

Mike (Mr. Mean)