View Full Version : Gatlinburg TN.

12-10-2002, 21:29
As far as i'm concerned the next time im hiking right through the Smokies and not stopping in Gatlinburg.

First off this is the town where I got the info about my cheating woman after 10 years and where I ended my 2002 hike. Second this town can suck you in with its many comforts (and booze). And third I loved the views in the Smokies but didn't like the rules and having to stay in the shelters. (met some annoying person in the Smokies whom I couldn't shake). So next time i'm going to hike through as fast as I can.

12-11-2002, 08:45
Gatlinburg was terrifc to us. We arrived at a PACKED parking lot at Newfound gap, found a quick (albeit cramped!) ride into Gatlinburg with two old lady lesbians from Florida and their grandchildren, got more than we thought we would for under thirty bucks at the Grand Prix, we took the 25 cent trolley everywhere and saved our walking feet, and there are literally more than 10 baskin robbins just on the main strip alone. Gatlinburg was full of tacky, over-the-top things to do on a "day off", they had great internet access at the public library, were in the process of opening a brand new, huge Food Lion grocery store (we went up the road becuase this one wasn't open when we passed through) and friendly people at the Post office. They have an all-you-can-eat Shoneys, and more Ripley's Believeit or Not museums than you could ever hope for in a lifetime. Not to mention the Smoky Mtn Brewery with excellent, HUGE beers, cheap. The Happy Hiker outfitter there was extremely freidnly, helpful, and gave us a free shuttle back to the trail the next mornign and even brougth us coffee. The best part of Gatlinburg (besides the Ripley's Aqaurium, whihc is expensive but worth it) was that no one, NO ONE looked at us strangley as we walked around, filthy, with packs, in seemingly ratty clothes, etc. We got no stares, no comments, and just blended right in with the general population of tourists. It was like a vacation from the trail, and broke the Smokies us into two nice chunks.

Lone Wolf
12-11-2002, 09:14
I agree Jumpstart. I'm partial to the Grand Prix cuz I'm the one who started the tradition of staying there back in 1987. I got it listed in the guidebooks anyway. Gatlinburg CAN be a cheap stay if you don't get sucked in. But like Easyhiker says if you drink a lot of beer there goes your funds. In 2000 I spent around $600 bucks in 3 days! I was buying EVERYBODY drinks at the brewery. It's also really easy to get into and out of Gatlinburg.

12-11-2002, 11:21
The Brewery is very hiker friendly. Our group ordered a pizza (the best I had on the trail) and we got half way thru it when we realized it didn't have everything on it that we ordered. We were not going to make a big deal about it, and didn't tell the waitress, but she had over heard us talking and brought out another one free of change. She didn't even tell us that she had overheard us until she brought out the pizza.

When we looked down at the pizza, the waitress realized that it missing the same ingredient, and offered us ANOTHER free pizza. We declined, saying that they had already been to kind to us.

12-11-2002, 19:45
I would blow right by Gatlinburg. I hate driving through it when I'm kicking around the Smokys, although it is alot better than some of the other towns close to the park and it is an easy hitch, I am told, from Newfound Gap. It isn't a particularly long haul from Fontana to Hot Springs, but if the weather is bad, Gatlinburg is a good option. Many thruhikers I knew exercised this option during an icestorm in the Smokys this May.

12-12-2002, 01:52
I had a good time in Gatlinburg when I went through. Not a big deal to hitch in and out in a day, but it can get expensive when you start slamming the beers, hit Shoneys etc...Stayed at the Grand Prix as well. If you got $$$ hang out for a night and have some fun, if not get in and back out up to Icewater asap haha!

12-12-2002, 03:10
I have to give Gatlinburg one huge pat on the back for The Happy Hiker. We found the outfitter on a quick vacation last Dec. But we didn't think too much about it until this past spring. We hitched in while doing the AT through the Smokies in late Feb-early March. We needed more fuel since it was our first trip with 3 people (Kodiak, his mom and myself). An employee from the Happy Hiker picked us up at Newfound Gap, took us into town, drove us to Wendy's :-), took us to the store (where everyone was wonderful), then took us to his place and gave us badly needed crampons for free. Since then we have kept in touch with the Happy Hiker and have been very, very satisfied. They are working towards making Gat. a more hiker friendly town (providing "hostels" and all). Definitely worth some consideration!