View Full Version : Fontana Dam, north, last week of September

TJ Hiker
08-27-2012, 22:42
Hi all. I'm just a section hiker, starting at Fontana on this trip and going north, last week of September. Looking for any advice on bear activity and shelters. Thanks.

08-27-2012, 22:49
Have your reservations?

TJ Hiker
08-27-2012, 22:53
Reservations is on my list for tomorrow's calls. I should have called a couple of days ago...sometimes I allow work to get in the way of planning my fun. I'm finally learning that this isn't necessarily always the best plan.

08-27-2012, 23:38
I live in TN and did that section 3.5 months ago and it was great! You're gonna love it...what kinda ques ya got?

08-28-2012, 00:29
Check the national park web site just before you leave for the latest in bear warnings and closures due to bear activity: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm

When I started hiking in the Smokies, there were an estimated 400 bears in the whole park. Today, that number is about 1,500. In past years, it was rare for me to ever see a bear. This years, out of 5 trips, I've seen at least 1 bear on 4 of them.

In most cases, the moment the bear detected my presence (like 0.5 to 3 seconds after I spotted him) he quickly disappered off-trail. Only once did a bear approach me. I don't know if it was because I was in side a shelter (behind the "food" bench/table) or because I had food out. But even that bear ran off with just a single shout.

The park service has done a great job at trying to keep people and bears seperated... and the main way they have done that is to keep people food away from the bears. So you have to do your part to keep bears away from your food. Don't leave your food laying out at any time you're not eating or actively preparing meals, and make sure to use the bear cables located at all the GSMNP shelters and camp-sites. DON'T SLEEP WITH YOUR FOOD. I would be willing to bet that something like 90+% of the time a camp site is closed due to bear activity, it hasn't been the fault of the bear, but the fault of hikers not following the rules about keeping their food protected from bears.

08-30-2012, 21:36
My son and I will be hiking the same section beginning the 16th. Looking forward to it and have been checking for water info. Reservations made.

08-30-2012, 22:40
"just a section hiker"?!?!?!?......be loud, be proud my man!!! Been section hiking annually since 1987...made it from Springer to Pawling so far.