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  1. #1
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    Post Conditions southern AT late October thru Dec?

    Any advice for a section hike south of the Smokies to Springer in late October thru Dec? Water availability and resupply especially. Considering a loop with Benton MacKaye.

    I'm guessing almost all campgrounds and amenities will be closed.

    Are conditions typically dry, springs not running, with downed leaves covering smaller water sources? Or is water not a problem?

    Thanks for any insight!

    PS I've found temperature averages online:

    Dahlonega GA (1450')

    October . 70° / 46°

    November . 61° / 37°

    December 52° / 31°


    So if I expect 10F lower on AT, for example Blood Mtn at 4461' will be:

    October 60F/36F

    November 51F/27F

    December 42F/21F

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfred View Post
    Any advice for a section hike south of the Smokies to Springer in late October thru Dec? Water availability and resupply especially.
    My experience is you'll have no problems to speak of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfred View Post
    I'm guessing almost all campgrounds and amenities will be closed.
    Why is that? This ain't the North, where they close up shop on Labor Day. Buncha whimps!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfred View Post
    PS I've found temperature averages online:

    ... I expect 10F lower on AT, for example Blood Mtn at 4461' will be:

    November 51F/27F

    December 42F/21F
    I'd say your estimate for averages on Blood Mountain in Nov & Dec are way too low.

    If there's one thing I'd prepare for, it might be cold rain. That's more possible than the other concerns you mentioned, at least in my book.
    Last edited by Rain Man; 06-15-2018 at 11:12.
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  3. #3
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    The locals would know much better of course, but my guess is that the average conditions are fantastic that time of year on the southern AT. The AT SOBO's finish their hikes in that time frame, do they not? Check some of their blogs/journals perhaps. My wife and I might be doing large southern AT section this October/November ourselves.

  4. #4

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    Depends on how many hurricanes come up out of the gulf.
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  5. #5

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    October can be anywhere from insanely hot and dry to perfect.
    By late nov 35f and rain is possibility, or it can be perfect


    Wont know till a week before

    I go for fall oct walks on southern AT most yrs. Conditions are usually good. 70 for high, lows in 40s. In recent years I've seen highs of 90s in nov and lows of 17. So it just depends.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 06-15-2018 at 12:40.

  6. #6

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    I would guess the southern AT would be fantastic that time of year.

    Deer gun hunting season is your window. Best to have some blaze orange apparel if hiking through NF and state lands during that time. Check each states DNR season dates prior to your trip.

  7. #7
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    I remember we did a long weekend on the Georgia AT over Thanksgiving a few years ago. Temperatures got down in the 20s, maybe teens. There was light snow on the ground, and it was cold.

    Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy hit the Smokies in late October one year. Record October snowfall at Clingman's Dome/Newfound Gap. SOBO thru-hikers totally unprepared, getting rescued by helicopter, or waiting it out in Hot Springs.

    So cold wintry weather is a possibility. Or it might be really nice. Oct/Nov is a great time to be outdoors. Clear crisp air, leaves in every hue from evergreen to butter yellow and orange gold and rusty red and tan and brown.

  8. #8
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    Did Max Patch to Hot Springs in late Oct 2017...65 degrees during day and mid 40s at night. Gorgeous. Snowed 4 inches at Max Patch 2 weeks later lol.

  9. #9

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    October is the driest month of the year in the Smokies, but that doesn’t mean it won’t rain. December is the start of winter, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be warm and sunny. I’m probably just echoing previous comments, but the point is, in the Southeast you cannot make assumptions and generalizations about the weather. You just need to check the forecast, plan the best you can and be prepared in case your information is wrong.

  10. #10

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    I’ve hiked that area in the fall. Beautiful time of the year with cool nights and warm comfortable days. O water problems at all when I’ve done it although if it’s a dry summer the streams can get low.

  11. #11
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    Cold can occur anytime in those months but esp Nov-Dec. For the most part, however, it's good hiking weather. You're right about campgrounds. Many do close, esp. NPS campgrounds.

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