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  1. #1
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    Default Reasonable Shuttle from Newfound to Gatlinburg

    I have looked at the list that Whiteblaze provides but does anyone have a good, reliable, cheaper shuttle driver into Gatlinburg from Newfound Gap. The one quote I got was $73 oneway which is INSANE for a 14 mile trip. Thanks ahead of time.
    Tridavis

  2. #2

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    I doubt you'll do much better, but if your just looking to go from the Gap down to G-burg, it not that hard a hitch. Of course, you have to time if for mid day when the traffic is at it's peak.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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    I kayak in the park and frequently hitch hike for shuttle, and have never had a problem. People pick me up in spite of being wet and smelly.

    I have found that if you look like you are doing something "extreme" people are eager to give you a ride and talk to you about what you are doing. Kayaking, I always wear my life jacket and carry my helmet. For back packing I would keep my pack out in front of me so people know i'm a hiker. It also makes the statement I'm not a serial killer, just a guy who needs a ride to do something fun.

    From Newfound, you only go to either Cherokee or Gatlinburg, so it's not out of the way for most people heading your direction. Post up in a spot where people can stop as they are leaving the parking lot or driving by. As long as it's not dark, you'll probably get a ride.

    You can also just ask people who are getting into their car for a ride. It's kind of a sleazy move, but a lot of people who would drive past a hitch hiker will begrudgingly agree when asked directly. Tell them you are out of food and need to go buy more, and they will feel sorry for you.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tridavis View Post
    I have looked at the list that Whiteblaze provides but does anyone have a good, reliable, cheaper shuttle driver into Gatlinburg from Newfound Gap. The one quote I got was $73 oneway which is INSANE for a 14 mile trip. Thanks ahead of time.
    Check with Ramdino, he got a shuttle from G'burg to Newfound a week or two ago for $40. He gives the name of the lady who shuttled him in one of his recent hike videos.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail '18-19'

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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by tridavis View Post
    I have looked at the list that Whiteblaze provides but does anyone have a good, reliable, cheaper shuttle driver into Gatlinburg from Newfound Gap. The one quote I got was $73 oneway which is INSANE for a 14 mile trip. Thanks ahead of time.
    Newfound gap from gburg is one of the easiest shuttles on the trail. If you cant afford to do the hike pick a cheaper hike
    AT Shuttle List
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
    AT Trips: 67
    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tridavis View Post
    I have looked at the list that Whiteblaze provides but does anyone have a good, reliable, cheaper shuttle driver into Gatlinburg from Newfound Gap. The one quote I got was $73 oneway which is INSANE for a 14 mile trip. Thanks ahead of time.
    Keep in mind that your 14 mile shuttle is actually a 28 mile drive for the shuttle driver and requires about an hour round-trip (excluding the time they spend between "home base" and Gatlinburg).

    But I must ask exactly where is your pickup point?
    I must admit that a quote in the ballpark of $75 sounds high if you are only going from the NOC at the edge of Gatlinburg to New Found Gap.
    The last time I got a quote in that ballpark was for a ride from Rainbow Falls parking lot to New Found Gap... and there is a huge difference between picking someone up a the NOC and driving into Cherokee Orchard to pick someone up (and an even larger burden if you're talking about the Trillium Gap trail head requiring that you drive the entire Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail loop.

    The two shuttle companies I've used and recommend in the GSMNP area are 'A Walk In The Woods' and 'AAA Hiker Service'.
    AAA Hker Service is sort of like an Uber (one guy driving people around in a personal vehicle). Usually has great stories to tell during your shuttle.
    A Walk In The Woods is more of a full-fledged professional company with vans of various sizes (as needed by your group) and therefore tends to be a few dollars more. Owners and all of their employees are very knowledgeable about the area and very nice to talk with.
    Both companies are licencesed to operator in GSMNP. I've used both and highly recommend either.

  7. #7
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    $40 max if you really want to shuttle. hitching is easy though

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Newfound gap from gburg is one of the easiest shuttles on the trail. If you cant afford to do the hike pick a cheaper hike
    It's not affordability but that is steep in my mind. I just got a shuttle in May from BRP to James River that was $25 for a 20 mile trip. We had shuttled all around the Smokies and the most we ever paid was $65 from Fontana to Newfound.....that was 5 years ago and that driver no longer shuttles.
    Tridavis

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by tridavis View Post
    It's not affordability but that is steep in my mind. I just got a shuttle in May from BRP to James River that was $25 for a 20 mile trip. We had shuttled all around the Smokies and the most we ever paid was $65 from Fontana to Newfound.....that was 5 years ago and that driver no longer shuttles.
    Shuttle costs are all perspective. Is it a 20 mile trip on the Interstate/ BRP? Or is it 20 miles back and fourth thru the dragons tail? Is the shuttle driver going to be able to pickup another shuttle conveniently after he drops you off or is the end of your trip a loss for him until he gets back to central location?

    And if you only paid $65 for a shuttle halfway around the park consider yourself lucky and that you got a savings. I have always averaged that trip to be 95 on low and 125-150 on high. Most will agree with me on that.
    AT Shuttle List
    Trail Miles: 3,715.9
    AT Trips: 67
    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  10. #10

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    ALL shuttles are reasonable.
    "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change". Charles Darwin

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tridavis View Post
    It's not affordability but that is steep in my mind. I just got a shuttle in May from BRP to James River that was $25 for a 20 mile trip. We had shuttled all around the Smokies and the most we ever paid was $65 from Fontana to Newfound.....that was 5 years ago and that driver no longer shuttles.
    Not all 20 mile trips are the same. I once shuttled from Porter Creek Trail Head. It's located only 4 miles from 321, but the shuttle driver has to account for the fact that this is a 15mph bumpy road that requires at least a 1/2-hour to drive from 321 to the trailhead and back.

    As for your $65 trip, either a shuttle driver was darn generous (no wonder the driver no longer shuttles) or your drive was NOT from Fontana DAM to New Found Gap. That's a 60 mile - hour and a half trip (one way) and has always been a $$$ shuttle from any quotes I've ever heard.

    Again, I'd be interested in exactly what was your pick-up spot for the $73 shuttle. That does sound high if your pick-up spot is at the national park border.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Again, I'd be interested in exactly what was your pick-up spot for the $73 shuttle. That does sound high if your pick-up spot is at the national park border.
    The last time I booked a Newfound Gap pickup (going to the Rainbow Falls / Bullhead trail head) from A Walk In The Woods it was ~$70. So were Elkmont to Huskey Gap trailhead, and Cosby campground to Davenport Gap shuttles.

    Since they are based somewhere around Pittman Center, it can mean dealing with Gatlinburg traffic twice for the driver, so the 30 minutes I'm in the van is only a small part of their trip.

  13. #13
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    I'd say $73 is really too high for that shuttle run. Don't know what people comment that one should be glad to bend over and pay it just because of some 'altruistic' reason. But fortunately it is really a easy hitch, and unless you need to be there at a certain time, I'd use the thumb. Also NOC used to have a hiker shuttle to NFG, 5 years ago it was $5 IIRC.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Not all 20 mile trips are the same. I once shuttled from Porter Creek Trail Head. It's located only 4 miles from 321, but the shuttle driver has to account for the fact that this is a 15mph bumpy road that requires at least a 1/2-hour to drive from 321 to the trailhead and back.

    As for your $65 trip, either a shuttle driver was darn generous (no wonder the driver no longer shuttles) or your drive was NOT from Fontana DAM to New Found Gap. That's a 60 mile - hour and a half trip (one way) and has always been a $$$ shuttle from any quotes I've ever heard.

    Again, I'd be interested in exactly what was your pick-up spot for the $73 shuttle. That does sound high if your pick-up spot is at the national park border.
    It was at the Newfound Gap Parking Lot (by the Road) to the NOC in Gatlinburg. That was the cash price only. Credit Card was $5 more.
    Tridavis

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    Anyway, we have decided to thumb into Gatlinburg and deal with a shuttle back up if necessary. BTW....the Cherokee Cab Company quoted $125 for that 14 mile trip.
    Tridavis

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    Quote Originally Posted by tridavis View Post
    Anyway, we have decided to thumb into Gatlinburg and deal with a shuttle back up if necessary. BTW....the Cherokee Cab Company quoted $125 for that 14 mile trip.
    Cherokee is the other side of the mountains. Basically doubling their distance and time.

  17. #17

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    Yeah, that is expensive. That's what I would expect to pay for a cab, or a touch less. Reasonable? Could be perfectly reasonable rate for that driver.

    Based on the shuttle ads, there are others than charge 35-40. Not sure if you've already contacted these from pg 5:
    http://www.appalachiantrail.org/docs...-2014-04-4.pdf

  18. #18
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    I agree with what others have said about it being an easy hitch. I had the same question about 3 years ago to pick up a resupply at the NOC. I got a early morning ride in about 15 min, got breakfast and a couple that saw me get dropped off asked if I needed a ride back up.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoFlo View Post
    I agree with what others have said about it being an easy hitch. I had the same question about 3 years ago to pick up a resupply at the NOC. I got a early morning ride in about 15 min, got breakfast and a couple that saw me get dropped off asked if I needed a ride back up.
    I'm confused by people using "NOC" as a spot for resupply in Gatlinburg...I was under the impression that natahala outdoor center in Wesser NC had the market cornered on "NOC" What is the NOC in Gatlinburg?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailmercury View Post
    I'm confused by people using "NOC" as a spot for resupply in Gatlinburg...I was under the impression that natahala outdoor center in Wesser NC had the market cornered on "NOC" What is the NOC in Gatlinburg?
    The "NOC" has a retail outlet in Gatlinburg at the entrance to the National Park:
    https://noc.com/retail-locations/noc-gatlinburg

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