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  1. #1

    Question Newfound Gap to Gatlinburg?

    Hey there. Can any one recommend the best way to get from Newfound Gap to Gatlinburg? Shuttle, hitch, other?

    I am doing a section through the Smokies next month and need to spend a night in Gatlinburg to pick up supplies, etc.

    Many thanks,

    Warren "Wood" Strobel

    GA to ME, 2003 - ?

  2. #2

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    Hitching into to Gatlinburg is usually not much of a problem. Going the other way can be much more challenging.

    Having done the Smokies several times, I found just carrying 5 days of food was easier then going to Gatlinburg and saved a lot of money.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  3. #3
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    There's only one shuttle service that I know of that is both operating out of the TN side of the park AND is permited by the National Park Service to do so.
    But by the time you book two trips (NFG->Gat, then Gat-<NFG> the cost WILL be over $100.

    I'm personally not adept at hitch hiking, and I've never personally tried to specifically hitch hike from Gatlinburg to NFG.
    But from my limited experience, I'm thinking Slo-go'en has it backwards. Seems like Gatlinburg to NFG is an easy hitch as all you have to do is stand on the edge of Gatlinburg with a backpack on your back. Every local is going to know you're a hiker likely needing a ride to either NFG or Clingman's Dome.

    Under that logic, I've even picked up a hitch hiker who wasn't actively trying to hitch hike.

    I was staying in Gatlinburg myself for a day, resting between two multi-night hikes I was doing in GSMNP. I had gone to the Sugarland's Visitor's center, and upon leaving, I saw a guy with a large backpack starting to walk up NFG from the Visitor's Center at 3:00 in the afternoon. Simply put, the trail and campsite layout is such that there is no practical backpacking trip you can do in GSMNP where you start walking up NFG at 3:00. So I turned up NFG, pulled over at the 1st pull-off and started clearing out some space for this guy. When he got to the pull-off, I shouted to him asking if he wanted a ride to the top... which he gladly accepted.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Hitching into to Gatlinburg is usually not much of a problem. Going the other way can be much more challenging.

    Having done the Smokies several times, I found just carrying 5 days of food was easier then going to Gatlinburg and saved a lot of money.
    Many thanks! I am slow-ish, but steady hiker, so it will likely take me 7 days or so to get through the Smokies!

  5. #5

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    Many thanks!!

    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    There's only one shuttle service that I know of that is both operating out of the TN side of the park AND is permited by the National Park Service to do so.
    But by the time you book two trips (NFG->Gat, then Gat-<NFG> the cost WILL be over $100.

    I'm personally not adept at hitch hiking, and I've never personally tried to specifically hitch hike from Gatlinburg to NFG.
    But from my limited experience, I'm thinking Slo-go'en has it backwards. Seems like Gatlinburg to NFG is an easy hitch as all you have to do is stand on the edge of Gatlinburg with a backpack on your back. Every local is going to know you're a hiker likely needing a ride to either NFG or Clingman's Dome.

    Under that logic, I've even picked up a hitch hiker who wasn't actively trying to hitch hike.

    I was staying in Gatlinburg myself for a day, resting between two multi-night hikes I was doing in GSMNP. I had gone to the Sugarland's Visitor's center, and upon leaving, I saw a guy with a large backpack starting to walk up NFG from the Visitor's Center at 3:00 in the afternoon. Simply put, the trail and campsite layout is such that there is no practical backpacking trip you can do in GSMNP where you start walking up NFG at 3:00. So I turned up NFG, pulled over at the 1st pull-off and started clearing out some space for this guy. When he got to the pull-off, I shouted to him asking if he wanted a ride to the top... which he gladly accepted.

  6. #6

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    I have to disagree with HooKooDooKu - at Newfound gap people are pulling in and stopping. That gives you an opportunity to engage with them or for them see you before they pull back out onto the road. I never had to wait long for a ride down to Gatlinburg from the gap.

    Going back though, people are already moving and only have a few seconds to decide if they want to pull over and pick you up. Eventually, one might but only after 100 go flying by. If you walk out of town to the visitor center, that might help, but the time I tried that it was still like pulling teeth.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  7. #7
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by WStrobel View Post
    Many thanks!!
    Was that you I dropped off at Climgmans Dome?

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    Both are a fairly easy hitch. When in town, go to the NOC & ask the staff, someone working or a patron may take you up. If no luck set across the street with a sign AT HIKER to Trail, making sure everyone who leaves the NOC sees you need a ride as well all leaving town heading that way. Just make sure anyone who pulls over isn't going towards Cades Cove because it's much tougher catching a ride from Smokemont than g-Burg.
    Take Time to Watch the Trees Dance with The Wind.....Then Join In

  9. #9
    International Man of Mystery BobTheBuilder's Avatar
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    Newfound Gap to Gatlinburg was the only hitch I ever made, and it took about an hour before an older couple finally let me ride down the hill in the back of their truck. I didn't have a sign and probably looked liked a smelly axe murderer, so it took me a while.
    "Waning Gibbous" would be a great trail name.

  10. #10
    Registered User foodbag's Avatar
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    In 1999 it took me and a fellow hiker over an hour to catch a ride from Newfoundland Gap down into Gatlinburg. It seemed liked every car was from Ohio and was occupied by suspicious elderly people, and we didn't have a sign. We finally hitched a ride with 4 teenagers in an SUV that was jammed to the gills with camping gear. Somehow we managed to shoehorn ourselves in. They were a fun group and we enjoyed the ride in.

    Coming out we lucked out, in that a couple of female hikers had just flagged down a guy with a pickup truck for a ride back. Next thing he knew he had eight hikers in total in the back of his truck.

    If I ever make it back that way again I'm going to skip Gatlinburg altogether and just carry the extra food. Gatlinburg is an overrated tourist trap, in my opinion, but then I'm not much into contrived "Disney-esque" entertainment....
    Long-distance aspirations with short-distance feet.... :jump

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by foodbag View Post
    Gatlinburg is an overrated tourist trap, in my opinion, but then I'm not much into contrived "Disney-esque" entertainment....
    I hate that the two major gateways to the Smokies are such abominations. I refer to them as Gatlinturd and Cheese-okee.

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    I Loved people watching in G-Burg & EATING!! The Loco-Burro rooftop bar on the main strip is fantastic!! The trolley helps get you over to Food City for supplies and anywhere else you might need and the NOC has all your gear needs.
    Take Time to Watch the Trees Dance with The Wind.....Then Join In

  13. #13
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    We tried for a hitch for an hour into town,gave up and called a cab from Gatlinburg. In 2016 that was a 35.00 ride. The next day same company took us back for 30.00. Never did figure out the price difference...

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