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  1. #1

    Default Trip advice - Wasser to Fontana Dam

    A group of firends and I were considering doing the AT between Wasser and Fontana Dam, late in July . From what I gather this is a 29 mile hike. Is this trip best done north to south, or south to north, and is 4 days/3 nights a reasonable expectation for novice/intermediate hikers?

    What about parking and shuttles? Are they readily available in this area.

    I'd appreciate any advice regarding this area, the trail, and any suggested side trips that might be included.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Im yankee's partner in crime on this outing..also wouldnt mind any info on fishin as well

  3. #3
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    Well, no fish between Wesser and Fontana Dam that I am aware of. However, the NPS does publish a brochure of fishing streams in the Smokies. You might ask them for that.

    I'd have to ask the people at Fontana Dam about a shuttle. I seem to recall that someone in that area did shuttles.

    North to south, or south to north, I suspect that it's a rugged hike no matter which way you go.

    4 days/3 nights is pretty laid back by AT standards. Most thru-hikers do it in 2 days/1 night, or possibly 3 partial days/2 nights.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the info, thats the type of info I was looking for, I was planning conservatively at first , we could always add more.

    so, your telling me most people plan for 10-15 miles a day?

  5. #5

    Default Shuttle advice from Wessar to Fontana

    Jeff and Nancy at The Hike Inn do shuttles from Wessar to Fontana. Call them at: 1-828-479-3677

    They will take care of your car and everything. Great people to know for anything around Fontana.

    Rebel, with a Cause !!
    Rebel, with a Cause !!

  6. #6
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    Call Jeff & Nancy Hoch at The Hike Inn for area shuttles. 828-479-3677. Take the 4days/3nights if you have the time. Go faster if you feel up to it. Thru-hikers are in a rush, no reason you should be. I would hike from Fontana to Wesser because you have restaurants and such right on the trail when you arrive plus the last 8 miles is basically down hill.

  7. #7

  8. #8

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    very nice..thanks for the info

    Im not sure about the resteraunts but Im sure it would be welcome after a few days

  9. #9
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    Second the vote for Nancy and Ed----darned good people...I did this section this past Dec.Jan.Feb, crossing Cheoh Bald in 8 inches of snow on top, more on either side, we did the Stecoah to Fontana in another snow hike...awesome area...just know that the climb from Wesser to Stecoah, if you go NOBO is a long one, but the climb up Cheoh is SOBO is also a long one- so either direction you will climb and climb and climb.. but if you are like me you are thankful to the Lord for every step, every breath on the AT no matter which direction you take! Good luck and def. post your trip reports here at Whiteblaze....I and many others love to hear them.
    Start out slow, then slow down.

  10. #10

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    I used to hike the AT alot and used to be an avid whitewater kayaker when I lived in GA..I am looking forward to it alot

    This will be quite a trip actually..I live in San Diego and am going to take a train out to Indy then ride down with Yankee to AT. Good times will be had Im sure.

  11. #11
    Registered User Waterbuffalo's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Jeff and Nancy Rock they bought that little hotel and have really done a good job getting it going. Yes it is better to hike n to s the Brown fork gap shelter is not a bad place to stay either.

    H20buffalo is back in da house!
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  12. #12
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    I think I would go north from Fontana, and yes, it is climbing right off the get go. Whatever way you go, be sure to make time for the view at Shuckstack Tower. On a clear day you can see miles...have a great time

  13. #13

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    north from Fontana is into the Park isnt it?

    What makes that trip better than south to Wesser?

  14. #14
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    Both are good. If you do 30 or so miles into the Smokys, you'll get to Shuckstack, Rocky Top, Thunderhead, the Narrows, and Clingmans Dome. I like the area south as well. Cheoah has good views and I've got great memories of the late afternoon in Stecoah. The Smokys might be a little more scenic, but you have to stay in shelters. Strangely enough, when I went through last May, the area between Wesser and Fontana was significantly more populated than the park.

  15. #15

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    thx Chris

    <--Fellow hoosier

  16. #16

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    I would call the Hike Inn and see what is easier for shuttling to find out which direction to go. Needless to say, I would use the Hike Inn's shuttle service.

  17. #17

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    I've already talked to Nancy on advice from here. Seem's like a very nice lady , they provide NOBO or SOBO shuttles depending on the hikers preference.

    I am curious to hear more arguments on the merits of heading north or south out of Fontana though. My understanding is that camping within the park is restricted to shelters only, but between Fontana and Wesser it is less restricted, is that right?

    Are the views within the park superior to the SOBO route? Is one more or less strenuous?

    What about side trips on either route, anything outstanding to look foward to?

    Is a GPS overkill for this trail? I've got an opportunity to pick up one at a reasonable cost.

    If you keep answering, I'll keep asking

  18. #18

    Default One Problem with going North

    If you plan to do the 30 plus miles going north from Fontana to Clingmans Dome, you will have one problem.

    These shelters on this route are by reservation only. And in order to get the reservations, you must call exactly 30 days prior to secure them. The number to call is: 1-865-436-1231

    I would do them in this order:

    Day one: from Fontana to Mollies Ridge shelter
    Day two: Derricks Knob Shelter
    Day three: to Clingmans Dome

    I will be doing the entire smokies route starting May 11th, making 5 shelter stops on the way, and yes we did get our reservations

    Good Luck and hope you have fun
    Rebel, with a Cause !!

  19. #19
    Springer-->Stony Brook Road VT MedicineMan's Avatar
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    I recommend stealth camping anywhere except the GSMNP, there you really should stay in the shelters though they are abysmal....just to minimize the impact...GPS units are fun but abs. uneccessary on the AT....it doesnt matter NOBO or SOBO, you will get a workout either way, see incredible things either way...from Sams Gap to Spivey Gap I have done that section 17 times and it is different each time!
    Start out slow, then slow down.

  20. #20
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    I've enjoyed reading the responses to your question. Several work buddies and myself have exactly this section left to complete the trail from Springer to Davenport Gap at the north end of the Smokies. While I haven't seen this section specifically, I can say that you'll love the area. If the weather cooperates, you'll get some great views. We'll be doing this section sometime in the next couple of months. Either way will be challenging, and depending on the fitness level of some of your lesser experienced hikers, I'd suggest having a conservative plan so that everyone can enjoy their hike. I think, like someone above, that I'd suggest hiking N to S, simply because the 8 miles uphill out of Wesser could be discouraging for new hikers, and damage their spirits (and feet!) for the whole trip. Heading S you'll still start out w/ a challenging 3 mile uphill, but all in all, I think that might be better.

    I also love to flyfish, and while there is some fishing available in the area . . . . some folks enjoy the Cherokee area . . . you're not so far from the Chatooga that it is un-doable! Great river, scenic, and my favorite place to fish. It would mean a couple hour or so side trip, though.

    Best wishes on a great hike to your group ... & if your luck is like ours, best wishes for some great weather so you actually get to see the views!!

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