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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Raleigh, NC

    Default From Fontana to Hot Springs

    Schools about out and the teachers are let lose upon the forest. Last summer an infected finger got me off early at Fontana-- so that's Springer to Fontana and I won't volunteer to head back to Georga soon. I've gone from Hot Springs to Atkins so now I need to close that hundred mile gap through the Smokies and in to Hot Springs.

    Last summer everyone I met coming south asked if I had reservations in the Smokies. So what's the deal hiking throught the Smokies? Is a section hiker through hiker in terms of the park rangers?

    How about recommend resupply points along that section?

    And finally, I'm guessing I'm better off leaving the car at Hop Springs which will entail a shuttle. Any recommendations?

    Any advise/general info about hiking through the Smokies-- greatly appreciated.

    Bruce Hudson
    Raleigh, NC

  2. #2


    Curtis at Standing Bear Farm is an option for shuttle as well as Jeff and Nancy at Hike Inn. You can hitch to Gatlinburg or get a ride for some resupply or you can just pack enough food for the duration of the Smokies.

    In order to be a thru you have to do 50 miles in or 50 miles out to be considered a Thru. Just call within 30 days of the trip to get a reservation and know what shelters you want to stay at.
    The smokies are great. They can be a challenge if the weather is iffy.

  3. #3


    I did that hike last year, I have fam in the area and left my truck in Black mountain, and caught a ride to hot springs. As for resupply, Standing bear is in the perfect spot for your hike. I didn't have any reservations last year b4 I started, and filled out the card while at standing bear. The only time we really ran into other hikers was near the gap, and being after normal through season there were a couple of slots left open at those 2 shelters. The southbound hike is amazing, but the about 14 miles after you leave Standing bear are hell lol. Standing bear is so nice you get kinda lazy and you a have a spot that I swear is 3000 feet in 3 miles. Probably not and I know I will be corrected, but hopefully you know what I mean. Anyways have a great hike and enjoy the views there are some great spots.

  4. #4


    SOBO from pigeon river is a 4000 ft climb over 5 miles to Cammerer.
    The climb out of Fontana going north is about 2000 ft over 3 miles up Shuckstack. But there alot of other fun climbs on the AT going North. Leaving a car in Black Mtn is a long way when there are places to park at Fontana or Hot Springs or even if you talk to Curtis at Standing Bear about leaving a car. He is the cheapest way to go for the shuttle.

    SBF is a great resupply point.

    I usually do Fontana to Mollies Ridge or Russell Field
    There to Derrick Knob
    Derrick to Mt Collins
    Mt Collins to Pecks Corner
    Pecks Corner to Standing Bear
    All About a 12-14 mile day. Like I said, you could get into Gatlinburg if you want or you can carry food for the duration of The Smokies. The hike from Fontana to Hot Springs is very beautiful with lots of views if you have good weather.

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