PDA

View Full Version : Smokies Loop Hike



Short Term
2008-11-10, 15:05
Does anyone have a good suggestion for a loop hike in the Smokies, which includes a big section of the AT, is 20 - 25 miles long, and is easily accessible. Hiked the AT through the Smokies a couple years ago, to me, had some of the best views and scenery in NC.
Thanks for your help and ideas...

Bulldawg
2008-11-10, 16:19
Does anyone have a good suggestion for a loop hike in the Smokies, which includes a big section of the AT, is 20 - 25 miles long, and is easily accessible. Hiked the AT through the Smokies a couple years ago, to me, had some of the best views and scenery in NC.
Thanks for your help and ideas...



Almost endless possibilities. Do you want ridgeline or what?

Frolicking Dino
2008-11-10, 16:26
Her is a link to a PDF file of the GSMNP trail map with shelters and backcountry campsites (http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/upload/Trail%20map%2008.pdf). I'll leave suggestions to those who like to hike the AT. I prefer less crowded hiking.

There is a lot of info about making the reservations and getting the permits (http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/backcountry-camping.htm)on this page.

Short Term
2008-12-01, 14:55
Her is a link to a PDF file of the GSMNP trail map with shelters and backcountry campsites (http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/upload/Trail%20map%2008.pdf). I'll leave suggestions to those who like to hike the AT. I prefer less crowded hiking.
There is a lot of info about making the reservations and getting the permits (http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/backcountry-camping.htm)on this page.

I am looking to start at Newfound Gap, if 441 is open, heading north towards Charlies Bunion on the AT. I see from the map there are alot of trails around there. I just want some advice from someone who has hiked those trails - are they well marked. well maintained, etc. The plan is to do an overnighter this weekend...snow, ice and cold is what we are expecting and are prepared for. Thanks.....

Frolicking Dino
2008-12-01, 15:01
I am looking to start at Newfound Gap, if 441 is open, heading north towards Charlies Bunion on the AT. I see from the map there are alot of trails around there. I just want some advice from someone who has hiked those trails - are they well marked. well maintained, etc. The plan is to do an overnighter this weekend...snow, ice and cold is what we are expecting and are prepared for. Thanks.....All of the trails in the Smokies near Newfound Gap are well marked. It is likely snowing like crazy up there right now as it is snowing here in the valley.

Frolicking Dino
2008-12-01, 15:04
For GSMNP road and weather information call (865) 436-1200. Once you hear a voice, dial extension 631 for road information or extension 630 for a weather forecast.

Short Term
2008-12-11, 14:54
Thanks to everyone for their help. We actually had to cancel the trip due to sickness and injury. We ended up in Boone, watching ASU get knocked out of the playoffs by Richmond. Hope to make a trip up there soon for a loop, though.

Rosaleen
2008-12-14, 23:54
I did an AT section, Fontana Dam to the northern end, a few years ago. I can't recall the name of the gap right now, starts with a "D," but I actually hiked to Mountain Momma's for a cheeseburger and collected a car parked there. I think I liked the northern half better than the southern half, but it has been a few years.

Rather than advise you on a loop, I want to remind you to register (free) with the Park Service. Check the NPS website for the GSMNP for regs. Maybe in the winter the regs ease up, but to avoid a ticket and fine, be sure.

Hope you are feeling better by now and get in a nice trip soon.

Rosaleen

Frolicking Dino
2008-12-15, 08:28
The Gap is Davenport Gap and alas, Mountain Momma's has closed (owner retired and it is now a private horse ranch). The regs are the same year-round. However, the ranger coverage is not.

The shelters are not crowded and there are far fewer rodent problems in the winter months. You may well have a shelter to yourself - and not see another hiker for days during the winter. I used to hike the more popular trails in th GSMNP during the winter for this reason. My leg injury and associated inability to maintain my balance has in icy conditions has made this a memory. I've considered doing it on horseback, but can't bring myself to do that to a trail. Having maintained quite a few trails, I know the enormous amount of damage horses cause to hiking trails.