AT Hike from Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome & Back

I am planning a once a month hike on the AT (Appalachian Trail), from Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome (the highest point in Tennessee). For me this is preparation for a Mt Rainier Summit Climb this summer, but I would enjoy the company of some fellow adventurers.

Each hike will be on a weekend, with the plan being to drive to Smokemont Campground, after work on Friday (approximately 5:30 pm), hike Saturday, and drive back Sunday (arriving back approximately 5:30 pm).

The first one is planned for the weekend of January 18-20. With the distance, it would be great to carpool. I can fit 4 additional people and their gear in my car. If those coming along would like to share in the expense of gas/camping fees, that would be nice, but is not required.


Right now, there are no reservations required at Smokemont (one of the few campgrounds in the Smokies that is open year round). We can have up to 6 people per site. I have a 6 man tent (really more comfortable for 3-4).

For those interested in going, the hike is 16 miles round trip. It is not an easy hike, but I have done it one-way with tendonitis in the knees, so it can be done. And I can promise you, on a clear day, the view from the top is spectacular! In Winter, the road up to Clingmans Dome is closed (Dec-Mar), but after that, there will be an option of hiking one way (8 miles) and driving back down.

My cellphone is:[masked]-8270. More details on Clingmans Dome: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/clingmansdome.htm

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  • Gavin A.

    Canceled due to car trouble

    January 20, 2013

  • howard

    HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND HIKERS AND BE SAFE - HOPE TO JOIN YOU NEXT MONTH!

    January 18, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      Thanks. Have a great time on your "rails adventure" too.

      January 18, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      Howard, we ended up having to turn back after unexpected car trouble. I had to call AAA.

      January 18, 2013

  • Gavin A.

    Guys, just received the following message from a member of a Smoky Mountains hiking group. They saw our hike posted here, and wrote: "If you havent heard Newfound Gap Road is closed indefinitely. We got a lot of rain this week and it caused 200 ft collapse section of road on the NC side. When I made reservations for Feb backpack the ranger said even Newfound Gap was closed. Maybe you already know this but I didnt want you guys drive all way to Memphis and run into that. "

    My thoughts are: go ahead as planned, but do a different hike, depending on what we can reach. If you guys are game for that, I will double-check on the campground (Reserve America didn't make any mention of this when I called this afternoon, so I'll try and get ahold of an actual ranger), and also find out what other hikes we can access. Are you in? I don't know about you, but I'm psyched for a Smokies hike.

    January 17, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      Perfect!

      January 18, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      Awesome!

      January 18, 2013

  • Ash B.

    So I just want to confirm if I need to put an extra sleeping bag and pad in a duffle for tomorrow night. I suspect gear space will be at a premium and I'd hate to bring anything that won't get used so if someone can confirm they're borrowing it that would be great.

    January 17, 2013

    • Ash B.

      Okie dokie. On it!

      January 17, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      Much appreciated! You rock!

      January 17, 2013

  • Ash B.

    Hey man, I should be able to make this trip out. I'll RSVP yes and clear it with the power that be. Any idea on trail conditions and avg. temps for this section this time of year? I've got a 1 man UL I'd like to get a night out in which will save you packing an expedition tent.

    January 7, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      Hope you end up being able to make it. If not, the next hike is on Feb 16-18, going up the Alum Cave trail to Mt Le Conte) same area, shorter hike (11 mi), beautiful views.

      January 15, 2013

    • Ash B.

      Good to know; thanks!

      January 15, 2013

  • Gavin A.

    Guys, temperatures are looking good for hiking, but the nights are looking like they will be a bit nippy. I recommend bring a cold weather sleeping bag. Probably overkill, but I'm bringing a 0° bag. (I only have a 0° and a 40°)

    January 15, 2013

    • Ash B.

      I should note I've got a spare insulated self inflating thermarest pad as well if someone needs one.

      January 15, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      That would be awesome. Please do!

      January 15, 2013

  • Gavin A.

    I'll post an update as we get closer. Right now, our weather has been hanging around the upper 50s / lower 60s.

    January 13, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      High: 53°
      Low: 32°
      Feels Like: 50°
      Wind: 6 mph SW
      Humidity: 66%
      Pressure: 30.05 in
      Dew Point: 41°
      UV Index: 0 (Minimal)
      Probability of Precip: 27%
      Rain: 0.00 in
      Snow: 0.00 in

      January 14, 2013

  • Constantina

    I want to continue receiving notifications on your other monthly hikes to this destination. Thanks!

    January 6, 2013

  • Gavin A.

    Sam, good to have you along. More details to follow.

    January 11, 2013

  • Steve F.

    I was hoping to do this one but I have had a change of plans with work so I can't make it. I am very interested in hiking any part of the AT. Keep me posted on any others you plan. Sorry to have to cancel. This is a great time of year for hiking the Smokies.

    January 7, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      No problem. I understand.

      January 7, 2013

  • C B.

    I can't make this first one, but if you're going to be doing this as a monthly outing, I'd definitely like to come along for one of the future ones!

    If people want to overnight it on the trail, there is Mt Collins shelter about 5 miles from Newfound Gap, and as of 2011 it had water available. Stopping there would mean a 13 mile day instead of 16 (at least I'm assuming it would be stopping on the way back).

    Good luck, and please let us know when you've scheduled the future ones!

    January 7, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      P.S. I'll take a look at the AT map and see where the Mt Collins shelter is, in relation to the hike.

      January 7, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      Okay, I see the shelter you are talking about. My only concern is that this would mean carrying more gear, so it would be a shorter hike, but a more difficult one. The current hike, up and back, is a little bit longer, but we will leave most of our gear in camp, and we will be able to cook a hot supper when we get back to camp.

      January 7, 2013

  • Gavin A.

    Clingmans Dome elevation: 6,644 ft
    Newfound Gap elevation: 5,046 ft
    ——————————————————
    Elevation gain: 1,598 ft

    January 5, 2013

    • Kenny

      yep. same kind. stone house, tin roof, good table space. I stayed at one 5 miles fron clingman's dome a few years ago, and it was similar to mt leconte. I'm thinking mt leconte shelter is nicer.

      January 7, 2013

    • Gavin A.

      Well, very cool. We'll have to look into that. I've always done day hikes on the AT, never stayed overnight on the trail.

      January 7, 2013

  • Gavin A.

    Steve, great to have you along.

    January 6, 2013

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