Easter Weekend Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Head down to the Smoky Mountains for Easter Weekend.  This will be a low mileage per day trip but it will be strenuous.  Will begin at the Twentymile Ranger station.   The address listed is not the address for the ranger station, use the coordinates that are listed.  We will hike in Thursday evening on Wolf Ridge Trail to campsite 95.  This should be an easy 2 plus miles to the site.  There is some creek crossings but most should have log bridges.  Friday we will begin our ascent of approximately 4000' we will pass through Parson's Bald and hike approximately 5 miles to campsite 13.  This campsite is located near Gregory's Bald which is approximate 5000' elevation.  Should be able to see Fontana Lake and Lake Cheoh to the south and Cades Cove to the North.  Even mentioned that you could see Gatlinburgs lights to the North at night?  Saturday we will begin the descent down on Long Hungry Ridge trail for approximately 5 miles to campsite 92.  There will be several more creek crossings on Saturday.  If we make good time to this campsite we can make a trip up to Shuckstack fire tower for a better view of Fontana Lake.  Sunday we hill hike out on Twentymile trail.  When we get back to the cars we can drive to Fontana Dam and grab a hot shower before the ride home.  This trip requires advanced reservations and permits for each person.  Permits cost $4 per person per night ($12 total).  Once we pay for the permits there is no refunds, so be sure you are able to go before RSVPing.  If you have any suggestions or side trips let me know.  We can alter the trip some but we would have to ensure we make reservations at the appropriate campsites.

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  • Chris H.

    Awesome time with a great group of guys!

    April 20

  • Kyle M.

    Great trip Chis! Cant wait to go back.

    1 · April 20

  • Chris H.

    The forecast looks pretty good so far. Highs in the mid 60's and lows in the mid 40's. Chance of rain on Friday evening and early Saturday...so I would say it will rain at some point.

    April 13

    • Kyle M.

      It was supposed to rain this last weekend too. Fingers crossed.

      April 13

    • Kyle M.

      Temps might change with elevation too.

      April 13

  • Kyle M.

    I found this online. It looks to be the same route we're doing.
    http://www.backpacker.com/destinations/hikes/1214234

    April 9

    • Chris H.

      That's why I wanted to go that route too just to say been on the AT. We would be on ridge top and down hill most of the way so shouldn't be too bad. Will see how we do Friday before we commit. Either route will be mostly down hill.

      April 10

    • Kyle M.

      I was looking at the map and it only adds 2 to 2.5 miles.

      April 10

  • Kyle M.

    Also, I am not opposed to stopping at the Fontana Hilton for a shower before getting back in the car.

    April 9

    • Kyle M.

      It's almost more for the others riding in the car that I'm riding in.

      April 9

    • Chris H.

      That's what the windows are for.

      1 · April 10

  • Kyle M.

    Chris, are these shelter sites or should we bring shelter?

    April 8

    • Chris H.

      These are campsites so you will need to bring hammock or tent. All food and scented items will need to be hung at night. If you do not hang your backpack with food you should have a place to keep it out of sight. They say the bears know to go to backpacks for possible food. Campsites reserved were 95 for Thursday, 13 for Friday and 93 for Saturday for a short hike out Sunday.

      April 8

    • Kyle M.

      Ok, thanks

      April 8

  • Kyle M.

    I just ordered a NatGeo map for this trip.

    April 8

  • Chris H.

    Was thinking of changing the route slightly Saturday. Staying on Gregory bald trail to AT then down to Shuckstack. Then hike to campsite 92 for the night or we could go to campsite 93 for a shorter hike Sunday. Just need to know what everyone thinks before we reserve.

    March 4

    • Mike P.

      A shorter hike Sun might be a good idea with 7-8 hours of driving that same day.

      1 · March 7

    • Kyle M.

      Which sites did you end up reserving?

      April 8

  • Kyle M.

    Mike, can you update your email address so we can work out some carpooling?

    April 8

  • Chris H.

    Mike had mentioned to me earlier that he was willing to drive. If so those of you coming from Indy could carpool and meet me in the Lexington area and then we could caravan down. I never heard anything from Sara so not sure if she is still attending.

    April 7

  • Maureen R.

    I'm totally new to this and wondered do we have carpools etc

    April 5

  • Chris H.

    http://www.nps.gov/gr...­
    Hello Everyone,
    I am excited about the upcoming trip to the Smoky's over Easter weekend. I have never backpacked in the Smoky's but have done some day hikes. If you never have been to the Smoky's before I would recommend that you visit their website and read the rules and regulations (see attached link). I will be reserving and paying for our campsites next week, therefore I would like to make sure everyone is still attending. The camping fees are $12 per person for the trip. You can email me or text/call me at[masked] to make arrangements for the fees. If you have any questions or concerns please let me know.
    Chris

    March 16

    • Chris H.

      Only two people has contacted me so far about still going. If you have not contacted me by Thursday morning I will not be reserving a spot for you. If you still plan on attending you will be responsible for reserving on your own. We will camp at campsite 95 on Thursday, campsite 13 on Friday and campsite 93 on Saturday.

      March 18

    • Chris H.

      Yesterday I reserved our campsites and got our permit for those that contacted me (B3, Mike, and Kyle). I only put my vehichle on the permit thus far once we figure out who all is driving we can add them on.

      March 21

  • John L.

    Chris, do those campsites you mention in the details require reservations and fees?

    March 4

    • Mike P.

      Yes the sites need to be reserved 4 weeks in advance. There is a minmal fee per day up to about $20 max.

      March 4

    • Chris H.

      Yes, will be calling and getting them reserved here soon. It is $4 per person per night ($12 total per person).

      March 4

  • John L.

    Hey everyone, I mistakenly said in the newsletter that the fees were for this trip. They are for the Smoky Mountains trip in October.

    March 2

  • Kyle M.

    So is the plan to leave at noon on Thursday?

    February 24

    • Rumiko

      I am planning on taking Thursday off so I can leave at noon.

      February 24

    • Chris H.

      I was taking Thurdsay off as well. Would prefer to leave earlier if possible but noon would be latest. Its about a 7 hour drive to the ranger station. Not including any stops on the way. This location is on the south west edge of the smokys in NC. We will be driving on the Dragon Tail to get there.

      February 24

  • Kyle M.

    Can't wait. Haven't done the Smokies yet.

    February 21

    • Chris H.

      I have done a couple hiking trips but never any backpacking.

      February 21

    • Rumiko

      I have done 3 nights there. It was awesome!

      1 · February 23

  • Joan F. R.

    I am very curious. I have not backpacking overnights. tent camping, plenty of hiking, walking, woods, and trails, and would like to put in a time-off work request and join in the group. I also better uncover the tent, or invest in a smaller tent. thanks!

    February 22

    • Chris H.

      Joan, you are welcome to join in on any of the trips that are posed as long as you feel you can do them. If you need any further information on this trip or any other ones don't hesitate to ask.

      February 23

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