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  Appalachian Trail In NC

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 

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This stretch of the Appalachian Trail covers the AT through Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The trail travels 72 miles across the heart of this popular National Park.  While the park receives over nine million visitors each year, the AT only crosses one road, US 441 at Newfound Gap after over forty miles.  Your hiking through the most diverse forest in all of North America.

Backcountry permits must be obtained before entering the park, if you're planning on hiking through the park.  Even if you're planning to stay just one night in the park, you must get a permit.  The thru hiker fee is $20 for a 7 night permit. Anyone caught without a permit can be issued a $125 ticket!  North bound thru hikers can obtain a permit from a self registration facility located near the pay phone at the Fontana Dam Visitor Center.  If you are hiking south bound, the only chance to get a permit is at the USFS offices in Hot Springs, NC.

Within the park, nearly half the Appalachian Trail is open to horseback riding.  You may encounter horseback riders at some of the shelters along the trail.  Dogs are not permitted on any of the trails inside of the park, including the Appalachian Trail.  You can be fined up to $500 if you're found hiking with a dog inside the park!

Black bear in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Trust me when I say there is a really good chance you'll encounter a bear inside of the park.  Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to more than 600 bears.  Over the years they have developed a taste for the food hikers carry and are a common visitor to many shelters in the park. 

If you are thru hiking the AT and heading northbound you've hiked just over 166 miles.  These next 70 miles are some of the most amazing trail miles you'll encounter, including a long stretch of trail that is well over 5000 feet as well as the highest point anywhere along the AT near Clingmans Dome at 6225 feet (the summit is actually higher but off the main AT).  The Great Smoky Mountains get the most rain and snow along the southern part of the AT.  Many north bound thru hikers are caught off guard by the snow and cold in the high elevations of the Smokies in the spring. 

Appalachian Trail GPS Tracks in Great Smoky Mtns National Park

Get the complete GPS Tracks for the AT in Great Smoky Mountains National Park for ONLY $1.97!  This .gpx file includes waypoints for all trail shelters along this 72 mile stretch of trail and many AT parking areas.  Use the BUY NOW button below and we'll send you the file via e-mail!  Happy Hiking!

NOTE: Some trail relocation may have occurred, which may not be reflected with our GPS Tracks.  The tracks are very close to the current trail.

Miles from Springer Mtn Elevation Key points along the AT in NC (Great Smoky Mtns National Park section)
166.1 1770 feet Fontana Dam Visitor Center
166.5 1740 feet Little Tennessee River, Fontana Dam, southern boundary of Great Smoky Mtns National Park
170.5 3800 feet Shuckstack Fire Tower
171.7 3680 feet Birch Spring Gap
174.0 4520 feet Doe Knob
175.4 3842 feet Ekaneetlee Gap
176.8 4570 feet Mollies Ridge Shelter
177.4 4775 feet Devils Tater Patch
178.8 4120 feet Little Abrams Gap
179.6 4360 feet Russell Field Shelter
182.5 4915 feet Eagle Creek Trail to Spence Field Shelter (0.2 miles)
183.7 5440 feet Rocky Top
184.3 5527 feet East Peak of Thunderhead
184.6 4920 feet Beechnut Gap
185.3 5030 feet Mineral Gap
187.7 4435 feet Sugar Tree Gap
188.8 4880 feet Derrick Knob Shelter
189.0 4995 feet Sams Gap
191.6 4817 feet Buckeye Gap
194.3 5460 feet Silers Bald Shelter
194.5 5607 feet Silers Bald
196.0 5505 feet Double Spring Gap Shelter
198.9 6643 feet Clingmans Dome
200.1 6446 feet Mount Love
202.3 5870 feet Mount Collins Shelter
205.1 5286 feet Indian Gap
206.8 5045 feet Newfound Gap, US 441 (Gatlinburg, TN 37738)
209.5 5695 feet Boulevard Trail to Mount LeConte (5 miles)
209.8 5920 feet Icewater Spring Shelter
210.7 5905 feet Charlies Bunion
212.6 5577 feet Porters Gap, The Sawteeth
215.9 5200 feet Bradley's View
217.2 5280 feet Peck's Corner Shelter
219.9 6069 feet Mount Sequoyah
221.4 6417 feet Mount Chapman
222.4 5920 feet Tri-Corner Knob Shelter
223.6 6360 feet Guyot Spur
224.2 6150 feet Guyot Spring
224.3 6395 feet Mount Guyot side trail
226.2 5600 feet Snake Den Ridge Trail
229.5 5150 feet Cosby Knob
230.1 4700 feet Cosby Knob Shelter
232.9 5000 feet Side trail to Mount Cammerer Fire Tower (0.6 miles)
233.4 4300 feet Spring
235.0 3700 feet Spring
237.2 2600 feet Davenport Gap Shelter
238.1 1975 feet Davenport Gap, NC 284/TN 32, eastern boundary Great Smoky Mtns National Park

We recommend purchasing any of the following books for those looking for more information on hiking the Appalachian Trail in Great Smoky Mountain National Park:

 Appalachian Trail Guide to Tennessee-North Carolina: 13th Edition

 Exploring the Appalachian Trail: Georgia North Carolina Tennessee

 Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 Best Easy Day Hikes Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 Hiking Trails of the Smokies

 Trails Illustrated Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 Trails Illustrated Great Smoky Mountains National Park Explorer

 

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