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Smokies

7:47 p.m. on October 10, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

My girlfriend and I are heading to the Smokies on Oct. 25. We

9:55 a.m. on October 11, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

Lots of good loop options start at the Smokemont campground. We did a nice 3/12 day loop involving Chasteen Creek, Hughes ridge, the AT, Dry Sluice, and Bradley Fork trails. Allows for some nice views, fun ridge walking along the AT, lots of options for camping or staying at one of the shelters (lots o' mice, but an experience everyone should have). Saw an 8-10 lb trout in the Bradley fork and cursed myself for not bringing a fly rod....

Smokemont is also a good starting point because you can leave your car within the campground. THe smokies are pretty notorious for having cars being broken into at the trailheads...

 

 


Quote:

My girlfriend and I are heading to the Smokies on Oct. 25. We

8:10 a.m. on October 15, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Steve

I like the Cosby and Big Creek area also as this part of the park is not as crowded as the Smokemont area. Unfortunately, the Smokies is not a good loop hike park if you only have one nite, but since you have more time, you should be able to come up with something really great.

Two of the more popular 2-3 day loop hikes are:
Baxter Creek trail to Mt Sterling (tent camp there)which has about a 4000 ft gain over 6 miles. The next day you can hike about 6 miles down hill via Swallow Fork to Walnut Bottoms to tent camp there, and hike out the next day via Big Creek (about 5 miles). You can also do this loop in 2 days.

Out of the Cosby area: Snake Den Ridge to camp #29, Maddron Bald trail to #34, Gabes mtn trail back to the car. About the same mileages as the one above, but less E gain.

If you want to spend 4 days on one hike there are a lot of large loops that you can come up with out of the Deep Creek area.

As far as cars broken into at trailheads:
Yes, this happens. It seems to have slowed lately as several people were arrested about a yr or two ago that were regulars at it. Even so, most or all were the "smash and grab" type where tourists leave a purse, camera, etc on the seat and head off on a 1 hr dayhike. If you leave valuables out of site and in the trunk you shouldn't have a problem. The trailheads that were hit were the more popular ones that were just off of Newfound gap road. Alum Bluff was probably the worst. Don't let this stop you from doing a hike that you want to, just take the standard precautions that you would anywhere else- use common sense.

 

 

Quote:

Lots of good loop options start at the Smokemont campground. We did a nice 3/12 day loop involving Chasteen Creek, Hughes ridge, the AT, Dry Sluice, and Bradley Fork trails. Allows for some nice views, fun ridge walking along the AT, lots of options for camping or staying at one of the shelters (lots o' mice, but an experience everyone should have). Saw an 8-10 lb trout in the Bradley fork and cursed myself for not bringing a fly rod....

Smokemont is also a good starting point because you can leave your car within the campground. THe smokies are pretty notorious for having cars being broken into at the trailheads...

 

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Quote:

My girlfriend and I are heading to the Smokies on Oct. 25. We

8:30 a.m. on October 15, 2001 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Steve
Re: one more hike

Here's another loop, this one out of the Twentymile area:
Long Hungry Ridge to Gregory Bald. Camp at #13. Wolf Ridge back to car. There are other camp sites on this loop where you can make a relaxed 3 dayer out of it. E gain is probably about 3000 ft on this one.

I would rate the Gregory Bald and Mt Sterling loops I've listed as the best 2-3 day trips in the park and I think any Smokies regular would agree.

Mt Cammmerer is another favorite of mine although I always day hike it. You can access it via Cosby or Big Creek. You could possibly string this together with Mt Sterling for a longer BP with a lot of E gain.

I don't stay in shelters. I want as much solitude as I can get and sleeping 10 feet from 10 other snoring people and a multitude of mice is not what I call fun.

The best advice I can give you is to *stay out* of Cades Cove, especially if it's a Sat or Sun- unless you want to spend 5 hrs in traffic to drive this 11 mile, one way loop.

There are now elk in Catalooche (NC side of park), so you may want to check that out early one morning.

You will need reservations for camping on all the BP trips I've listed since they involve rationed sites. Call 865.436.1231

Any more Q's, you can Email me direct.

April 20, 2014
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