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Smoky Mtns - Rockytop and Waterfalls

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Smoky Mountains Treemont Institute   Backpacking: Smoky Mtns -  Rockytop and Waterfalls  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Jul 8 2017  8:00 am >> Sun, Jul 9 2017 8:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 8:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Mon, Jun 5 2017 8:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Jul 7 2017 12:00 pm
Event Duration:1 Days 12 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D6: Advanced (Exploratory)
Distance:25 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Myra Kincaid
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:6
Minimum Group Size:3
Number Registered So Far: 5 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

Note: This is an "EXPLORATORY" trip. This means that there are parts of this trip, or perhaps the whole trip, that is new to your Trip Leader(s). However, they are confident that this will not be an issue.
This note is here so that you can make an informed decision. When a Trip Leader isn't personally familiar with a trip, there is an increased chance of things not going as planned and you need to be prepared. The Trip Leader may have additional details in the itinerary.


 About the trip:

   This will be a loop hike in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The first day will be a long climb with numerous wateralls. The second day will be a ridge walk taking in Thunderhead Mountain and Rocky Top, two of the most famous views in the National Park. June should be a great time for flowers as well.


   Saturday: (11.3 miles, 3500') We will depart from the carpool at 8am, and arrive in the Smokies around 10am. Parking will be just before Tremont Institute at the West Prong Trailhead. The hike will start with a 3 mile walk along a gravel road, paralleling the Middle Prong Little River. (Note: If we take mulitple cars to the event there may be an opportunity to do a partial shuttle for this roadwalk section.) We will then proceed five miles up the Middle Prong Trail, which  passes numerous waterfalls. We will veer right and proceed 4.2 miles up the GreenBriar Ridge Trail, before stopping for the night at Derrick Knob Shelter.


   Sunday: (14.3 miles) Sunday morning we plan to leave the shelter about 7am, in order to complete the hike and arrive back at Atlanta at a reasonable time. We will proceed west along the appalachian trail ridgeline, taking in the great views at Thunderhead Mountain Rocky Top. We will veer right and descend once more to the valley and our cars via the Bote Mountain Trail and the West Prong trails.


   Sites along the trail:

Middle Prong Trail : "Hands down the Middle Prong Trail is the best waterfall hike in the Smokies - at least from my perspective. The trail passes three major waterfalls, in addition to numerous smaller falls, cataracts and cascades." (

Thunderhead and Rocky Top: "Rocky Top, which in my opinion offers the best views among the three summits, making it one of the best hikes in the Smokies"  (



 This is an advanced backpack and requires prior backpacking experience! If you do not have a history of D5-D6 backpacks with the club, you will be contacted to confirm  that this trip is a good fit for you. Trip leadership reserves the right to remove anyone that they feel may not be able to complete the trip.

    Please note that a tent is still required for this trip, even though we are staying at a shelter. Space in the shelters is not gauranteed.

  Please bring $5 to pay for the backcountry permit. This is in addition to the money needed for your shuttle driver.

Required Items to Bring:
  • Hiking Boots / Shoes
  • Backpack
  • Tent / Tarp / Hammock 
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleep Pad
  • Food and Snacks (2 days worth)
  • Water and Filtration / Purification device, Drops, or Tablets
  • Headlamp and spare batteries



Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Use our Event Checkliststo make sure you have everything you need.

  • Camera
  • Hiking Poles
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Stove
  • Matches/Lighter
  • Change of Clothes and Towel for Drive Home
  • Maps/GPS
  • Harmonicas, flutes, cards, etc.

How to Get There:
Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):298Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 8:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $119.20 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.