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REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

State Highpoints Backpacking- Clingmans Dome, TN - AT

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Newfound Gap - Parking Lot on US 441   Backpacking: State Highpoints Backpacking- Clingmans Dome, TN - AT  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Feb 24 2018  7:00 am >> Sun, Feb 25 2018 9:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 7:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Thu, Feb 8 2018 9:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Feb 23 2018 3:00 pm
Event Duration:1 Days 14 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D6: Advanced
Distance:22 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:8
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 3 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Located on the rugged border of Tennessee and North Carolina is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), a popular destination for challenging backpacking trips with AOC members. Starting at the break of dawn we'll head up I-85N and US-441N to the gorgeous high country of the park and check in for an awesome overnighter that is sure to test your limits (See Directions below and/or the vicinity map for our meetup spot, click the blue & green "coordinates" icon on the "Event Location" line for better details).  After parking & gathering at Newfound Gap we'll immediately start the rigorous climbs as we head southbound (SoBo) on the Appalachian Trail (AT) to Double Spring Gap Shelter. Along the way we will stop at the Tennessee state high point...CLINGMANS DOME (also the overall high point of the entire AT @ 6,644 feet) for a mandatory photo and a quick break...then back on the AT to complete the day down to Double Spring Gap Shelter with a daily overall of about 11 miles. The shelters are protected from major elements, but not 100%, as we all know their population tends to be high in the rodent category so we are encouraging bivy bags or hammocks. 

BEAR CANISTERS are also required and will need to be staged off-site for safety reasons that are too obvious to state.

After a great night of sleep we'll wake up, eat, break camp, clean up and be back at the NoBo trek, retracing our steps back up to Clingmans Dome (maybe more photos if the weather is better one day versus the other) and back down to the parking lot at Newfound Gap.

We'll probably stop somewhere along the way home to fill up on some good chow...a group vote will be in order before we load up and head South on US-441.

This is a D6 level backpacking trip, please register only if you're comfortable with an extremely difficult backpacking event and have recent AOC backpacking experience. If your experience is not from the club, please include it in a note when you register. The Trip Leader reserves the right to remove registrants without a sufficient track record with the club for the safety of everyone. I encourage members to actively participate in challenging experiences, but most importantly - to stay healthy and safe so you can build from here.



Required Items to Bring:

Sturdy hiking shoes/boots

bivy sack/hammock

0° sleeping bag or lower

Rain gear, cold weather gear, layers

MSR/Jetboil or the like

Cold weather fuel

Bear canister or hang bag

water treatment/filter

water/hydration system

enough food/snacks to stay energized for 2 solid days of rigorous hiking. Only you know what "you" will need to stay strong & healthy...more is never a bad thing.

Positive attitude :)

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

Micro spikes/YakTrax


Trekking poles



Eye protection

Pack saw

hand/foot warmers

Bear spray?

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

I-85N to I-985N (which turns into  US 441N (US23N/365N)) toward Franklin and through to Cherokee and up to the Newfound Gap parking lot that is on the RH side of 441 (just north of the Oconaluftee Vistors Center). Estimated 3 hour drive. We will all re-group and hit the restooms at the visitors center...good photo opp #1 too.

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):322Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 7:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $128.80 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.


Bring dry clothing to change in to for return trip.
Bring bag for wet and/or muddy gear to respect drivers vehicle.
Let's all hope for bright, sunny & clear weather (temps..I don't care, we just want clear skies;)

Must adhere to all backcountry rules and regs from GSMNP web site: regs.htm 

Each participant will also need to pay for their portion of the permit = $4/person.

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

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