Print-Friendly Version
Add this event to your calendar (Outlook, iCalendar)
Add REGISTRATION REMINDER to your calendar

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.

GSMNP - Lake Fontana - Lakeshore Trail

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Great Smokey Mountain NP, Lake View Tunnel (i.e. Road to Nowhere)   Backpacking: GSMNP - Lake Fontana - Lakeshore Trail  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Fri, Jul 26 2019  7:00 am >> Sun, Jul 28 2019 9:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 7:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Mon, Jul 1 2019 6:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Thu, Jul 25 2019 10:00 am
Event Duration:2 Days 14 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D6: Advanced (Exploratory)
Distance:34 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Email Trip Leader(s)
You must be logged in to get the Trip Leader contact information.
Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:8
Minimum Group Size:3
Number Registered So Far: 7 / 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.



This is a point-to-point backpack on the Lakeshore trail through the Great Smoky Moutain National Park. This trail travels near the spectacular Lake Fontana for most of its distance. There should be opportunity to swim in the Lake at camp both nights and during lunch on days one and two.


Day 1: Friday - 10 mile hike starting at the Lakeview trailhead. We will park in the lot just before the tunnel on Lakeshore Drive (i.e. The "road to nowhere" . About 1-2 hours will be required before starting the hike in order to shuttle at least one car to our finish point at Fontana Dam. The trail will travel just to the north of Lake Fontana joining it at several points. The campsite  98 wil be near the Lake, which should provide swimming opportunities during our stay.

Day 2: Saturday  - 14 mile hike from camp 98 to camp 86. The trail continues on the north side of Lake Fontana, with additional swimming opportunities at lunch and after pitching camp.

Day 3: Sunday  - 10-mile hike to our finish at Lake Fontana Dam. After retrieving the car left at "the tunnel", we will return to Atlanta. If there is interest, we will stop at a restaurant for some refueling during our return trip.

I have reservations for 6 people at campsite #98 and #86. The cost of the reservation permit is $48, which I will prorate among those who attend.


A map of the park can be viewed here: /grsm/planyourvisit/maps.htm

Some good reading on the "road to nowhere: rolina/NC288-FontanaDam-TheRoadToNowhere.html

Since this is a long-distance event, trip leadership reserves the right to remove anyone they feel may not be able to complete the distance.

Required Items to Bring:
  • Hiking Boots / Shoes
  • Backpack
  • Tent / Tarp / Hammock 
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleep Pad
  • Food and Snacks (2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners)
  • Water and Filtration / Purification device, Drops, or Tablets
  • Headlamp and spare batteries
  • Change of Clothes and Towel for Drive Home
  • Cash for carpool
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Camera
  • Hiking Poles
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Stove
  • Matches/Lighter
  • Swimming stuff
  • Maps/GPS

How to Get There:
Event Directions:
Take US Hwy 74 to exit 67 (Bryson City Exit, turn right onto Veteran's Blvd. At the 1st light turn right onto Main St. To Next light turn Left onto Everett St. Go straight for about 6-7 miles. you will pass the Swain county High school and keep going until you go into the Great Smokey Mtns Nat'l Park and until you cross the bridge "Nolands Creek" up to the parking area next to the barricade. Walk 1/4 mile through the tunnel and to the end of the road.
Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):330Mile(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 $132.00 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.