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Backpacking Lost Cove in the Smokies

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Apr 3 2021  10:00 am >> Mon, Apr 5 2021 11:00 am
Registration Opens: Mon, Mar 29 2021 8:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Thu, Apr 1 2021 8:00 pm
Event Duration:2 Days 1 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult
Distance:8 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Michael Johnson
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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: 4 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


Join us for a backpacking trip to one of the premier campsites in all of the Southeast - Lost Cove. This hike will begin on the AT at Fontana Dam. I have rated this hike a D5 because we will ascend 2100 feet for 3.7 miles up Shuckstack Ridge along the AT to the Shuckstack Firetower. It's a challenging climb, but once you reach the top, the views to the South, including Fontana Lake, are spectacular from the top of the firetower. From there, we will mostly descend (steeply the first mile or so), for 4.0 miles along the Lost Cove Trail until we reach campsite # 90 at Lost Cove. A confluence of rivers empty in a large meadow beside our campsite.

Optionally, on the 2nd day we can go for a day hike, or just hang out in the valley. This valley is beautiful. I find it hard to leave once I get there. I have basked in the sun, watching the Osprey soar, while breathing the mountain air deeply into my lungs. I have enjoyed great conversations beside the confluence of the rivers which drain from high above into Fontana Lake, with a cup of coffee. I have wandered away from the campfire, and enjoyed an incredible display of stars. The water level of Fontana Lake will be low this time of year, which will allow us to enjoy the meadow, and have more privacy, since the boaters can't easily reach the campsite.

The last day we will hike 5.7 miles along the Lakeshore Trail back to Fontana Dam.  Please be prepared to let me know about your backpacking experience, since this trip will be no good for people who haven't trained for walking up mountains carrying weight.

Note, we will not be rushing out of camp on Monday morning. Depending on the weather, we might leave as late as 11am. We will also stop at The Rivers End beside the Nantahala river on the way home, which is a great place to eat and drink and wander around watching the boaters on the river. Ths trip is not for those in a hurry. But you must be fit. 

I have reservations for 8 people at campsite #90. The cost of the reservation permit is $64, but I won't charge you more than $8.   If you do sign up, and for some reason you have to cancel, please have the courtesy to remove yourself as soon as possible so that we can give people on the waiting list sufficient notice that there is a spot for them on this event.

Required Items to Bring:

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Recommended Items to Bring:
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Hiking poles (for creek crossings), stove, water filter, snacks, matches, change of clothes.

$8.00 for the campsite reservation.

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Meet at the Fontana Dam visitor center

71 Fontana Dam Rd. Fontana Dam NC 28733 TVA is doing some maintenance. Will therefore meet at visitors center and walk across the dam.

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