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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.


The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Overnight Trip in the Smokies, Lake Fontana
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Apr 15 2006  9:00 am >> N/A
Registration Opens: Mon, Jan 1 2007 12:00 am
Registration Cut Off: Thu, Apr 13 2006 11:59 pm
Event Duration:per itinerary
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult
Trip Leader(s):
Don Hayes
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:10
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 9 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

Moderate to Strenuous

This is a follow up to a very successful trip last October, but will be a bit easier, and will occur in a different section of the park. The trip is designed for those with some backpacking experience, want to challenge themselves a bit, and aren’t afraid of elevation changes.

This will be your opportunity to push yourself in the Great Smoky Mountains, especially on tax day, and enjoy the wonderful surroundings. We will start off on the Appalachian Trail (AT) by Fontana Dam (elevation of about 2000 feet) and follow it to Sassafrass Gap (elevation 4000) over a distance of about 4 miles and we’ll be treated to amazing views of the lake on the way up. We will take a side trip to Shuckstack lookout for some great views and lunch.

After lunch, we’ll veer off the AT and take the Lost Creek trail (a portion of the Benton Mackaye trail, section 20) for another 3 miles that will be almost entirely downhill and will parallel a very nice stream to reach our campsite near Fontana Lake (1760 feet). Depending on the water level, there may be 4 water crossings that will require us to wade. The campsite is in a beautiful clearing right near the water’s edge. Here, we’ll set up camp, organize a campfire, prepare dinner, stargaze, and enjoy each other’s company.

After breakfast on Sunday morning, we will hike about 6 miles along the Lake shore trail while traversing several valleys, enjoying views of Lake Fontana, go by some old abandoned cars, before returning back to the dam and our cars.

Plan on a late afternoon/early dinner stop during the drive back to the carpool site.

The total distance on the first day will be about 6 miles with a net altitude decrease of about 300 feet, but will go up about 2000 feet before coming back down 2300 feet to our campsite. It’s a pretty consistent hike with the uphill portion covering the first 4 miles, followed by an almost exclusively downhill hike of 3 miles. The second day will have a few more valleys but much smaller elevation changes. We will go as a group and make whatever rest stops are necessary along the way.

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
Dress for the weather
Trekking poles should be considered due to the distance, duration, and elevation pattern.
Water shoes should also be considered to facilitate the water crossings.

Other AOC backpacking recommendations.

How to Get There:
Event Directions:Great Smoky Mountains Natl Park, Gatlinburg, TN Carpool only Take I 85 to I 985 to US 23/441 North. We’ll follow US-441 to 28W and head towards Bryson City. Road will join 74W and follow this towards Fontana. Continue to follow signs towards Fontana Dam. We will park our cars at the Fontana Dam Visitor Center, get our backcountry permit, make a quick bathroom stop, and then walk over the dam to start our hike.


Are Dogs Permitted? No.

Will This Event Occur Rain or Shine? Yes, Only cancelled for extreme weather.

NOTE: Please be considerate of others. If you sign-up and cannot attend, please e-mail the event leader, so others that may be on a waiting list may attend. E-mail the leader to be put on a waiting list if the event is at the max number of attendees.
* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cost Includes:Share of gas money for the ride up ($7-8). Money for food during the drive back.

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