Camping Camping
Hiking (Backpacking) Hiking (Backpacking)


  • Oct 5
  • 10:00:00
  • Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door


  • Oct 9
  • 14:00:00
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park


  • Sep 30
  • 23:00:00


  • $0.00


**Beginnermediate Backpacking**

The Great Smoky Mountains Fallapalooza continues!! Join me on a backpacking / camping trip to the beautiful Smoky Mountains. We will be leaving Friday, Oct. 5th and returning Tuesday, Oct. 9th. Friday night and Monday night we’ll be camping in a car-camping type campground, and Saturday and Sunday night we’ll be doing a backpacking loop.

This is a beginnermediate backpacking trip because we’ll be doing some longer, steep and exposed trails, but it’ll be worth it for the views! If you’ve never backpacked before but have camping experience / are a proficient hiker, I would go ahead and sign up and talk to me about your ability level. See the specific itinerary down below for a sense of the mileage day to day.

We’ll be camping Friday and Monday night at Elkmont Campground; the same site as Chad’s trip, and probably meet up for a big campfire / dinner / good ODC shenanigans!!

*** The Plan ***

Friday, October 5th:
-meet up and leave cville by 10am; it’s about a 5.5 hr drive
-arrive in GSMNP mid-afternoon
-Hike to Clingmans Dome (0.5 miles) the tallest peak in the park!
-set up up camp / stock up on anything needed in Gatlinburg
-Camp at Elkmont Campground + hang with the other GSMNP trip!

Saturday, October 6th:
-get up early-ish and take down the campsite; drive to the trailhead @ Big Creek parking
-hike to Laurel Gap shelter
**we have options!! We can either choose to do 11 really strenuous miles or 7.5 slightly less strenuous but equally beautiful miles if we choose to shuttle a vehicle to a different starting point
-camp @ Laurel Gap

Sunday, October 7th:
-leave Laurel Gap and hike 6 miles to our next campsite
**if we are itching for more hiking, there is plenty of exploring to do after setting up camp
-camp out / hang, cook dinner, stargaze… the whole 9 yards

Monday, October 8th:
-pack up camp
-hike back to Big Creek parking area
**more options!! We can see how we’re feeling by Day 3, but we could either hike out ~6 miles, or we could jump that up to ~10 miles and stop at Mt. Cammerer, which is supposed to absolutely beautiful.
-drive back to Gatlinburg / Elkmont campground and relaxxx / hang w/ the other GSMNP ODC trip
-camp at Elkmont Campground

Tuesday, October 9th:
-get up early, pack up camp
-drive back to cville to face the realities of all of the homework we put off to explore the GSM!! (SO worth it)

** Other Logistics **

You’ll be responsible for your own food! Try to pack consciously and concisely, and I recommend easy, simple backpacking meals for the backpacking portion of our trip. The more food you pack the more weight you have to carry!! We could stop in Gatlinburg and stock up on food if we want to make one big group meal the first night of camping, and perhaps on the last night of camping we could treat ourselves to a meal out in Gatlinburg.

I’ll be bringing my Pocket Rocket for backpacking, so I recommend bringing a small cooking system like that if you have one, but I can also share mine. We could probably get away with a meal over the fire for our car camping nights.

I need drivers!! You’ll be reimbursed up to $150 for gas, plus a $20 tip + my amazing co-pilot services + I’m also happy to help out with driving. We should ideally take two cars or one larger car if we can make it work to hold all of our gear; and preferably one with higher clearance if we end up shuttling the vehicles for the backpacking portion.

Packing List:
-backpacking backpack (I’ll be carrying a 55L pack)
-hella water bottles
-hiking boots + extra socks
-rain gear
-way to pack out waste
-sleeping bag
-sleeping pad
-*tent if you have one!!* — we can figure this out for the group
-clothes + layers if it gets cold @ night + maybe a change of clean clothes to keep in the car for post backpacking
-spending $$ for Gatlinburg / spontaneous roadtripping stops
-water filtration system if you have one
*** I’ll send out a more complete list of gear as the time gets closer of exactly what I’m bringing
GSMNP Trail Map:

Elkmont Campground deatils:

Images of Clingman’s Dome:…0.0..0.321.1093.3j0j1j2……1….1..gws-wiz-img…….0i67.jhP2f9f3tAs

Text me if you have any questions!! 540-209-7645




Trips Attended: 27 Trips Led: 9

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