Great Smoky Mountains

Last Updated 5/13/2007

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The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most visited National Parks in the country. It is also a beautiful wilderness with an abundance of wildlife featuring deer, black bears and even red wolves.

We will begin this trip by Fontana Dam and spend the first half of the trip hiking around Fontana Lake, which is good news for those who enjoy swimming. The trip will continue through a 1000 foot long 2-lane pedestrian tunnel (if we have time), climb up past Forney Creek Waterfall, and end up summiting Clingman's Dome, the 3rd highest peak East of the Mississippi. Enjoy a wild and beautiful landscape and lose some weight (or more accurately, improve body composition) in the process.

Clingman's Dome Sunrise


The Smoky Mountains Fitpacking Trip will be from April 21-29, 2007, which coincides with TV Turnoff Week. Here is the proposed itinerary.


We don't believe in austere eating regimens. Because backpacking is rigorous and demanding (as well as rewarding), you must feed your body in order for it perform. Your body will dictate that you eat nutritious food often, almost continually. Please check out the sample menus for this trip.

These lists are not necessarily comprehensive and may be altered or augmented. Furthermore, if you want to bring personal food, say a big old chocolate cake, go for it. After carrying it 50+ miles through the mountains, your body will most likely not desire those empty calories, nor want to carry the weight around.

Equipment List

Here is a list of equipment we suggest you bring. Please feel free to discuss any items of question with us before the trip.

Who's Coming?

Here is a list of the participants so far. Why not get to know them before you meet them?


$825 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share hotel rooms with another trip participant. You may also wish to share a tent, which will cut down on total weight carried -- an important consideration -- but it will also mean less privacy.

You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Knoxville if you fly or Seveirville if you drive. Furthermore, any restaurant meals off the trail may be your responsibility. Finally, you will be responsible for any personal calls you make or receive on our satellite phone or from motel/hotel rooms.


Weather is always an important concern when backpacking. Fortunately, April is a reasonably temperate time in the Smokies. In fact, it is one of the ideal months with comfortable temperatures and few bugs. Temperature at the lower elevations can reach the 80s but at altitude can drop below freezing, so you should come prepared for the possibility of freezing weather.