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Smoky Mtn Nat Park camping advice for photogs
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E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Smoky Mtn Nat Park camping advice for photogs on 05/24/2010 16:59:40 MDT Print View

A buddy of mine is taking a road trip with a few friends from the Northeast through PA to W Virginia and then through Kentucky for a bourbon tour before hitting Knoxville and then spending a few days in the Smoky Mountain National Park later this week. He and most of the group are photographers and are looking for particularly scenic trails and overlooks. They aren’t looking to backpack on this trip, but are fine hiking and driving the extra distance for the best scenic spots.

Can any BPLers who live and play in the Smokies offer any trail, camping area and photo op suggestions?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Smoky Mtn Nat Park camping advice for photogs on 05/24/2010 17:25:56 MDT Print View

(How can a person do a bourbon tour and then expect to do any good with photography?)

--B.G.--

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Bourbon and art on 05/24/2010 17:32:50 MDT Print View

Bourbon has been known to help an artist or two

alan york
(alanyork9) - MLife

Locale: PIEDMONT N.C.
GSNP Elk on 05/24/2010 19:47:41 MDT Print View

They might enjoy a trip to Cataloochee.The elk viewing is amazing.For non hikers/photographers,it is a great stop.I try to stop by for a look whenever I hike in the park.

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
any suggestions for hiking and for camping spots on 05/24/2010 19:54:12 MDT Print View

Alan, thanks very much, any other suggestions including some hiking, and any suggestions for best car camping areas?

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: any suggestions for hiking and for camping spots on 05/25/2010 10:57:05 MDT Print View

I don't know the area that well, since it's been a long time since I was out there. But here are some spots that I remember:
Tremont
It's not far from Cade's Cove, and you can hike a good distance up the river, which is quite scenic, and there are lots of waterfalls around.

Clingman's Dome
There are several hikes there, though solitude might be a bit of a problem.
Gorgeous views -- the best place in the park bar none to get the classic Smoky Mountains look. We went up there at dawn + three times at dusk, and got stormed out every time. Don't hang out there during a thunderstorm.

Foothills Overlook
Sunrise.

Roaring Fork
Beautiful cascades. Not sure about hiking opportunities.

Grotto Falls
Worth a visit. Around 1 mile each way, IIRC. (There's a picture of the falls in my Large Format gallery)

Greenbriar
Lots of hiking opportunities, and lots of cascades. There's a shot from there in my LF gallery also.

For more inspiration, look here:
http://www.dannyburk.com/great_smoky_mountain_landscapes.htm
Danny does a lot of photography out there. He's the one that introduced me to most of those locations during a workshop :)

I hope that helps!

Sorry I don't have much advice to offer about where to car-camp, but hopefully someone else who knows that area better than I do does :)

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Smoky Mtn Nat Park camping advice for photogs on 05/25/2010 14:19:09 MDT Print View

Dayhikes with pics

Newfound Gap to Charlie's Bunion - Charlie's Bunion is a great spot for pics

Alum Gap Trail to LeConte - Most popular (crowded) trail in the park, but for good reason. LeConte has great sunrise (Myrtle Point) and sunset (Cliff Tops) views.

Gregory Ridge Trail to Gregory Bald - Gregory Bald is a great spot, especially in mid to late June when the azaleas bloom.

Mt. Cammerer Fire Lookout(from Cosby or Big Creek) has great views and is a neat picture perfect fire lookout

Cades Cove and Cataloochie provide great car side wildlife viewing, but they are crowded.

Trevor Wilson
(trevor83) - MLife

Locale: ATL -- Zurich -- SF Bay Area
Re: Smoky Mtn Nat Park camping advice for photogs on 05/25/2010 14:37:13 MDT Print View

I would also add Shuckstack to the list of views. Just a couple miles from Fontana Lake on the AT.

E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
fantastic suggestions, any car camping sites? on 05/25/2010 15:00:56 MDT Print View

Fantastic suggestions, I told Dave you'd have great ideas. He'll have to share some of the pics here. Any car camping location suggestions?

I figure there will be plenty car camping sites throughout the park, but some are probably better than others in terms of quiet, proximity to the nicest hiking trails, etc.

Rakesh Malik
(Tamerlin)

Locale: Cascadia
Re: fantastic suggestions, any car camping sites? on 05/25/2010 16:48:47 MDT Print View

I think the Smokies has a ranger station (IIRC there's one in Cade's Cove), they'd be able to give you all sorts of advice.
And don't forget this:
http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/frontcountry-camping.htm

IIRC Greenbriar was quiet. We didn't encounter many people there who weren't in the workshop. Since it was part of a workshop, we didn't end up wandering all that far, but there are a LOT of photo opportunities within a 15-minute walk from where the road ends.

And now that I think about it, there might even be a campground at Cosby, which is close to Greenbriar:
http://picasaweb.google.com/Tamerlin/SpringSmokies#5001921687866376210
I suppose I should re-scan that slide so that I can upload it to my web site. :)