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GSMNP Question...
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Mark Andrews
(buldogge) - F

Locale: Midwest
GSMNP Question... on 03/04/2013 09:31:41 MST Print View

Hey Guys...Heading to GSMNP for a few days April 1st...made our reservations, ready to go.

We've never been before and, before I call the backcountry office, I was wondering if anyone knows if it is kosher to set-up tents next to/near shelters or if you must use the shelter itself...???

-Mark in St. Louis

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
GSMNP on 03/04/2013 10:14:42 MST Print View

At shelters, you can only stay with a reservation, and you can only sleep in the shelter. The only exception is for AT thru-hikers, who are only allowed to camp if the shelter is completely full.

Because there's no camping at shelters, you will be hard-pressed to find a good tent site near most shelters. Luckily, the GSMNP shelters are really nice.

Steve Meier
(smeier) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
hmmm... on 03/04/2013 12:23:06 MST Print View

Mark, as Scott mentioned you're not supposed to camp by the shelters but my experience is that people often do, usually because they can't sleep with snorers, and the shelters I've seen would accomodate a tent or three close by. I've not seen anyone get in trouble for doing it but I suspect it happens...

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: GSMNP Question... on 03/04/2013 13:42:37 MST Print View

As mentioned you can not set your tent up beside the AT shelters in the park. This is due to the high volume of traffic in these sensitive areas. The shelters must be reserved and I think most of them in the park sleep 12. The exception is during thru hiker season when 4 spots are "reserved" for thru hikers and other thru hikers are allowed to set up outside the shelter. I think the fine is $250 if they catch you without a permit though I have never seen a ranger in the backcountry except at LeConte and when one hiked in for a medical emergency. I do see ridge runners occasionally though.

Mark Andrews
(buldogge) - F

Locale: Midwest
Reservations... on 03/04/2013 14:41:11 MST Print View

Hey Guys...We have the reservations in place.

Double Spring Gap
Icewater Springs
Mt. LeConte

Just wanted to know the possibility of pitching the tent(s) if necessary...snorers, partiers, whatever.


Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Reservations... on 03/04/2013 16:32:17 MST Print View

Icewater and LeConte are the two most likely places to see a ranger btw. I know that one often stays in the LeConte lodge and checks permits at the shelter. Less likely to see a ranger at Double Springs.