Backcountry conditions change constantly. It is your responsibility to be prepared for the unexpected.

Report any adverse or dangerous Trail conditions you encounter by sending a detailed email to [email protected].

Click Here for A.T. Closures Due to COVID-19

Click each update below for more information.

Caution advised on A.T. after Hurricane Zeta

ga
|
nc
|
gsmnp
|
tn
|
southwest-virginia
|
central-virginia
|
shenandoah-national-park
|
-

(October 30, 2020) – In the wake of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Zeta, hikers are advised to use caution when visiting the Appalachian Trail from Georgia through central Virginia. Especially when setting up camp, look above and all around you for up to two tree lengths to be aware of potential overhead hazards from storm-damaged trees that could cause branches or trees to fall. 

Visit the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests Alerts Page and the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest Facebook page when visiting the A.T. in Georgia, and respective local land-managing agency web pages for updates, including possible road closures.

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK UPDATES

nc
|
gsmnp
|
tn
|
-

(9/18/2020)  All backcountry trails and overnight sites have re-opened.

Backcountry permits, which are required of all overnight hikers, are available up to 30 days in advance. Hikers must have printed copies of the permit with them. Both Fontana Village (close to the trail-south end of the park) and Nantahala Outdoor Center (30 miles south) have re-opened and allow hikers to print permits there.

For current backcountry information, including bear warnings/closures and trail advisories, please visit: nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm. To obtain a permit or for trip planning assistance contact the Backcountry Office at 865-436-1297 (8 am to 5 pm Eastern Time, daily) or visit smokiespermits.nps.gov.

Bear Activity in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
-
Bear Activity

Every year problematic bear activity has been reported at some overnight sites, trail sections, and trailheads in the park. Hikers must use the food storage cables provided at all backcountry campsites in the park. Plan ahead to avoid closed campsites or shelter sites and always store food and smellables properly.

As of 10/1/2020, closures and cautions due to recent bear activity currently exist at the following sites:

  • Cosby Knob Shelter (mile 231.1) – Caution

Keep in mind the situation can change at any time, and almost all shelters within the park have had cautions or closures at one time or another due to bear activity.

Click here for more information about bears in the backcountry.

Vehicle Break-Ins at Davenport Gap

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
-
Parking

Multiple vehicle break-ins and car thefts have been reported at this location (Tenn. 32/N.C. 284, the eastern boundary of GSMNP).

Do not park overnight: this location has a history of vandalism and car thefts. The ATC recommends parking at Big Creek Ranger Station in seasons when rangers are present.

Backcountry Permit Fees

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
-
Permits

A backcountry permit must be obtained for overnight stays before entering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and a $4 per person fee will be required for each night in the backcountry. Backcountry permits can be obtained up to 30 days in advance. Hikers who meet the definition of an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker (those who begin and end their hike at least 50 miles outside the park and only travel on the A.T. in the park) are eligible for a thru-hiker permit of $20 (valid for 38 days from the date issued for an up to 8-day hike through the Park). Permits are available at www.smokiespermits.nps.gov. You may also obtain a permit in person at the park’s Backcountry Office (at the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, TN) or over the phone; with permits issued by fax, mail or email. Hikers staying overnight in the backcountry are required to have a printed copy of the permit.

For more information, visit www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/backcountry-camping.htm or call 865.436.1297.