Park rangers assigned solely to backcountry patrol will provide enhanced enforcement for issues such as wildlife violations and food storage. Under FLREA, children younger than 16 years of age are exempt from entrance fees but not other fees, such as those for backcountry use. It’s the highest elevation campsite. Most roads in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are open to cycling, but steep terrain, narrow roadbeds, and heavy car traffic make most of them ill suited to safe and enjoyable riding. In addition, by making all sites reservation-only, the new reservation system will have the capability to notify permit holders of site closures, safety issues and other emergency conditions via email and text messaging prior to beginning their trip. The changes include a $4 per person per night fee for backcountry camping. Reservations are $4 per person per night with a max fee of $20 per person. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which straddles the borders of North Carolina and Tennessee in the southeastern United States, is renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the history of its Appalachian mountain culture. Answer 1 of 12: Hey all, trying to get back down to the smokies region -with my daughter. Check out 28 on the TN side of the Park. Backcountry permits and AT thru-hiker permits can be made within two weeks from the first night of your trip. The fee will be used to provide increased customer service for backcountry trip planning, reservations, permits and the backcountry experience. 2 Camping is permitted only at desig-nated sites and shelters. Before planning your backcountry trip, please read through this important information about reservations and permits, regulations, bear safety, trail closures, and more . A park-specific reservation and permit system, which users will have 24/7 access to, allows backcountry campers to make reservations and obtain permits online from anywhere internet access is available. 4025 East Huntington, Suite 150 The Sugarlands Visitor Center is open year-round on every day except Christmas Day. Permit info...you might see what is available. Age 53. Changes to a permit may be made one time. Reservations and permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. ashepabst. Info; Alerts; Maps; Calendar; Reserve ; Alerts In Effect Dismiss Dismiss View all alerts × Contact Us. My favorite is the Mt Sterling site, I think. The tables below list campgrounds, shelters, and backcountry campsites in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.Click on the location to select map views and nearby waypoints. Yes. Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that changes to its current backcountry reservation and permitting process will take effect on February 13, 2013. To make reservations, please visit the backcountry permit website. During the last week in January, I was poking around the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Facebook page and saw an announcement that the Great Smoky Mountains National Park would be instituting a fee for anyone wishing to obtain a backcountry permit. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Backcountry Permit System allows users to apply for and purchase backcountry permits. 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Thru-hikers are required to stay at backcountry shelters throughout the trail, 4 spaces per shelter … Food storage instructions, general guidance about the challenges of the park's backcountry and Leave No Trace, as well as other educational and safety information will also be included in the system. Backcountry permit holders may make changes one time, per permit, without incurring additional fees. Now that you know all of the fun and exciting places to go backpacking, here are a few tips to help you make sure that your journey is both fun and memorable. 2. In mountain parks, the most popular season extends from early or mid-July to Labor Day. If I am looking to go on a multi-night hike in the smoky mountains and am getting the backcountry permits needed, do I need to wait until 30 days before the LAST day I want to camp on a seven day permit? Level Contributor . Refunds will be offered as a result of campsite closures and events such as prolonged road or trail closures due to significant weather events. Reservations and permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. Backcountry Regulations. Backcountry Office hours have been expanded with additional staff available to provide trip planning assistance both over the phone and in person. Backcountry Office & Permit System Restructuring. Permits are good for 7 nights. Our 3rd trip. • Will there be a change to the annual maximum number of nights one can stay in the backcountry? • What is the timeframe for implementing the fee and new reservation/permitting system? How to Hike the Virgin River Narrows in Zion. If you’re looking for something longer than a weekend trip, you can attempt to hike the entire 72 miles of the Smoky Mountains section of the Appalachian Trail, which travels past Clingmans Dome, Rocky Top/Thunderhead, Charlies Bunion, and several other essential Smoky Mountains destinations. All backcountry users stand to benefit from the changes. Camping is permitted only at designated backcountry campsites and shelters. Backcountry camping in the wilderness area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is permitted for hikers, horseback riders, and boaters (motorized or paddled). The changes include a $4 per person, per night fee for backcountry camping. Get a Permit. • How will the changes affect my reservation, permitting and backcountry experience? It’s the highest elevation campsite. Tips For Backpacking in the Smoky Mountains National Park. Operating Hours for Backcountry Office – The Backcountry Office located at the Sugarlands Visitor Center, near Gatlinburg, TN, is open every day from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Backcountry reservations and permits can be obtained online or by calling 865-436-1297. The Sugarlands Visitor Center is open year-round on every day except Christmas Day. The park regulation limiting overnight backcountry stays to 30 nights per trip and 60 nights per year will not change. Great Smoky Mountains. Great Smoky Mountains National Park changed the backcountry reservation and permitting process in February 2013. As of February 2013, Great Smoky Mountains National Park requires a permit and advance reservations for all backcountry camping in the park. Permit info...you might see what is available. Please contact the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Backcountry Office at 865-436-1297 if you have any questions. Increased compliance with regulations and Leave No Trace also helps protect and preserve resources, such as wildlife, that most visitors highly value. A handy trick among veteran backpackers is to pin their permit onto their tent once they’ve set up camp, so as to immediately state their legitimateness and fend off any unnecessary questioning. As of October, 2007, these waypoints (latitude/longitude) are reasonably accurate based on visits with a GPS, though the Park service may relocate camp sites. Gatlinburg, TN To qualify for an AT Thru-Hiker Permit, you must begin and end your hike at least 50 miles outside of the national park and only travel on the AT in the park. Additionally, certain activities like rock climbing and ice climbing almost always necessitate a permit of some kind. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers over 800 miles of trails that can be explored on foot or by horseback. Hikers not meeting this definition should apply for a General Backcountry Permit. Backcountry permits can be obtained up to 30 days in advance. Reservations may be made at any time up to 30 days in advance, allowing maximum flexibility for those making last minute plans. The fee will be used to provide increased customer service for backcountry trip planning, reservations, permitting and to improve the backcountry experience. The changes include a $4 per person, per night fee for backcountry camping. 28 is a great hike in alongside the Middle Prong of the Little River heading up towards the AT. Journal Entries 1. The reservation and permitting system will allow backcountry users to check availability for and reserve any site or shelter in the national park. Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that changes to its current backcountry reservation and permitting process will take effect on February 13, 2013. Great Smoky Mountains. Backcountry permits are generally required for camping outside of the drive-in camping lots. The permit is valid for 38 days from the day you purchase it, and is available for up to 8 days in the park (most hikers take 7 days to hike the Great Smoky Mountains section of the trail). Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee/North Carolina) (Note: policies and protocols may be different during the COVID-19 pandemic.) It includes a chart which indicates rationed sites. A group of backpackers who sued over a fee program instituted at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have failed to show they were harmed by the $4 nightly fees, according to a motion asking that the lawsuit be dismissed.. The facility includes a Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop, as well as a Backcountry permit station. Remember to call the Backcountry Office at (865) 436-1231 and reserve a spot in the shelter at least a month in advance. Backcountry Rules and Regulations. 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