Outings > Overnight and Camping

Great Smoky Mountains overnighter

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Hey y'all, I've been hopping on here to read a bit lately but haven't posted much of anything in a while. Got my older daughter moved off to start a new university in a few weeks. Between family time and work I haven't had much dirt time, knife time, etc.

Got away for an overnighter this week. My friend and I started Thursday morning at Newfound Gap in the GSMNP. We hiked East to Mount Kephart (elev 6,218') and the Jump Off (a cliff near the peak that offers some spectacular views).

Mount LeConte framed in the distance

View from the Jump Off

From Mt. Kephart, we hiked over to Charlie's Bunion.

"Charlies Bunion is a rock outcropping that was originally known as Fodderstack. The current name was derived when Charlie Conner went hiking one day with Horace Kephart, one of the early proponents for a national park in the Smokies, and the author of Our Southern Highlanders. When they paused for a rest on the rocks, Conner took his boots and socks off and exposed a bunion that resembled the surrounding rocks. Looking at Conner's feet, Kephart remarked, "Charlie, I'm going to get this place put on a government map for you." And so he did."http://www.hikinginthesmokys.com/charliesbunion.htm

From Charlies Bunion, we hiked the Dry Sluice Gap Trail to a backcountry campsite, we logged a total of 11.8 miles

Still some blooms in the higher elevations

View from Dry Sluice Gap Trail

Campsite right on the river at the junction of the Dry Sluice trail and the Bradley Fork Trail

Hiked out Friday morning - about 5.8 miles - to the Smokemont Campground in NC.

In all a great trip. Thursday was warm but not hot, low humidity, and not hazy or "smoky" over the mountains like the typical summer days. Temps dropped into the 50's overnight - perfect for camping. First time I've ever spent the night in the Smokies and didn't get rained - or stormed - on.

Thanks for looking!

Great photo series, Sarge....and it sounds like you had good luck with the weather.  I've never been that lucky.....3 different times when visiting the Smokies and in different months, but each time there was drizzle, rain or a low cloud ceiling.  Just the luck of the draw when you are in the mountains, I guess. :shrug:

Ol'P.....I watch the weather in Montana and a couple of days ago it was WAY hotter up there in your neck o' the woods than it was here in Nebraska.  From the reports I see, it's been dry up there, too.  Any fires breaking out near you?

Nice pics.  We are home now but even at lower elevation it was pleasant except in the heat of the day.  I bet you had an outstanding trip with no rain.

Moe M.:

 Nice trip report, thanks for taking us along,  is that Kephart in the picture one of those Becker models ?

Nice photos Mike.  Camp looks inviting.  Your hike was a good stretch of the leg for sure.  I suppose the Becker deserved a photo on Mount Kephart but would have liked to see yours there too.

Thanks for the report.


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