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• Will the park institute a per person limit for backcountry fees paid in one year? In addition, park rangers assigned exclusively to the backcountry are providing enhanced enforcement for issues such as wildlife violations and food storage. • Has the park considered charging for shelter use only, or only charging for sites that are currently on the reservation system? 1 You must possess a backcountry permit while camping in the backcoun-try. Permit info...you might see what is available. Through a combination of education and enforcement, park rangers assigned exclusively to the backcountry are expected to lead to better compliance with regulations and Leave No Trace ethics. There are nearly 100 designated campsites and 15 shelters (no tent required), though some are for hikers only, hikers and horseback riders only, and boaters only. The fee will be $4 per person per night, with a maximum of cost of $20 per person per permit, for up to seven nights. The fee, along with a new website to pay it, would be up and running… Thru-hikers on the Great Smoky Mountains section of the Appalachian Trail are required to obtain a permit for the time they spend hiking through the park. Hate to purchase a whole bunch then have a heart attack over the cost and miss out . 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. • Why is Great Smoky Mountains National Park implementing a fee for backcountry camping? Here are the dates to apply for a backcountry permit reservation in some major and popular parks: ... Good weather and hiking conditions can last into late autumn and return by late spring in Great Smoky Mountains. Info; Alerts; Maps; Calendar; Reserve ; Alerts In Effect Dismiss Dismiss View all alerts × Contact Us. 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 National Park Service issued the following backcountry regulations for anyone entering Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 31 at the head of Porter's Creek is another recommendation. 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? The office is staffed by volunteers and is open daily from 9 a.m. until noon. Great Smoky Mountains National Park changed the backcountry reservation and permitting process in February 2013. • Can the reservation system be used to disseminate messages about closures, challenges of the park's backcountry, food storage or Leave No Trace? Each thru-hiker must obtain a separate permit. To familiarize yourself with rationed and non-rationed sites, contact the Backcountry Office at (423) 436-1231 for a Smoky Mountains Trail Map. Changes to a permit may be made one time. Failure to do so may result in a fine of up to $5,000 per violation and/or 6 months in jail. Sign up to receive our exclusive Wildland Wire emails and stay up to date with Wildland Trekking's promotions, discounts, contests, outdoor tips and tricks, trip reports and more! Additionally, certain activities like rock climbing and ice climbing almost always necessitate a permit of some kind. • 24/7 access to the reservation and permitting system will allow backcountry users to obtain reservations and permits at any time starting 30 days in advance of a trip. Tips For Backpacking in the Smoky Mountains National Park. 1 year ago. There are nearly 100 designated campsites and 15 shelters (no tent required), though some are for hikers only, hikers and horseback riders only, and boaters only. Backcountry camping in the wilderness area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is permitted for hikers, horseback riders, and boaters (motorized or paddled). nashville. Check out 28 on the TN side of the Park. Backcountry Permits. Park rangers assigned solely to backcountry patrol will provide enhanced enforcement for issues such as wildlife violations and food storage. 3 Use of reserved sites and shelters must be confirmed through the Backcountry Reservation Office. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers over 800 miles of trails that can be explored on foot or by horseback. This varies by the park, so always check with the specific park you plan to visit in advance to see what their requirements are. Because of limited staff, multiple calls are usually required before one can actually speak to Backcountry Office staff to make a reservation. Safe. FLREA permits the creation of annual passes for park entrance fees but not other fees, such as backcountry use fees. Thank you for using the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Backcountry Permit System. It includes a chart which indicates rationed sites. Great Smoky Mountains Thru Hiker Permit; If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. Our 3rd trip. Below are all the shelters located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Permits may be obtained for up to 7 nights. The fee will be used to provide increased customer service for backcountry trip planning, reservations, permits and the backcountry experience. Currently, backcountry users must obtain a free permit for all overnight stays in the backcountry. Increased compliance with regulations and Leave No Trace also helps protect and preserve resources, such as wildlife, that most visitors highly value. 4 You may stay up to three consecutive nights at a site. There is a $20 cost for the Thru-Hiker Backcountry Permit. The backcountry fee of $4 per night per person, with a $20 per person cap per trip, took effect this past February. Park rangers have the authority to enforce backcountry regulations with penalties up to $5,000 and 6 months in jail. Great Smoky Mountains National Park changed the backcountry reservation and permitting process in February 2013. Unlike on an AT thru-hike in the Park, this hike will require tent camping. • Will I be able to obtain a refund or make changes to my itinerary? 1,156 posts. Before planning your backcountry trip, please read through this important information about reservations and permits, regulations, bear safety, trail closures, and more . Backcountry permits can be obtained up to 30 days in advance. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Backcountry Permit System allows users to apply for and purchase backcountry permits. Smoky MountainsBackcountry Camping. Reservations and permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. Dive in and you'll enjoy expansive mountain views, rushing waterfalls, untamed wildlife and clear, starry skies. The Sugarlands Visitor Center is open year-round on every day except Christmas Day. Special Use Permits: Required for certain organized activities and events. 2. 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 … Permits may also be obtained in person in the Backcountry Office, which is located at the Sugarlands Visitor Center. The reservation and permitting system will allow backcountry users to check availability for and reserve any site or shelter in the national park. Brush up on your camping and hiking safety, respect the land, the animals and the forces of nature, and you'll have a camping vacation you'll never forget. 2. 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. The changes include a $4 per person per night fee for backcountry camping. Backcountry permits for camping in the Smoky Mountains are available at most ranger stations and visitor centers along with free backcountry maps showing all the hiking trails, camping areas, and a list of rules, regulations, and safety concerns. Additional permits may be obtained for those wanting to camp more than 7 nights at one time. Reservation and permit requests are also accepted in person at the Backcountry Office, which is located at the Sugarlands Visitor Center. Re: Best smoky mountains backcountry site . Jun 12, 2014 - The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Backcountry Permit System allows users to apply for and purchase backcountry permits. Reservations are required for Great Smoky AT shelters. Images 5. Backcountry permit holders may make changes one time, per permit, without incurring additional fees. Great Smoky Mountains National Park Backcountry Permits v3.5.009 - Last Update: November 30, 2020 Park rangers have the authority to enforce backcountry regulations with penalties up to $5,000 and 6 months in jail. Thank You for Signing up for Wildland Wires! Hikers not meeting this definition should apply for a General Backcountry Permit. Level Contributor . 28 is a great hike in alongside the Middle Prong of the Little River heading up towards the AT. Permit info...you might see what is available. Flagstaff, Arizona 86004, All Content & Photos Copyrighted by WTC © 2020, Current Operating Guidelines & New Booking Terms →, Current Operation Guidelines & Booking Terms, Best Hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National park, Best Time to Visit the Great Smoky Mountains, Great Smoky Mountains Backpacking Permits, Visiting the Great Smoky Mountains in Fall, Visiting the Great Smoky Mountains in Summer, Visiting the Great Smoky Mountains in the Spring, Visiting the Great Smoky Mountains in Winter, What to See in the Smoky Mountains in One Day, Olympic National Park Inn-Based Hiking Tours, Visiting Olympic National Park in the Autumn, Visiting Olympic National Park in the Spring, Visiting Olympic National Park in the Winter, What to Do in Olympic National Park in One Day, Best Time to Visit Rocky Mountain National Park, See Rocky Mountain National Park in One Day, Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park in the Fall, Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park in the Spring, Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park in the Summer, Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park in the Winter. Save . The Sugarlands Visitor Center is open year-round on every day except Christmas Day. Aug 30, 2016 - The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Backcountry Permit System allows users to apply for and purchase backcountry permits. • Will there be a reduced fee for children or for residents of Tennessee or North Carolina? Show Printable Version; Email this Page… 01-20-2019, 00:14 #21. The reservation and permitting system will allow users to view campsite capacity and availability for every backcountry campsite and shelter in the park. It’s the highest elevation campsite. Reservations and permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. • For Canyonlands, including backpacking in the Needles District and multi-day float trips on the Green River, apply for a permit reservation at recreation.gov at 8 a.m. Mountain Time on Nov. 10 for a trip beginning between March 10 and June 9, on Feb. 10 for a trip between June 10 and Sept. 9, on May 10 for a trip between Sept. 10 and Dec. 9, and Aug. 10 for a trip between Dec. 10 and March 9. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is an American national park in the southeastern United States, with parts in Tennessee and North Carolina.The park straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain.The park contains some of the highest mountains in eastern North America, including … 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. To make reservations, please visit the backcountry permit website. Managers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park are considering some changes in the process by which backpackers make reservations for overnight camping at the Park’s nearly 100 backcountry sites and shelters. Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Gatlinburg, TN Thru-hikers are required to stay at backcountry shelters throughout the trail, 4 spaces per shelter … FLREA does not authorize reduced fees for residents of states contiguous to the national park. Age 53. Remember to call the Backcountry Office at (865) 436-1231 and reserve a spot in the shelter at least a month in advance. 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 proposed changes, which would update the reservation procedure as well as increasing Ranger presence on the Park’s 800 miles of trails, would be covered by a minimal user fee. Refunds will be offered as a result of campsite closures and events such as prolonged road or trail closures due to significant weather events. National Park NC, TN. A permit is required for camping in the backcountry. Report inappropriate content . The Sugarlands Visitor Center is open year-round on every day except Christmas Day. The fee will be implemented at that time. You must telephone the Backcountry Reservation Office to obtain permission for the use of rationed sites. Keep your permit with you while in the backcountry, and be prepared to show it if you come across a ranger. • Will I be able to purchase an annual backcountry camping pass? The changes include a $4 per person, per night fee for backcountry camping. Backcountry permit holders are not allowed to use tents at shelters. The changes include a $4 per person per night fee for backcountry camping. Re: Best smoky mountains backcountry site . In mountain parks, the most popular season extends from early or mid-July to Labor Day. Backcountry permits can be obtained up to 30 days in advance. Fees are non-refundable. Report inappropriate content . Put valuables in the trunk and do it before you arrive at the trailhead. 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. My favorite is the Mt Sterling site, I think. 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). Please follow the instructions on your permit once you get to the park. ... Backcountry Camping. Backcountry Regulations. There will not be an annual, per person fee limit. The facility includes a Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop, as well as a Backcountry permit station. Please contact the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Backcountry Office at 865-436-1297 if you have any questions. Backcountry permits can be obtained up to 30 days in advance. The park regulation limiting overnight backcountry stays to 30 nights per trip and 60 nights per year will not change. 1 year ago. 2. 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. Biggest deal is parking at the trailhead. My favorite is the Mt Sterling site, I think. View Profile View Forum Posts View Journal Entries View Articles View Gallery Uploads GSMNP 900 Miler Join Date 02-25-2007. Backcountry reservation fees are $4.00 per person, per night, with a maximum fee of $20.00 per person. These … The fee will be used to provide increased customer service for backcountry trip planning, reservations, permitting and to improve the backcountry experience. Reservations and permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. Backcountry Office hours have been expanded with additional staff available to provide trip planning assistance both over the phone and in person. Your permit will register you for specific nights at specific campsites and shelters. 3. 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. Yes. Backcountry permits are generally required for camping outside of the drive-in camping lots. 107 Park Headquarters Road Smokies Backcountry Camping: Things You Need To Know. At most campsites you cannot stay for more that 3 consecutive nights. There are five specially designated horse camps reachable by vehicle in the park: Anthony Creek, Big Creek, Cataloochee, Round Bottom, and Tow String. Backcountry users are also required to make reservations for all shelters and some campsites by calling the Backcountry Office. It’s free to get in with no fees, and there is designated parking available. Looking at late spring before Mem Day (our favorite time of year and less crowds.) You may not stay two nights in a row at a shelter. Backcountry users will also be able to more reliably reach staff in the Backcountry Office for assistance with trip planning. "It is important to note that to qualify for an AT Thru-Hiker Permit, a person must begin and end their hike at least 50 miles from outside of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and only travel on the AT while in the park," park spokeswoman Molly Schroer said. • What is the timeframe for implementing the fee and new reservation/permitting system? Once changes are implemented, backcountry users will be able to obtain reservations and print permits at their convenience through an online system which may be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Backcountry permits and AT thru-hiker permits can be made within two weeks from the first night of your trip. 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. Level Contributor . 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. 2 Camping is permitted only at desig-nated sites and shelters. Some locations within Great Smoky Mountains National Park may be temporarily closed due to COVID-19. ashepabst. The fee will be used to provide increased customer service for backcountry trip planning, reservations, permits and the backcountry experience. It’s free to get in with no fees, and there is designated parking available. Failure to do so invalidates your permit and puts you in violation of regulations. 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