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  1. #1
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    Default Parking at Big Creek Ranger Station, GSNP

    I'm planning on doing a section hike in May, ending in the smokies. Would it be safe(ish) to leave my truck at Big Creek Ranger station for a whole week?

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    illabelle's Avatar
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    Big Creek is the recommended place to leave a vehicle, but does involve about a mile of gravel roadwalk from Davenport Gap to Big Creek. Downhill, not hard.

    Davenport Gap is generally considered unsafe.

  3. #3

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    What is the trip you are planning? Start and end location. If doing the AT southbound ending in that area you might as well end at Standing bear.
    If going nobo thru the smokies ending at Davenport, Big Creek is always the best suggested parking location. It is tucked back off any main roads and I have had good luck here 2 separate weekends.

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    The trailhead for Chestnut Branch Tr is right next to the Ranger's residence --can't think of a better spot.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by DixieUP View Post
    I'm planning on doing a section hike in May, ending in the smokies. Would it be safe(ish) to leave my truck at Big Creek Ranger station for a whole week?
    as safe as anywhere

    But the ranger station has been unmanned for a few yrs i think. Thieves and vandals dont know that

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    Thank you all for the information and advice. Much appreciated!!
    HAPPY TRAILS!

  7. #7
    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    I park here all the time with no issues
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

    amongnature.blogspot.com

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    as safe as anywhere

    But the ranger station has been unmanned for a few yrs i think. Thieves and vandals dont know that
    It's seasonal. NPS personal usually are there FT starting sometime around the first or second wk of May. I'm assuming, so not 100% sure, there are NPS employees going in and out and may be manned with a Ranger in residence into Oct. I've let a car there. It's a safe as anywhere couple of times in the last 3 yrs.

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    Sorry to resurrect an old thread. Do you need to make any accomodations to park here or do you simply pull up and park your car? I plan on leaving it there for a week. Thank you.

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    When getting permit reservations for campsite or shelter you should list vehicle make, model, color and license plate number if staying inside national park.

  11. #11
    illabelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSWisla View Post
    Sorry to resurrect an old thread. Do you need to make any accommodations to park here or do you simply pull up and park your car? I plan on leaving it there for a week. Thank you.
    We've parked there for 4-5 days at a time with no issues. I think a week would be okay. There's no requirement to register the vehicle just to park, but not a bad idea to leave contact info with the park ranger just in case. Also, like rmitchell says, if you're hiking in the park, the campsite reservation form will ask for vehicle info.

  12. #12
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    Thank you, I will certainly list that info on the permit, but I did not know if I needed to call or reserve a parking spot in advance or anything like that.

  13. #13
    GSMNP 900 Miler HooKooDooKu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSWisla View Post
    Thank you, I will certainly list that info on the permit, but I did not know if I needed to call or reserve a parking spot in advance or anything like that.
    No such thing as reserve parking in the national park.

    The parking lot at Big Creek Ranger Station is large enough (relative to the area's popularity) that you shouldn't have a problem getting a parking spot (might not be the case on a popular holiday weekend though). If you should be unlucky and the lot is full, there is more parking down at the trailhead for Baxter Creek Trail only 3/4 of a mile from the Ranger Station.

    Part of the reason for registering your car's make/model/license when obtaining a permit is so that if a ranger should notice you're car has been parked in some spot for a prolonged period of time, he can run the plate and know you're still in the back country.

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