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  1. #1

    Default Smokey Mountains, Camerer Fire Tower question

    I was watching a VLOG, and the person said they might stay at the fire tower on Mt. Camerer. Sorry if I spelled that wrong. Itís the one on the north east side of GSMNP. Over the years, Iíve heard others talk about that. Thatís not a legal site, is it? ?? This is a question, not finger pointing. Thanks for an answer.

    Pringles

  2. #2

    Default

    It is not legal to camp there. But people do it.
    Trail Miles: 4,090.3 - AT Trips: 71
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 116.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks Gambit. I thought that was the case, but wasn't sure. It would be a nice place to spend an evening and a morning, but there are other nice places that are legal.

    Pringles

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pringles View Post
    Thanks Gambit. I thought that was the case, but wasn't sure. It would be a nice place to spend an evening and a morning, but there are other nice places that are legal.

    Pringles
    A good rule of thumb I go by for GSMNP is if I cant go on the website and reserve a spot I know I cant sleep there

    https://smokiespermits.nps.gov/index...PermitTypeID=1
    Last edited by Gambit McCrae; 04-11-2019 at 09:31.
    Trail Miles: 4,090.3 - AT Trips: 71
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 116.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  5. #5

    Default

    For what it's worth, you -can- stay on Mount Sterling next to its fire tower. Makes for an awesome morning wakeup.

  6. #6

    Default

    Gambit, It's been so long since I lived near the Smokys, I doubt I'll ever be staying there again.

    CalebJ, It's the legality I was wondering about. It sounds like the official answer is no.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pringles View Post
    CalebJ, It's the legality I was wondering about. It sounds like the official answer is no.
    And my point was that a legal option did exist just down the trail for a very similar experience.

  8. #8
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    And my point was that a legal option did exist just down the trail for a very similar experience.
    I don't know that "just down the trail" is quite the right description given that Mt Sterling Fire Tower is a whole mountain away.

    But othwrwise it's a valid point that GSMNP does have a legal campsite by a fire tower.

  9. #9

    Default

    I'm sorry CalebJ. I didn't read carefully enough. Oops.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    I don't know that "just down the trail" is quite the right description given that Mt Sterling Fire Tower is a whole mountain away.

    But othwrwise it's a valid point that GSMNP does have a legal campsite by a fire tower.
    Fair point. It's all a little relative, I suppose. Same corner of the GSMNP map.

  11. #11
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    Default

    When I was a ridgerunner there, there was plenty of evidence of illegal nights spent in the tower, braggings on the tags people left there. Never saw anyone actually doing it however mainly because I was at my assigned shelter for the night when they would be stealthing there.

  12. #12

    Default

    Sure enough, the strong smell of urine all around the Cammerrer tower is an indicator of how often folks camp in the tower. I don't get the allure personally. It's a nice view but from that vantage you can hear the roar of the traffic below you on highway 32, the inside of the tower is dank, dingy and smelly, and as mentioned above, the outside often smells of urine from those camping inside that pee off the deck instead of walking down the steps. Just my opinion....

  13. #13
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PatmanTN View Post
    It's a nice view but from that vantage you can hear the roar of the traffic below you on highway 32, the inside of the tower is dank, dingy and smelly, and as mentioned above, the outside often smells of urine from those camping inside that pee off the deck instead of walking down the steps. Just my opinion....
    and the wind rattles the windows all night long

  14. #14

    Default

    The sunsets are quite nice though:




  15. #15
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    Default

    how often folks camp in the tower. I don't get the allure personally.


    i think the allure is that (and i know its not), is that it has the "lodge like" feel to it.....

    and of course, people are lazy and just dont wanna bring a tent or some other shelter and find the tower convenient....

    and of course, there are those groups that just "wanna stick it to the govn't" and will break any rules/laws they feel they want to....

  16. #16
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    oh yea that tower, I was thinking people are camping in the tower on the other end of the Smokies. I didn't and wouldn't camp there but this may be the nicest look out or fire tower on the entire trail imo… not that it's really high or even offering a full 360 view but it's just such a cool spot and the tower itself is awesome with the full enclosure and wrap around balcony. The view is alright to … those sunset pics above are pretty amazing. Lots of people were skipping this cause it's .6 off trail but it's actually a really nice little trail without much elevation change.
    NoDoz
    nobo 2018 March 10th - October 19th
    -
    I'm just one too many mornings and 1,000 miles behind

  17. #17
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    Default

    A word of caution... That place is infested with rattle snakes. I nearly stepped on one at the base of the boulders, and I've heard similar stories from others.

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