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  1. #1
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    Default Hiking the Smokies in July

    We plan on starting at Fontana Damn RD in mid July and hike north to Pigeon River Bridge.

    So I was thinking of dropping my Car off at Pigeon River and getting a shuttle to Fontana Damn Rd. Is this a solid plan and how much would that shuttle run? We normally take 2 cars but want to try to get this trip done with one.

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    the cost (and this is just a guess) could be like $200-300 (or more)......

    thats a haul of a drive.......

    and depends upon how many people you have as well.....

    for reference-----the shuttle i used back in 2009, going from the dam to clingmans dome was 100 bucks......

    your trip is longer so i would guess price would be higher than that....

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    of course, you can call shuttle companies and ask them for their price...

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    For reference, I got a shuttle price from Davenport Gap back to NOC is $140.


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  5. #5
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    I think most shuttles charge in the neighborhood of $1 to $1.25 per mile both ways. That means the shuttle driver has to get to you from where he/she is and then get back to their starting point once you reach your destination and get dropped off. I have had a shuttle only charge me for distance one way, but I thought that was unusual.
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    Registered User JPritch's Avatar
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    If you have more than one person coming, perhaps utilize two vehicles to save on a shuttle. Requires more of a time investment, but would probably save substantial money. If you do decide on a shuttle, I'd highly suggest calling 2-3 different outfits to get quotes. I've had some quote me double what the next guy did.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    Don't park at the bridge overnight. Known vandalism spot. Utilize Standing Bear Hostel on the other side of I40. They should have suggested shuttle providers to Fontana.
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  8. #8
    GSMNP 900 Miler HooKooDooKu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee Viking View Post
    Don't park at the bridge overnight. Known vandalism spot. Utilize Standing Bear Hostel on the other side of I40. They should have suggested shuttle providers to Fontana.
    Another spot considered safe to park your vehicle is the Big Creek Ranger Station.
    At the end of your hike, you can skip the last 2 miles of the AT thru GSMNP and instead take the 2 mile Chestnut Branch Trail. The parking lot is beside the trail head. Alternately, you can continue to the GSMNP boarder at Davenport Gap. From there, it's a 1.5 mile road walk back to the ranger station.

    If you still want to go all the way to the Pigeon River bridge, it would be more than a 4 mile road walk back to the ranger station.

  9. #9
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    Alternately, you can continue to the GSMNP boarder at Davenport Gap



    and dont park at davenport gap...

    thats another area that cars get broken into frequently.....

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone1984 View Post
    We plan on starting at Fontana Damn RD in mid July and hike north to Pigeon River Bridge.

    So I was thinking of dropping my Car off at Pigeon River and getting a shuttle to Fontana Damn Rd. Is this a solid plan and how much would that shuttle run? We normally take 2 cars but want to try to get this trip done with one.
    Call or email Nancy at the Hike Inn, Fontana.
    Last edited by Traffic Jam; 04-16-2019 at 04:54.

  11. #11

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    A walk in the woods was $150.00 about ten years ago. Don’t know if standing bear still shuttles but they were a little cheaper on other shuttles. Hike in is about same as standing bear was.

  12. #12
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    Looks like we might need to take two cars. When I leave my car I always leave the doors unlocked. I have never had an issue. Is north of the smokies a bigger problem with break ins?

  13. #13
    Registered User rmitchell's Avatar
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    I would lock the car doors. Some of the bears have learned how to open car doors.

    Seriously . There have been videos on local news of bears inside of cars in the Gatlinburg area. Construction workers have left doors unlocked while building or repairing a house only to find a bear has gotten in their vehicle to eat their lunch.

    And the Newport/Cock County area used to have a reputation as a hotbed for car thefts. The chop shops may have been shut down now.

    I've personality never had an issue but would advise caution.
    Last edited by rmitchell; 04-22-2019 at 07:30.

  14. #14
    Registered User allmebloominlife's Avatar
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    What are your dates? I was planning on that exact same hike in July but I can't start until July 23 (I'm out of the Country for work and will be home on 30 days vacation). If our dates line up we could drop one car off at one end and drive to Fontana Damn. Lemme know.

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