2011 Gatlinburg TN – I strongly recommend having the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map 229 for hiking in the Smokies.
12/24/11 – Newfound Gap – 13.7 miles – We went for a hike/run from Newfound Gap. Newfound Gap is right at the top of the mtn with great views of the mtns to the south. We headed north on the AT. We took the AT 1.7 miles to Sweat Heifer Creek Trail. At this junction we headed down the SHCT. As soon as we started we got a great view of the mtns, a wall of clouds, and a terrific view off to the south and toward the Fontana Lake area. This trail was 3.7 miles downhill to the Kephart shelter. From here we uphill on the Grassy Branch Trail for 2.5 miles to the intersection with Sluice Gap trail. Here we headed up again for 1.3 mile to the intersection with the AT. This time we headed south for a 4.4 mile trek back to the parking lot. Along the way there was Charlie’s Bunion and the Jumpoff. This was a great hike on tough terrain. Total elevation gain was 4700ft.
12/25/11 – Mt. Cammerer – 11 miles – This hike/run was in the Cosby area east of Gatlinburg. We had hoped to do a longer hike but our legs weren’t up for it. Instead we did an out and back from the far end of the campground. We headed up the Low Gap Trail for 2.5 miles. Much of this trail was pretty steep. This intersected the AT and we headed north for 2.1 miles to the Mt. Cammerer trail, which was a .6 mile trail to an old lookout with great views of the mtns and I-40 below. From here we just retraced our steps for the return trip.