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Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome

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Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome

Postby MarkDidier » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:52 pm

Looking for feedback from anyone that has hiked this 7.9 mile stretch of the AT. Are there a number of open area with good views, or is this stretch the pretty standard Smokies walk in the woods?

Also, curious how much fall color do the leaves have? Got a report last week that they were changing in the upper elevations but it's still green down low.

Heading down there this weekend, so thanks in advance for the feedback.
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Re: Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome

Postby Jow » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:59 am

I did it and found it an enjoyable hike. U bag two other peaks on route but I don't remember a lot of views. There is a place u can park like 1 mile or so in and cut 2miles off roundtrip without sacrificing much. If u check my trip report called beer, bourbon, and southern six pack I think I have more details. No idea about colors I went last September.
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Re: Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome

Postby MarkDidier » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:56 am

Thanks for the feedback. Not a lot of views (?)...sort of like I figured
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Re: Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome

Postby johnmnichols » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:59 pm

Yep...not many views...but still a cool hike. It's your typical Southern App high elevation spruce/fir forest for a good chunk of the hike. Fall colors are already past peak at Clingmans. They were peaking when I was in that area in early Oct.

You get better views heading north on the AT from Newfound Gap. You could hike to LeConte instead of Clingmans. It's about the same distance and there would be fewer crowds at LeConte than what you would encounter at Clingmans.
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Re: Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome

Postby MarkDidier » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:38 pm

John, thanks for the feedback. Based upon this info more than likely we are going to go with another route I have been intrigued with for a number of years. Since we are camping at Elkmont for two nights, and have two cars, we are going to do a one way hike. The plan is to drive up to Clingmans Dome on Saturday morning (maybe go out to Andrews Bald), take the AT to Goshen Prong to Little River to Elkmont. On Sunday we'll drive the other car to Clingmangs Dome for the pick up, head back down to Newfound Gap and then hike to Charlie's Bunion and the Jumpoff. Hoping for an early start to avoid crowds. Did the Bunion once just missing sunrise by 15 minutes. Had the place to ourselves. Anyway, we'll see how this goes. Thanks again...
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Re: Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome

Postby desainme » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:42 pm

Hiked down this one in the mid 80's, don't remember so many views. Hitch hiked back to Cades Cove with a one eyed pickup truck driver and wife
Very gracious couple. He offered us a beer, but we needed to pass his up through the cab window - most riveting part of the day.
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Re: Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome

Postby e-doc » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:08 pm

Curious about your hike?
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Re: Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome

Postby MarkDidier » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:00 am

e-doc wrote:Curious about your hike?


We did end up having a great weekend. Autumn colors were awesome. Got to spend time with my son (recently moved to Chicago). We hiked little (< 10 miles) but enjoyed our time on the trail, and the views and the colors were awesome.

Regarding my original plans...I pretty much bailed on all of it. Particularly in regards to the one way hike down Goshen Prong...............

We were informed by the Elkmont Campground Rangers that Goshen Prong was closed. See the blurry picture below. This was posted at the Elkmont Campground - with a July 24 post date. The Rangers informed us that Goshen Prong was closed due to the storm damage this past summer.

Image

Based upon this information we bailed on our plan, and basically chose to make it a pretty relaxing weekend. I was disappointed with this as the info I had on Goshen Prong indicated that it stayed pretty close to the stream so I figured we would get some good opportunities for photos with an Autumn backdrop.

Later on that same day when we were strolling along the Little River Trail we met a backpacker that had just come down Goshen Prong. He had no idea what we were talking about when we asked about the trail closure. He had no trouble descending! Oh well, live and learn.

Of course, on our Saturday morning hike on the AT we did decide to hike out to the junction of Goshen Prong to see if there was any notice regarding the trail closure. None! There was a sign about the Chimney Tops trail closure, which we found to be rather strange, as I can't imagine anyone actually trying to climb the Chimneys from this spot on the AT???

Image

We did climb the Chimneys on Sunday morning and I will say that the trail work that has been done is very nice. The trail work should reduce erosion significantly. Apparently this work will continue for the next two summers.

The most interesting thing we saw all weekend was a backpacker coming down from the Chimneys on Sunday morning. Anyone that has hiked to the Chimneys knows that there isn't a good place to camp up there. But about a dozen College agers decided to spend the night on the Chimneys and enjoy the meteor shower. From what we were told, it was awesome. What an awesome spot to have watched that!

Here are a few pics from the weekend...

http://www.summitpost.org/autumn-in-gsmnp/822305
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Re: Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome

Postby pmrules21 » Sun Jun 02, 2013 2:59 pm

thanks for the info. I have not been there in 2years. I remember that section of the AT being a nice section
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