Feedback! Smoky Mountains Backpacking Trip Ideas – 2 Nights, 3 Days Hiking

Planning for an upcoming backpacking trip to Smoky Mountains National Park.

Nothing like hanging out in the backyard on a beautiful Spring day with a map, a camera, and a mission to find a good Spring Smoky Mountains Backpacking route.

My plan is to do a 3 day, 2 night loop hike somewhere in the Smokies, hiking around 10 – 15 miles per day, depending what kind of trails and camping spots I come up with.

This will be my first backpacking trip to the Smokies, so I’m looking for feedback and ideas if you’ve got ’em!

4 thoughts on “Feedback! Smoky Mountains Backpacking Trip Ideas – 2 Nights, 3 Days Hiking

  1. Hi: Just got back from GSMNP last week. I spent my time on the AT and really haven’t tried any loops, but I can give you a little advice. Even though it only got up to about 80 degrees, it was really hot. This was mainly due to the trees not being fully leaved out yet. By the time you go, that may be different. I hiked 17 miles/day, which turned out to be a bit much for me with the rocky and hilly terrain and, the heat, of course. There is plenty of water though. As for bear encounters, if you are off the AT you will be away from the crowds and can almost be guaranteed at least one, if not more. I only saw one young bear at Clingman’s Dome, but then, as I said, I was on the AT. It is extremely beautiful this time of year. Trees and flowers blooming everywhere so any part of the park will be good. I would suggest you go somewhere on the north side considering where you will be coming from. If you attempt to drive across the park the speed limit is 35 in a lot of places, 45 in others, so it will take you a while to get to the south side of the park. And truthfully, it’s all beautiful.

    Hope you enjoy your hike. I have watched all your hiking videos and was inspired to go and have a large hamburger after finishing the last day! I guess this will become a tradition now.

    • Hi Dave,

      Thanks for taking the time to write this up. Your advice and info will definitely be helpful. 17 miles a day in that terrain sounds like quite a hump. I’ll definitely take that into consideration when reserving spots, since I won’t have the ability to switch up sites if I’m over-ambitious.

      I was curious about the temps this time of year, so I appreciate the weather feedback. Did the temps dip down very low at night? I ask because I have a pretty light sleep system I could bring, that’s good down to the low 50’s. The local weather forecast seems to be above that each night, but I wasn’t sure what it actually felt like up at elevation.

      Oh, and congrats on the Hamburger tradition! It’s always good for pumping out those last few miles 😉

  2. Great video as always. I appreciated showing the instances when you got off trail since it helps others not to make the same mistakes (we learn from each other). I just ordered a Sawyer Filtration system after seeing your success with it. It is much lighter than the MSR I now have. I see you re-use the Dasani water bottles and am wondering if you have considered the Vapur collapsible bottles or the cheaper Outdoor Brand from Wal-Mart. I’ve heard that some of the Dasani-type bottles tend to leech chemicals from the plastic over time. I own both Vapur and Outdoor and am happy with them. They pack very small when empty and come with a carabiner to attach to packs when filled. I’m also wondering if you have considered a Facebook account for those of us who follow your adventures. It would be much easier to converse and exchange information. Thanks again!!

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