Summary: Thirty miles of Ups and downs. Trail easy to follow in this area. Must be in good physical condition. There are four to five shelters along this route and water can be found at each. Need to carry 4 to 5 litre's per person per day. If you stay in shelters then try to get there early.
Trailhead: Begin at Fontana Dam parking lot. Signs for AT "south" are easily visible. (Lat:35.45156 Lon:-83.8019)
Trail Guides for fontana To Wesser AT:
appalachian trail data book
by daniel chazin ()
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: US Forest Service 202-205-1389
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Jerry Nelson, who has posted 2 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Doug on 9/9/2008
Great hike, tho too hot and dry in summer. Will do it again end of Sept. (see you there, Amit!) BTW, this section is rather dreaded by AT thru hikers. Smokies are better, but I am taking Fido on this one. Where did the author get 15.5 hrs from? A 3 day weekend is more like it, and that does not leave time to drive There and Back Again. I suppose you could speed hike it, but why?
Reviewed by shane on 10/1/2007
good hike, aswell did from wesser to fontana dam. did 8 miles first day to first shelter, then 22.5 last day to fontana. first 8 really a good climb, no switchbacks. did have problem finding water only brownfork had water, really dry. but very good hike. need to be in shape and ready.
Reviewed by Amit Gupta on 8/27/2007
Awesome trek ...strenous offcourse ... I went on this trek with my friends ... We have done only day trek 5.7 miles from Fontana Dam to cable gap shelter(round trip 11 miles). We are planning to cover full 30 miles on september last weekend.
Reviewed by GK on 4/9/2006
Strenuous hike from the south or the north. Climb up to Cheoah Bald has difficult footing and is challenging and steep. We got a shuttle drop to the dam and returned to NOC for a shower. Lastly, those with heavy packs may have knee difficulties...hiking poles will help. Its a good challenge for even the fittest.
Reviewed by Polkhiker on 2/4/2005
We hiked in reverse, from Wesser to Fontana. This had two real advantages. When you start in Wesser, you are at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, so you can get any gear you forgot or don't have. We were about an hour up the trail when a backpack strap broke. We returned to the NOC and bought a new and better backpack. When you finish at Fontana Dam there are HOT showers. :-) STRENUOUS hike, as you gain 3,000 feet in the first 8 miles, but worth the cramps and every drop of sweat.
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