Follow the Appalachian Trail 3.6 miles north from Fontana Dam to Shuckstack fire tower, a 1930s lookout with views across the entire park.
PERMIT: Overnight camping in Great Smoky Mountains National Park requires a backcountry permit. Check out the latest fees and more details at nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/backcountryhiking.htm.
MORE INFO: Great Smoky Mountains National Park, (307) 344-7381; nps.gov/grsm.
- Distance: 11.6
Location: 35.453696, -83.809156
Parking area with picnic table. Views of Fontana Dam to the southeast. Hike northwest.
Location: 35.454666, -83.810448
The route follow the road for the next half mile.
Location: 35.460635, -83.81135
Bear left onto the Appalachian Trail where Lake Shore Trail continues straight.
Location: 35.480749, -83.807745
Tiny stream crossing
Location: 35.483452, -83.81472
AT traverses a hillside with valley views to the southwest; rock slab terrain.
Location: 35.485035, -83.816368
Bear right at this junction and follow the trail leading to Shuckstack Mountain. The AT continues on to the left toward Sassafras Gap.
Location: 35.485484, -83.815126
Shuckstack Mountain: This 4,020-foot summit is marked by a 60-foot fire tower, built in the 1930's. Follow the same route back to the trailhead.