Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

North Carolina Trails

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Shuckstack Lookout Tower via Appalachian Trail

This 7.2-mile out-and-back on the Appalachian Trail visits the Shuckstack Mountain lookout tower for unrivaled views.

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.

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.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 11.6

Waypoints

SHU001

Location: 35.453696, -83.809156

Parking area with picnic table. Views of Fontana Dam to the southeast. Hike northwest.

SHU002

Location: 35.454666, -83.810448

The route follow the road for the next half mile.

SHU003

Location: 35.460635, -83.81135

Bear left onto the Appalachian Trail where Lake Shore Trail continues straight.

SHU004

Location: 35.480749, -83.807745

Tiny stream crossing

SHU005

Location: 35.483452, -83.81472

AT traverses a hillside with valley views to the southwest; rock slab terrain.

SHU006

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.

SHU007

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.