Archived Trip Sheets

Eastern TN // May 2023


WHAT: A 2 night advanced backpacking trip in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in eastern TN.
RSVP: closed
Open to Scouts who have been on at least 2 backpacking trips with Troop 13 and are prepared for the physical challenge of a multi-day hike.
DEPART: 6:30AM on May 27 from Publix on S Royal Oaks
RETURN: Afternoon of May 29 to Publix on S Royal Oaks
DISTANCE/ELEVATION: 22.4 miles, 6800 ft elevation
Sat May 27: money for breakfast on the road, lunch, dinner
Sun May 28: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Mon May 29: lunch, money for lunch on the road
COST: $68 for Scouts, $35 for adults ($33 discount for Scouts using OWNFOOD-GSMNP if bring your own food)


This is an advanced backpacking trip to some of Tennessee’s best and most beautiful hiking trails over Memorial Day weekend. Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) is the most visited national park in the entire country. Among other things this means that registration is a bit more restricted than many other places we go.
Our confirmed trek will start at the , and hike about 22.5 miles over the next 2 days, including a mile or two along the famed Appalachian Trail. We’ll spend our first night at site 13, and our second night at site 113, returning back to the Twenty Mile Trailhead on Monday.
Tentative Notes (for future reference)
Registration for any backcountry site with GSMNP opens 30 days out, and with Memorial day being a popular weekend for people to be out we want to be ready to make a reservation on Apr 26. Our RSVP will be open through the month of April so that we know how many spots we need to reserve. Group sizes are limited to 8, so we need to know how many people are going before we register with the park. If we have 8 people register, we’ll have one crew of 8. If we have 12 people register we’ll probably do 2 crews of 6. If we have 16 people register we’ll do 2 crews of 8. And so on. The nice thing about this is that there’s not a strict limit on how many people can sign up. The challenging thing about this is we won’t know who’s in what crew until everyone registers and then we see what sites we’re able to get at GSMNP.
Several possible routes are mapped out below. Each trek will include a portion of the Appalachian Trail. When you register please note your preferred trek - actual trek assignments will be dependent on availability at registration time.


See for inspiration.
💰 Cooking Budget:
$32 per person

ℹ️ Cooking Note
We have 3 Scouts who need to cook for various rank/positions. Since we have 2 full sets of meals, we’ll split up the cooking duties a bit so that everyone who needs to cook will be able to.


Summary: 22.4 miles, 6800’ of elevation
Sat: Twenty Mile Trailhead → Site 13
Sun: Site 13 → Site 113
Mon: Site 113 → Twenty Mile Trailhead
1: Saturday
6.7 miles
3589’ ↑, 319’ ↓
2: Sunday
8.4 miles
2230’ ↑, 3106’ ↓
Untitled 1.png

3: Monday
7.3 miles
992’ ↑, 3385’ ↓
Untitled 2.png
Other Possible Treks (for future reference only)
Trek 2: 24.8 miles, ~5700’ of elevation
Sat AM: Elkmont Campground
Sat PM: ~6.7 miles to site 23
Sun PM: ~12.3 miles to site 26
Mon AM: ~5.8 miles to Elkmont Campground
Trek 3: 20.9 miles, 7200’ of elevation
Sat AM: Cosby Campground
Sat PM: ~5 miles to site 36 or 37
Sun PM: ~10 miles to site 29
Mon AM: ~10.9 miles to Cosby Campground
Trek 4: 15.1 miles, 3500’ of elevation
Sat AM: Abrams Creek
Sat PM: ~2.3 miles to site 13
Sun PM: ~10 miles to site 15 (possible visit into Cade Cove on the way)
Mon AM: ~3.1 miles to Abrams Creek
Trek 5: 19.5 miles, 5600’ of elevation
Sat AM: Twenty Mile Trailhead
Sat PM: ~8 miles to site 90
Sun PM: ~6 miles to site 92
Mon AM: ~5.5 miles to Twenty Mile Trailhead


RSVP list final as of 8PM Apr 26.

Scouts (6)

Adults (2)

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