View Full Version : Plan B?

09-30-2013, 08:24 PM
So the guv'ment is gonna shut down. I have no doubt. If it does, and the shut down lasts 10 days or so, does anyone have a suggestion on a plan B for my trip? We're set to arrive at Smokemont on Oct. 10th. Obviously we won't be able to access our campsite. Will we still be able to access the Luftee, Bradley Fork, Chasteen Creek, etc.? Is there a campground someone could recommend should we not be able to get into Smokemont?

09-30-2013, 10:05 PM
There are campgrounds in Cherokee only a few miles from Smokemont. You would still be able to access the streams.

09-30-2013, 10:34 PM
Yeah but I ain't paying $38 a night for KOA.

10-01-2013, 06:56 AM
They almost had a shut down 2 years ago if we all remember. The other full time guide and myself at the shop we guide out f had to find out of the park places to fish that day just in case of a shut down. For the last almost shut down, the only thing you would have been allowed to do was drive through the park. The roads that did not lead somewhere would have been closed. So basically 441 an little river rd would have remained open and the others gated. You should call park Info and inquire about stream access. If it is like last time, you wont be able to park and where in the national park....South Holston would be my back up. Tons of fish, big browns, and the majority are wild..

10-01-2013, 07:34 AM
441, the spur from Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg, and the Gatlinburg By-pass will remain open. You will not be allowed to park. This was on the news today. If you're going to stay at a campground in the surrounding area, you'd better make reservations now. They will be filling up with the folks that intended to stay in the park. There's not many/any options that won't cost you $38 a night. The National Forest will be probably be open, but our bear seasons are starting. You'd have to share a campsite with dozens of hounds if you want to go that direction.

10-01-2013, 08:13 AM
Our backup plan is to head north instead of south. If the park doesn't open up by early next week, we'll be backpacking it up into the wilds of northern Pennsylvania. As a Libertarian, I love this! As a fly fisherman who was planning his first trip to the Smokies, this SUCKS!!!!!!!!

10-01-2013, 08:26 AM
Not to challenge the veracity of your info....but has anyone seen anything official? The GSMNP website doesn't have anything regarding the closure. Specifically....they need to answer these questions:

Can I pull over at a parking area....get out and walk down to the stream and fish?

Can I daypack into a streamshed to fish?

Can I hike on a backcountry trail?

Common sense says these activities would not require the services of the Park Service....but we are dealing with the federales. I digress.

10-01-2013, 08:57 AM
Okay...after much searching....found this on the Backcountry Reservation site:


Backcountry Permit System

Temporarily Closed for Maintenance
October 1, 2013 6:53:18 AM
Due to the federal government shut down, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is closed until further notice. Backcountry hiking and camping is prohibited during this closure. Visitors already in the backcountry at the time of the closure should leave the backcountry as soon as possible. A refund will be given for the value of any nights remaining on backcountry permits. Visitors with permits for dates during the closure will be offered a full refund or the opportunity to reschedule. Refunds and rescheduling will take place once the government shut down ends and the park reopens.
Please check back again later.
Please call 865-436-1297 if you have additional questions.

I'm scratching my head on this one:

"Visitors already in the backcountry at the time of the closure should leave the backcountry as soon as possible."

Obviously they expect folks in the backcountry today...should log in and check this website before preparing your coffee, tending the campfire, and eating your gorp. Wifi in Bone Valley....who would have thunk it? Just ****.

10-01-2013, 03:23 PM
Drifter I would say it depends. I have seen news stories that you will be charged with trespassing if you enter a national park that is closed. I can't tell if that means the ones which charge a fee or not. Seems strange since we already own the park to be charged for tress-passing on ones own land but that is where we are at in the modern world. The park no longer belongs to the people it belongs to them and they can shut us out.

In reality though if you can park outside the park and walk in then you can probably fish all you want and won't get in trouble. I would be big $ that if they saw you they will simply ask you to leave and not charge you with tress-pass. The reason being charging the wrong person with that (someone willing to fight it in court) there is a good chance they might lose in court then in future shutdowns it would be wide open for anyone to walk in and do what they please.

10-02-2013, 01:08 PM

I agree with your thoughts. What is so disturbing is the closure of things like "pullouts" along 441. That is crazy....and I see no reason why we could not hike on a hiking trail. I never see them (NPS personnel) when in the backcountyy anyhow.

BTW....I enjoy your input on the backcountry tax issue over at gosmokies.com. I'm real close to going backpacking on Hazel Creek this weekend as my little act of civil disobedience. :biggrin:

BTW....did anyone notice anything wrong with the Park Service announcement above?

"Visitors already in the backcountry at the time of the closure should leave the backcountry as soon as possible. "

I didn't know they had WiFi in Bone Valley? Who woulda thunk it? :redface:

10-02-2013, 01:21 PM
I didn't know they had WiFi in Bone Valley? Who woulda thunk it? :redface:

Maybe not in Bone Valley, but you'd be surprised in the places that you get service in the backcountry. Nathan was able to hike up the ridge to get texts messages to me for weather updates when he was at Forney in March. Also the fisheries students say they get service in 80% of the places they work, and they get more remote than most.

Mother-in-law coming in town and permission for an overnighter. Might just have to finds a spot to get out to anyway:biggrin: