Just curious as I have never backpacked overnight into the Smokies, how likely is it that you will run into a horse party at the shelters (where they are allowed)? I am sure it depends on the time of year but I am thinking mid week during the summer. Is this something that the park can tell you when you register? Nothing against horses, I just don't care for them for several reasons, especially in a camp site, and would like to avoid a group if possible. For myself I plan to stay in a regular site but this may be the year that I take my kids with me and I was thinking that a shelter would make the trip a little more comfortable for them for the first time. My first trip was to a shelter in upstate NY and that was a great first trip for me.
Thanks in advance.