Hikers to pay backcountry fees in Smokies in 2013

Discussion in 'Other U.S. Destinations' started by rwoman, Mar 12, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,617
    Likes Received:
    13,489
    Status Points:
    11,070
    Hikers to pay backcountry fees in Smokies in 2013

    Something to keep in mind for those visiting the Smokies...
     
    CharlesG, autolycus and uggboy like this.
  2. autolycus

    autolycus Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,136
    Likes Received:
    7,321
    Status Points:
    5,000
    This sounds like a very reasonable new fee. My wife and I have visited the Smokies the last few falls, including on our honeymoon, and the park is well worth every bit of support it can get. It is by far the most-visited of the national parks (more than 2x the annual visitors of the Grand Canyon, which is second). The park is very well maintained and continues to offer new services and facilities with as minimal an impact on nature as possible. I can't even imagine how difficult it is to maintain the backcountry facilities, so $4 seems pretty fair. I did have the pleasure of passing a llama train that was headed back from a supply run to the LeConte lodge. Not anything I ever expected to see on one of those trails, but it makes perfect sense. They're good pack animals and have great feet for walking on uneven trails.

    I do understand why the AT Conservancy is upset though. The reservations in particular could make through-hiking more difficult, but the extra rangers will be a big help for safety along the trails.
     
    CharlesG and rwoman like this.
  3. CharlesG

    CharlesG Gold Member

    Messages:
    818
    Likes Received:
    3,782
    Status Points:
    1,825
    I agree these seems reasonable; it's a balance, and the parks system never has appropriate funding to adequately maintain our national parks.

    I wonder if a type of yearly 'pass' could be sold for those who plan to through-hike. Something like $20 for the season, and you just carry the pass with you, and it would allow you to camp unlimited for that period of time?
     
    autolycus likes this.
  4. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,421
    Likes Received:
    33,847
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Not a bad price and save up your elite 'park points' for free nights. :p
     
    CharlesG and autolycus like this.
  5. autolycus

    autolycus Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,136
    Likes Received:
    7,321
    Status Points:
    5,000
    I'm sure if it ends up being a big problem over the summer of 2013, the park service will work with the AT Conservancy to develop a compromise for the through-hikers. Most, if not all, of the national and state parks and forests seem to understand the value of being interconnected with the AT and other long-distance trails, so they'll figure it out, even if there are some issues the first season.
     
    CharlesG likes this.

Share This Page