Hiking and Backpacking North Carolina's Appalachian Trail

Trip Code: SKXA

Why we love it

Enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by your leader as you watch the sunset from the comfort of your camp on the summit of Shining Rock., Take in spectacular views on the hike to the summit of Cold Mountain which features in Charles Frazier’s historic fiction novel of the same name., Take in sweeping views of the Appalachian Mountain Range as you enjoy lunch on the summit of one of the peaks or in the grassy meadows of Ivestor Gap., Stop at Looking Glass Falls, a stunning roadside waterfall, and watch the water tumbling over the top of a high cliff to create an impressively wide cascade., Enjoy scenic vistas galore as you make your way along a trail that showcases views of the entire Pisgah National Forest.

Is this trip right for me?

This is a walking trip; a good fitness level will help you enjoying all included walks and activities. Good clothing, appropriate footwear, and wet weather gear is a must.

On this tour you will be required to carry a backpack weighting approximately 35-45 lb (15-20).

On our final day there is no accommodation included so please plan your departure accordingly, or pre-book a post-tour night.

Important information

1. A completed registration form is required to join these trips. You will not be confirmed for the trip until your form has been received and reviewed. We may ask for a medical release signed by your physician for medical conditions or circumstances which could possibly compromise your safety or the safety of others on this trip – please speak to your agent for further details.
2. Travellers on this particular trip are not required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
3. A signed disclaimer (Acknowledgement of Risks Form) is required at the time of booking for this trip – please speak to your agent for further details.
4. To help ensure this trip is right for you, this trip is subject to additional ‘Essential Eligibility Requirements’ – see the ‘Itinerary Disclaimer’ section of the Essential Trip Information for further details
5. This trip is operated and run by our trusted partner, Wildland Trekking. You will be travelling with a mixture of both Wildland Trekking customers and Intrepid customers. Intrepid has worked very closely with Wildland Trekking to ensure that all of our customers will enjoy their time away, and experience all that the region has to offer.
6. Please note, pre-trip orientation meeting will take place at 5:00 PM day before trip starts at Holiday Inn Express & Suits Asheville Downtown hotel in Asheville. We recommend you book a pre tour night in that hotel.
7. A single supplement is available. The single supplement applies to all nights of the trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
8. A single tent is provided to all solo travellers at no extra cost.

What to bring/pack

LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS

All luggage is carried in trailers or inside the vehicle so please don't bring more than one medium-sized bag, backpack or suitcase (20kg maximum) per person. Your suitcase/rucksack may get some rough handling, so make sure it's a tough one. A small daypack and camera may also be carried inside the vehicle.
As well as your underwear, toothbrush and other items you always need to pack for travel, below are some items that you specifically need for this trip.
https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

INCLUDED GEAR

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
- Deuter or Osprey backpacks
- Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
- Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
- Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
- Leki trekking poles
- Cooking stoves and cookware
- Company-issued first-aid kit
- Emergency communication device(s)

ESSENTIAL ITEMS YOU NEED TO BRING

- Trekking clothing: A mixture covering lightweight clothing and some warm layers is recommended. Your activities will take place in the outdoors, where weather may change quickly. Lightweight, comfortable, and quick drying clothes for the activities are best. Laundry facilities may not be available on every day basis, so make sure you have a few cycles of clothes.
- Hiking boots with a good grip, ankle support and waterproof membrane that are comfortable to walk for an entire day
- Comfortable shoes for shorter beach walks or evenings spend around accommodation/campsite
- Sport sandals
- Light jacket, fleece and base layers
- Wind and waterproof jacket
- Breathable, non-cotton hiking t-shirts
- Long hiking pants or zip-offs
- Nylon hiking shorts
- Water bottle or bladder: you will need water during activities and it’s best to avoid buying unnecessary plastic.
- Sun protection: sunscreen, sunglasses, sunhat or bandana
- Torch/flashlight/headtorch
- Toiletries
- Walking Poles if you would prefer to use your own
- Quick Dry Towel

RECOMMENDED ITEMS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER BRINGING

- Personal medical kit. A larger kit will be on hand with your leader, but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, antihistamine tablets and any personal medication you may need
- Ear plugs & eye mask
- Camera with spare batteries/power bank: You will have access to power to recharge your electrical items daily
- Travel eco-friendly wipes/hand sanitizer

OPTIONAL ITEMS

- Swimwear
- A good book, a journal and music player

VALUABLES

Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables. It’s also recommended to bring a copy of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.
If you need some further tips for packing, you can always check out our ultimate packing list.

HYDRATION SYSTEM

Please bring your own hydration system of 3+ liters capacity, either water bottles or bladder/hose system and an additional water bottle to refill along the way.

Physical rating

4

You’re in for a walking trip and a good level of fitness is essential. Please read through the trip notes carefully to ensure that this trip is the right trip for you.

On this tour you will be required to carry a back pack weighting approximately 35-45 lb (15-20kg).

If you’re already a regular exerciser, it might be an idea to up your game a little. Run those extra laps, or take few longer walks, ideally with a day pack on your back. If you’re not exercising so regularly (2-3 times a week), it’s important to start in the weeks leading up to your departure (4-6 weeks prior at least). Your best choice would be to start walking regularly 2-3 times a week including at least one longer walk (up to 15 km). It’s important to not only walk on flat surface, so if you cannot access a hilly terrain easily, walking up and down the stairs is a good replacement. Top that up with some general fitness exercises and any other cardio related classes and you will see a huge progress in your fitness levels.

Joining your group

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Asheville Downtown, 42 Tunnel Road, Asheville, 28805, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Joining instructions

Finishing your trip

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Asheville Downtown, 42 Tunnel Road, Asheville, 28805, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 3

Lunches included: 3

Dinners included: 2

On a backpacking trip, you’ll tuck into tasty, flavour-packed meals to fuel your outdoor adventures. Along with foods that are ideal for camping like pastas, lentils, packaged meats, breads, and granola, you’ll also be offered snacks like trail mix and dried fruits. Vegan, vegetarian, kosher, non-gluten diets, and food allergies can usually be accommodated at the same cost or for an additional fee. All meals on your trip are included and prepared by your experienced outdoor guide.

Climate & seasonal information

In Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the summers are long, warm, and humid; the winters are short, very cold, and wet; and it is partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 29°F to 84°F and is rarely below 14°F or above 90°F.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below.

POLICE AND AMBULANCE
In case of an emergency, local authorities can be contacted by calling 911 – this is the toll free phone number for the police, fire department and the ambulance in the USA and Canada. In case of doubt, call the operator on 0.

Intrepid's Local Operator: +1 928 224 0699

Accommodations

You’ll camp in beautiful, well-located campgrounds and spend the night in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents with self-inflating sleeping pads and synthetic-fill sleeping bags which are professionally laundered after every trip.

Transportation


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