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[at-l] Loops in the Smokies

The Priest wrote:

>The wildest part of the AT is probably the area on the N. Carolina side,
>between the main crest (where the AT runs) and Fontana Lake.  If you
>decide to go in this area, be prepared for long climbs & unbridged
>stream crossings (with the possibility of high water).  The western
>portion of the park is also less used, but less rugged.

>As you can probably tell, this is one of my favorite places.  By all
>means, no matter what route you choose, go and enjoy it!

Perhaps it is your favorite but definitely not mine!  I've hiked the Eagle
Creek Trail from Fontana Lake up to the AT.  Over 20 stream crossings, some
of them in thigh-deep water!  There is no way I'd ever hike that trail again!

If I were hiking a 75 mile loop trip in GSMNP, I'd just hike the entire AT
through the park and use the Shuttle from Mountain Mama's.  I'd leave my car
at Mama's, let them shuttle me to Fontana Dam, and hike back to the car.

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