- Customers will save $100 on any new booking of a 2024 REI adventure travel trip in North America.
- Offer valid on 2024 REI adventure travel trips new bookings from 9/7/2023 until 9/29/2023. Must travel by 12/31/2024.
- Space is limited. Offer valid until trip capacity is reached.
- Offer is not transferable and not redeemable for cash.
- Offer may not be combined with any other discount or promotion.
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Our adventure begins this morning in Knoxville, Tennessee, where we will meet our guides and fellow travelers. After a brief orientation, we transfer to the trailhead to begin our exploration of Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We head out on a historic, quiet path called the Middle Prong Trail, which parallels a gorgeous mountain stream with several cascades and waterfalls. We learn about the important logging history of the area before it became a National Park and explore remains of homesteads of both the loggers and the farmers who called this valley home. Later, we check into our safari-inspired canvas cabin tents, complete with hotel-quality beds and private bathrooms, then enjoy our first dinner together. Lunch and dinner included.
Hiking: 4.6 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +/- 700’; Transfers: 2 hours
After a peaceful night's sleep and a hearty breakfast, we set out for another full day of outdoor adventure. Our hike along the Rich Mountain Loop trail, Indian Grave Gap trail and Crooked Arm Branch trail reveals the wonderful tranquility of this rich mountain valley. We make a stop at the historic John Oliver Cabin, built in the early 19th century, before continuing our hike with sweeping mountain views and several creek crossings. We avoid the crowds and get a look into Cades Cove that can't be found anywhere else. The expanse of fields and meadows gives us a better chance for viewing wildlife, possibly a black bear or white-tailed deer. Our day finishes at our comfortable camp with time around the campfire. All meals included.
Hiking: 8.5 miles; Elevation gain/loss: +/- 1,600’; Transfers: 2 hours
Our hike today is to Andrews Bald, the highest grassy bald in the Smoky Mountains, which offers incredible views of the surrounding sea of mountains. Andrews Bald is a double peak situated along Forney Ridge, just south of Clingmans Dome. Our hiking trail to the bald is lush and green as we walk through the temperate rain forest. Enjoy the beautiful flame azaleas and rhododendron blooms in late spring and early summer, and an artist’s palette of colors in the fall. Later, we have a short van ride to our lodge for the next two nights, nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. Enjoy the beautiful property and some downtime before convening for a hearty dinner. All meals included.
Hiking: 5.1 miles; Elevation gain/loss: +/- 1,300’; Transfers: 2 hours
Our hike today is on the renowned Appalachian Trail. We start at Fontana Dam, the southernmost point of the AT in the Smokies. The trail starts ascending immediately, so we pace ourselves accordingly over 3.5 miles of steady climbing to a fire tower. The 360-degree views are breathtaking from the 80-foot-high tower overlooking Fontana Lake. From this vantage point you can catch views of the Smokies as well as Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests with Cheoah Bald on the horizon. Shuckstack fire tower was built in the early 30s and is one of two remaining towers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tonight, we celebrate our last evening together at a restaurant overlooking the Nantahala River. All meals included.
Hiking: 7.2 miles; Elevation gain/loss: +/- 1,800’; Transfers: 1 hour
Travel a segment of one of the most famous trails in the world to one of the park’s most unique geological formations, Anakeesta Ridge. Walk between the trees, through a thick forest of ancient, scented spruce and fir, past incredible vistas. Our guides share their knowledge about this boreal forest and the unique plants and animals that call it home. We visit an Appalachian Trail shelter and pause along the trail to savor the panoramic views of the majestic mountains this park protects. We make a stop along the Appalachian Trail at Charlies Bunion, a beautiful rock outcropping providing expansive views. After rounding out our exploration of the Great Smoky Mountains we make our way back to Knoxville. We expect to arrive back in Knoxville late this afternoon. Breakfast and lunch included.
Hiking: 8 miles: Elevation gain/loss: +/ 1,700’; Transfers: 2.5 hours