Day 23 and 24 Fontana Dam Shelter NC “Fontana Hilton” on 2017 Appalachian Trail Thru-hike

Thursday 04 May to Friday 05 May

Total Distance: 20.2km

Mountains: none

Today I head into the famous/infamous Fontana Hilton, this will be a long day, but it is always made easier to know that you will be having a day off and that you will have access to real food!

I think the hiker hunger is gradually setting in as I am starting to get really hungry – more so than usual!

It was a long day today just over 20kms so when you have to cross a country North Carolina road like this it helps mix things up a bit.

The Fontana Dam shelter is known as the ‘Fontana Hilton’ as it has power points for you to charge your phones/devices, showers with hot water and flushing toilets. There is also a picnic type area and a water pump which you don’t have to filter or purify.

However first one has to get there. The weather is shocking today, with high winds and fallen branches everywhere. As you are walking along you can here tress and branches cracking and falling in the woods which makes you walk just that little bit faster.

Came across this random seating area in the middle of the bush, so had to take five here and chill. I left camp really late for me 10.00am so motored to get to this point, doing two miles in 45 minutes. This of course was unsustainable, but felt good to know that I could speed things up.

That was until I came across this pile of logs and debris that had slid down the mountain side. The trail is just in the other side of all this. It took some negotiation to get across here ubscathered along with plenty of laughter.

Heading around the side of the mountain winding down to Fontana Dam the views were magnificent. This is the view I had from my tent site area.

So after all of that I have been looking forward to having a good time in Fontana Dam and chilling at the lodge. But of course it couldn’t be that easy!

The power was down at the Fontana Dam village so had to come up with  plan B which was stay in a cabin with fellow hikers, resupply in Robbinsville then go back to Fontana and head into the Smokies tomorrow.

Well, while that plan sounded simple enough it wasn’t without its drama – but I shall jot go into it. suffice to say we ended up in a beautiful cabin with full amenities and it is so warm.

After a rainy cold day sitting out here has been just what the doctor ordered. 😊


  1. Beautiful, rugged, where’s the “trail”. More like a goat track ! looks amazing Serena. I take my hat off to you !! Annie


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