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Blog

GSMNP Closure Update

leah kirk

GSMNP Closure Update.jpg

Roads and Facilities

Temporary Closures and Construction Projects
Follow road status at https://twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps or subscribe to receive text message updates by texting "follow smokiesroadsnps" to 40404.

  • Clingmans Dome Tower is closed for rehabilitation.
  • Parsons Branch
  • Foothills Parkway (unfinished section) - the entire unfinished section between Walland and Wears Valley is now closed to all public use until 2018 due to construction.
  • Blue Ridge Parkway - for information about parkway closures, please call (828) 298-0398 or visit the parkway's website at https://www.nps.gov/blri/index.htm.

Seasonal Closures
For information about seasonal closures, including Clingmans Dome, Rich Mountain Road, Parson Branch Road, and others during the winter months, please see:
Seasonal Road Closures 
Seasonal Facility Closures

Backcountry Facilities

For current backcountry trail and campsite information, please call (865) 436-1297.

Bear Closures - areas that are closed due to bear activity. Please read What Do I Do If I See A Bear? for important safety information about bears.

  • Cosby Knob Shelters
  • Sites #17, #19, #21, #28, #34, #35, #36, #37, #90, and #92

Bear Warnings - areas where bears are active. Please read What Do I Do If I See A Bear? for important safety information about bears.

  • Russell Field and Mt. LeConte Shelters
  • Sites #20, #24, #66, and #113
  • The Boulevard, Middle Prong and Little River Trails

Other Backcountry Closures and Warnings

  • The Appalachian Trail between Low Gap and Cosby Knob Shelter is closed to horse traffic until further notice due to a compromised retaining wall. It remains open to hikers at this time but they are advised to exercise caution when passing through this section.
  • Rainbow Falls Trail is closed May 8 - November 16, 2017 Monday 7:00am through Thursday 5:30pm weekly for trail maintenance.
  • The following trails are closed due to fire or storm damage until further notice: Sugarland Mountain Trail from Mt Collins Shelter to the junction with Huskey Gap Trail and Bull Head Trail.
  • Scott Mountain Trail is closed from campsite #6 to Schoolhouse Gap. Campsite #6 is open.
  • Backcountry Campsite #11 is closed.

Trail Cautions
Please note that the park's backcountry is managed as a natural area where the forces of nature determine trail conditions. The following list includes some conditions that the park is currently aware of. However, hikers may encounter trail conditions not listed below that require caution. Be prepared for swollen streams, bridge washouts, downed trees, and trail erosion when hiking in the park's backcountry.

  • Cosby Nature Trail was impacted by flash flood, resulting in a bridge being washed out. While the trail remains open, hikers need to be prepared to ford the stream.
  • Rabbit Creek Trail - the bridge where the trail crosses Abrams Creek is out. This is a wide crossing that may be deep during high water events.
  • Boogerman/Caldwell Fork trails - several bridges are out. No schedule for repairs at this time. Trails are open, but hikers need to be prepared to ford the streams.
  • Enloe Creek Trail - the footbridge crossing Enloe Creek has washed out. The steel bridge crossing Raven Fork is not affected.
  • Trails throughout the park have downed trees due to severe storms. Please see the list of closed trails above. Other trails may have areas that are difficult to negotiate due to downed trees.
  • Boat shuttles to and from Hazel Creek when lake levels are low are from the Ollie Cove Trailhead on the Hazel Creek embayment. Ask the shuttle service about this when making a reservation to be dropped or picked up. This is due to a bridge that is out of service on Hazel Creek and adds about 1/2 mile to the hike. Trail signs are in place to direct you from the Hazel Creek Trail and Lakeshore Trail intersection to Ollie Cove Trail that is one mile east on Lakeshore Trail from Hazel Creek.

Cave and Mine Shaft Closure
Entry into all caves and mine shafts is prohibited due to concerns about the spread of white nose syndrome among bats.