FKT: Natalie Daniel - Clingman's Dome, Deep Creek (NC, TN) - 2022-06-10

Route variation
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
9h 10m 22s
GPS track(s)

I started at the Deep Creek Trailhead in the campground around 6:16 am. I was on the Deep Creek trail for about 7 miles. This trail is fairly rolling. I turned left onto the Pole Rd Creek Trail and took this for about 3.3 miles. This trail is very overgrown right now and in need of maintenance. It is also mostly climbing.  This trail dead ends into the Noland Divide Trail. I took this trail to the right for 3.7 miles mostly uphill to Clingman's Dome Rd.  The road is a gradual uphill for about 1.5 miles to the parking lot and Clingman's Dome Trail.  This trail is leads up to Clingman's Dome after .5 mile. Be prepared to encounter several people in this short stretch. Side note: most of the climbing is in the 9 miles from the Deep Creek up to Clingman's Dome, around 4000ft. The rest is on the rolling sections of the AT and Deep Creek Trail. After taking in the view, I headed back down and continued onto the Appalachian Trail  for about 3 miles, turning right at the actual turn from Clingman's Dome. This section is almost magical, like traveling through an enchanted forest. It has some good up and down. After about 3.5 miles I turned right onto the Fork Ridge Trail. This trail is a nice, downhill ridge run, very green. This trail dead ends back into the Deep Creek Trail after 5 miles. I turned right and took the Deep Creek Trail for about 10 miles back to the campground. When I got back, I soaked my feet in the creek to cool off.

I carried 4 soft flasks of fluid(2 with Tailwind/ water, 1 plain water, 1 Nuun/ water for the heat). I  carried 2 Long Haul, 4 Awesome Sauce, 2 Canaberry Spring Energy gels. I also had 5 snack size Pay Days. I carried a water filter but didn't use it. I also had a first aid kit. I wore a buff which I soaked many times in creeks to cool off. I also wore arm sleeves on my wrists that I soaked to cool off. 

I carried everything from start to finish and did not resupply.