800-715-HIKE 9-4:30 Every Day     Wildland Wires Sign Up!     Wild. Blog Trek & Travel
High Mountain Paddle & Hike Day Hike Tour
High Mountain Paddle & Hike Guided Hike
High Mountain Paddle & Hike Hiking Tour
High Mountain Paddle & Hike Day Tour
High Mountain Paddle & Hike Guided Walk
High Mountain Paddle & Hike Walking Tour

High Mountain Paddle & Hike

Highlights

  •   Fantastic lake kayaking
  •   Amazing hike to huge views
  •   Abundant wildlife habitat
  •   Amazing natural and cultural history
  •   Top-shelf backpack & trekking poles
  •   Tasty trail snacks & picnic lunch

Description

This day of flat-water paddling and mountain hiking in the amazing Great Smoky Mountains gives you the best of both worlds. Our multi-sport adventure starts at the Cable Cove Boat Ramp after our scenic drive from Asheville, NC (including pick up at your hotel in Asheville, or we can rendezvous at the lake also). We’ll paddle across Fontana Lake to a small island for a short break or a swim if desired. After our break we’ll continue to where Eagle Creek flows into the lake.

Our hike starts by leaving the shores of Fontana Lake, and following an old logging historic railway. Along our journey we will ford Lost Cove Creek many times while enjoying the amazingly diverse forests of the Smokies. Our goal today is reaching some of the Park's best mountain top views from the historic Shuckstack fire tower off the historic Appalachian Trail. We'll enjoy a picnic lunch at the tower while soaking up the stunning scenery. After lunch, we’ll retrace our steps back to our boats and end our day with a relaxing paddle back to our waiting vehicle. After loading the boats, we can check out the Eastern United States' tallest dam, Fontana Dam at 480’, and its wonderful museum. Afterwards, we’ll head back to Asheville ending our amazing High Mountain Paddle & Hike adventure in the Smokies.

(Important: We run hikes in almost all weather conditions and very rarely cancel. See our terms and conditions for information on cancellations and refunds.)

We're Here to Help!
 
Paddle & Hike Day Tour
Difficulty:
Solitude:
Asheville, NC
April-October
12-14 hours
16+mi / 25+km
2260 ft gain/loss
$280-$355

See Rate Info


Day Hike Rates

Private Day Hike Rates:

  • 2 people: $355 per person
  • 3 people: $325 per person
  • 4-5 people: $280 per person
  • 10 and younger: $120 per person
Custom tours are specifically for your group.

*Prices do not include a required National Park Service fee (5%) or gratuity for your guide


How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Day hike reservations are made through our Adventure Consultant team. You can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and make your payment.

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Trip Details

Activity Specifics

  • Shuttle from/to Asheville: 1.5 hours each way
  • Paddle distance: 5-6 mi / 8-10 km each way
  • Paddle duration: 1-1.5 hours each way
  • Hiking distance: 6.6 mi / 10.6 km each way
  • Hiking duration: 3-4 hours total
  • Total tour duration: 12-14 hours
  • Hiking elevation gain/loss: 2260 feet

What's Included

  • A professional, knowledgeable, medically trained, friendly wilderness guide.
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour (pickup and drop off in Asheville, NC)
  • Kayak equipment including single or double sit-on-top sea kayaks, paddles, and life jackets
  • A commitment to make the tour as exciting, challenging, informative, and full as you'd like, and as is possible in a day
  • Trail snacks and a picnic lunch
  • Use of a top of the line, technical day pack
  • Use of trekking poles

What's Not Included (Required)

  • Lightweight hiking shoes or hiking boots
  • Waterproof rain jacket or poncho
  • Warm wool or fleece top (Spring, Fall)
  • Warm hat and gloves (Spring, Fall, Winter)
  • Water bottles or bladder (2 liters total capacity)
  • Sunhat

What's Not Included (Recommended)

  • A cold or frozen bottle of water or Gatorade (Spring, Summer, Fall)
  • Sunglasses
  • Knee braces (if needed)
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Gratuity for your guide

Food: What To Expect

Day hike tours include energizing trail snacks and a delicious picnic lunch. Your guide will customize the food for your hike, but a typical lunch consists of gourmet sandwiches or wraps, fruit, veggies, chips, drinks and a dessert. On wintery or cold days you may be treated to soup or a hot, freshly cooked lunch (if you'd prefer a hot meal, please let us know!)

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

Trip Logistics

Where Do We Meet?

Your guide will pick you up at your hotel in Asheville, NC at an agreed upon time. If you're already staying in the Park, the option to meet your guide at Fontana Lake is also available. Your guide will be in contact approximately 7 days prior to your hike to coordinate the exact time and location of your rendezvous. The pick up time will vary depending on the time of year.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 6 guests and 1 guide. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join daily departures (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis


Weather in the Great Smoky Mountains

The weather in the Great Smoky Mountains varies greatly by time of year. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). Read below for average high and low temperatures in for low elevations in the Great Smoky Mountains:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
     
 
Month
Low Elev
High Elev
 
 
hi
low
hi
low
 
 
January
51°
28°
35°
19°
 
 
February
54°
29°
35°
18°
 
 
March
61°
34°
39°
24°
 
 
April
71°
42°
49°
34°
 
 
May
79°
50°
57°
43°
 
 
June
86°
58°
63°
49°
 
 
July
88°
59°
65°
53°
 
 
August
87°
60°
64°
52°
 
 
September
83°
55°
60°
47°
 
 
October
73°
43°
53°
38°
 
 
November
61°
33°
42°
28°
 
 
December
52°
28°
37°
21°
 

Similar Hikes

Paddle and Hike Day Tour

Historic Paddle & Hike

Paddle & Hike Day Tour
Apr-Oct
Level 2
Charlies Bunion - The Jump Off

Charlies Bunion - The Jump Off

Private Day Hike Tour
Year Round
Level 3
Ramsey Cascades

Ramsey Cascades

Private Day Hike Tour
Year Round
Level 3