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Smokies Hiking Guides
Great Smoky Mountains Treks
Smokies Hikes
Great Smoky Mountains Hiking Tour
Appalachia Guided Treks

Smokies Hiking & Meditation

Highlights

  •   Iconic Smokies Hikes
  •   Premier, scenic accommodations
  •   Meditation, yoga and relaxation
  •   Wonderful Appalachian meals
  •   Breathtaking Smokies scenery
  •   Waterfalls, wildlife and views

Description

Join us for four days of gentle hikes led by expert trekking guides and mindful exploration in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, opening your senses to stunning fall colors. Then settle into the warmth of our cozy accommodations in a peaceful, forested 38 acre area. We will meet daily for guided, seated and moving practices (with an focus on our relationship to the five elements) to help you feel calm and grounded as the season changes. Evenings are spent in reflection as you settle into your cabin, sink into a sound bath or Yoga Nidra session.


We're Here to Help!
 
Yoga Journal Retreat
Difficulty:
Solitude:
Asheville, NC
4 days
$1900 Per Person
$415 Single Supplement

Taxes & Fees

Minimum Guests

Travel to Asheville

  See Trip Dates


Trip Dates & Booking

Click on a date to register.
You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.
  • Available to Book
  • Going Fast
  • Request a Reservation
Do You Have Questions? Call us!
We're Here 7 Days a Week.
800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
  • Shuttle: 90 minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 3 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 300 feet
  • Afternoon Meditation: 1 hour afternoon Slow Flow and Mindfulness Meditation class
  • Accommodations: Dancing Bear Cabins

Day 1 of our trip begins with a scenic drive from Asheville, NC to the Oconoluftee entrance and visitor center, where we'll stop briefly at the Mountain Farm Museum to peruse early settler buildings and the extraordinary practices of hearty 19th century Appalachian farmers. The museum also features artifacts from and information about the Park's oldest inhabitants: the Cherokee. This stop helps set the context for the rest of our trip so we can fully appreciate the history, wilderness and scenic beauty of the Smokies as we hike through its forests and along its ancient creeks.

We will drive up to the Park's highest peak, Clingman's Dome at 6,643 feet, to take in more sweeping views. We will do a short hike to Andrew's Bald, one of the most famous views in the Park. Eventually we'll bring our first day of hiking and exploration to a close by continuing to Dancing Bear Inn on the "quiet side of the Smokies" in Townsend, TN. After checking in, cleaning up, and having some free time, we'll meet for an evening 1 hour Slow Flow and Mindfulness Meditation class and dinner.

Day 2
  • Morning Meditation: 1 hour Slow Flow and Mindfulness Meditation class
  • Hiking Mileage: 4-5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 500 feet
  • Accommodations: Dancing Bear Cabins

After an early morning Slow Flow and Mindfulness Meditation practice at our lodge and breakfast, we will depart for a forested creek-side hike up the lush Middle Prong of the Little River to an extraordinary waterfall. This stunning river valley is one of the Smokies' most scenic waterfall hikes. We'll relax for a picnic lunch near the first cascades and enjoy some quiet time to listen to the sounds of the water and nature. We'll enjoy the falls, take photos, and eventually hike back to the trailhead. A shuttle ride takes us back to our lodge for dinner, an optional sound bath and a cozy night's rest.

Day 3
  • Morning Meditation: 1 hour Slow Flow and Mindfulness Meditation Class
  • Hiking Mileage: appx 3-5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 900 feet
  • Afternoon Yoga/Meditation: 30 minute Mindfulness Meditation; Optional Yoga Nidra
  • Accommodations: Dancing Bear Cabins

Today starts with a hearty Appalachian breakfast cooked by your guide at the Cades Cove Picnic area (weather depending). After breakfast we will explore the culturally rich Cades Cove historic district, while keeping an eye out for some of the Park's many types of wildlife (black bear, deer, elk, turkey and more). Often this is a highlight of the trip due to the many historic buildings, stunning scenery, wildlife, and wonderful tranquility of this rich mountain valley. We will have our Slow Flow and Mindfulness Meditation practice outdoor at Cades Cove, submerged in a valley completely surrounded by mountains. Afterward is an afternoon hike to a beautiful waterfall. Upon returning from the day to Dancing Bear Lodge, there will be an optional evening Yoga Nidra class before we retire.

Day 4
  • Morning Meditation: Early morning 1 hour Slow Flow and Mindfulness Meditation class
  • Hiking Mileage: 4-6 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 700 feet

The last day our of meditation and hiking experience will begin with an early morning Slow Flow and Mindfulness Meditation Class and relaxing, delicious breakfast. We will pack up our belongings and check out of our lodging before we depart. The overarching themes of today are historic buildings and waterfalls. We start with a hike to one of the Smokie's most unique waterfalls, and one we can walk behind which is a rare treat. We'll soak up the magic of the Smokies at this waterfall before returning to our trailhead. Then we continue along a historic loop road, stopping at historic cabins and structures along the way. We will have one last picnic lunch near Big Creek, visiting Midnight Hole and Mouse Creek Falls, two more memorable water features. Your guide will drop you off in Asheville, which will conclude our Smokies hiking and meditation getaway!




Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • A professional Yoga Journal yoga instructor
  • 3 nights of lodging (Lodging Details)
  • All meals are included from breakfast day 1 through lunch the final day
  • Use of a day pack and trekking poles
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Appalachian hiking guide
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour originating and concluding in Asheville, NC
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Yoga mat
  • Meditation cushion
  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

This retreat includes all meals from breakfast the first day through lunch the final day. Many meals will be prepared by your Wildland guide using fresh, healthy, delicous ingredients. Some meals, especially dinners, will be at local, hand-picked restaurants and bistros.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

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.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items to this retreat. These items are a yoga mat, two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent, lip balm, and toiletries are also important. Most of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


Clothing List

  • Sturdy hiking boots, mid-weight, lug-soled, above the ankle, and ideally well broken in. Important note: Buy your boots ½ to one-size larger than your street shoes to allow for feet swelling and thicker socks (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Brimmed sunhat and bandana
  • Rain shell, waterproof/breathable jacket
  • Warm top, such as a long-sleeved sweater or fleece jacket
  • One or two cotton shirts (may be long-sleeved) for protection from the sun, light colors are nice because they’re cooler than dark colors
  • Long pants, one pair of leggings or lightweight trousers to block sun and give warmth at night
  • Shorts, one pair or two, nylon is nice for light weight and to substitute as a bathing suit
  • Sport sandals like Tevas®, lightweight flip-flops, or tennis shoes for lounging around the lodge; (On Smokies trips: Lightweight, close-toed sandals or shoes, to use for creek crossings and camp shoes)
  • Hiking socks, one pair for every two days of your trip. Recommended brands include Bridgedale®, Smartwool®, or similar padded socks (wearing a thin liner sock under your hiking socks is highly recommended). No cotton socks!!
  • Small duffel bag or backpack with extra hiking clothes and casual clothes
  • Yoga clothing
ADDITIONAL CLOTHING OCTOBER TO APRIL
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Additional fleece jacket or insulated coat, warm, lightweight and packable fleece jacket or coat insulated with synthetic material
  • Rain pants, waterproof/breathable pant

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service 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 pay the deposit ($500).

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


Where Do We Meet?

You will meet your guide and group at the Holiday Inn in downtown Asheville (standard rooms are $99-$140 for our guests, 828-225-5550) for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. We're happy to give you a ride to this meeting if you're not staying at the Holiday Inn. Your guide will then pick you up the next morning for transport to the trailhead. For Private Great Smoky Mountains Tours your guide can meet you at any hotel in Asheville at an agreed upon time.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.


Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day's pick-up time during the pre-trip contact. Generally, you can expect it to be between 6 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).


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.


Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this trip is 7 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 scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in the Smoky & Blue Ridge Mountains

The weather in the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge 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 Appalachia:

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°
 

Accommodations

Dancing Bear Cabins

Dancing Bear Cabins

3 nights

This unique and inviting Appalachian lodge offers relaxation and natural beauty with wonderful accommodations on 38 forested acres on the "quiet side" of the Smokies! This retreat includes a combination of shared 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom loft-style cabins and individual cabins. The property contains ample outdoor yoga space as well as fitness trails. If a solo traveler, the rooming assignments will be assigned at time of booking. Special rooming requests will depend on availability and can be placed at time of booking. Single rooms can be guaranteed for a single supplement.

* These exact accommodations are not guaranteed. In some instances alternative accommodations of similar quality and location may be used.

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