Hiking Project Logo

blueBlack Smokies Challenge Adventure Run (SCAR)

  4.7 ( 3 ) Favorite

Trail

73.1 mile 117.6 kilometer point to point
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 14,944' 4,555 m
Descent: -14,672' -4,472 m
High: 6,623' 2,019 m
Low: 1,705' 520 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 41% (23°)

Dogs

No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Corey Holt

A challenging hike along the Appalachian Trail - Great Smoky Mountain National Park Section.

Corey Holt

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Spring · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

The Appalachian Trail (AT), runs for more than 71 miles through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It begins in the south at Fontana Dam, and traverses through the GSMNP and ends at Davenport Gap. The highest point of the trail is 6625 feet (Clingman's Dome).

Need to Know

Aid and bail-out is only possible at 40 miles at Newfound Gap Road. All food and gear must be carried and water must be pulled from streams and/or shelters along the trail.

Description

The Smokies Challenge Adventure Run (affectionately called the SCAR) is an unofficial 70+ mile traverse of the Appalachian Trail through the Smoky Mountains. The "game / challenge" is to try and complete the SCAR within 24 hours. The AT section starts at Fontana Dam (southern GSMNP terminus on the AT) and goes to Davenport Gap (northern GSMP terminus on the AT). The elevation gain is around 18,000', about 13,000 feet in the first 40 miles (going south to north) and around 6000 feet in last 30 miles.

If you aren't planning to tackle the SCAR, this traverse also makes for a challenging multi-day backpack or you can tackle parts of the traverse to complete the full 71 miles in segments. If you are planning to spend the night in the park, be sure to check the park website for current backcountry rules and regulations. This traverse is challenging so be sure to plan accordingly, allowing plenty of time for the long climbs and remote, backcountry sections.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Flora & Fauna, History & Background

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow hikers know what's here.

Contacts

Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In

Check-Ins

none

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 3 votes

#2

in Fontana Lake

#1893

Overall
  4.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Featured Hike Rankings

#2

in Fontana Lake

#1,893

Overall
101 Views Last Month
161 Since May 20, 2019
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
0%
67%
33%
0%

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking