Shuckstack Fire Tower

Shuckstack Fire Tower offers incredible views of the Great Smoky Mountains, the Nantahala Mountains and the Cheoah Mountains, plus Fontana Lake. Your hike begins near Fontana Dam which is the tallest dam east of the Rocky Mountains. At 480 ft tall, Fontana Dam was an engineering marvel during World War II. You’ll learn why Fontana Dam was one of Americas best kept secrets, and what the real purpose was for building the dam. Your hike takes you on the world famous Appalachian Trail where you will see many wildflowers and varieties of plants and trees. What makes Shuckstack a favorite hike is the location combined with unobstructed long range views where its possible to see over 30 miles in every direction from the unique fire tower that sits on top of the peak. Shuckstack is one of only four Fire Towers left inside the Smoky Mountains. Its future is uncertain, so take the opportunity to admire the breathe taking views from one of the best hikes in the Smokies as rated by Outside Magazine.

Long ago Fire towers were scattered all across the Smoky Mountain peaks and beyond. Before the advent of modern detection methods for wildfires, Rangers were put high atop the mountain peaks and towers with 360 degree views of the mountains and valleys around them. Their job was to spot smoke plumes billowing up from the mountains and valleys and reporting them fire fighters below. Their jobs were extremely important and helped save many lives, forests, and homes.

Shuckstack Mountani, Firetower, Smoky Mountain Hiking Tours, Guided Hiking, Bryson City, Fontana Lake, Fontana Dam

Ranger Cooley spotting fires from Shuckstack tower in 1951


Full Day Hike: Hiking time round trip is between 6-7 hours, and we break for lunch at the tower

Total Distance: 7 miles

Difficulty rating:  Very Strenuous, 2,100 feet of elevation gain is approximately 2.5 miles

Meeting Location: For this hike we meet in down town Bryson City North Carolina and travel to Fontana Dam

For Reservations call (828)-421-0172,  or book securely from our website!

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