Our Fontana Lake to Hazel Creek Loop features one of the most unique starts and ends to any hike in the Smokies via a motorboat shuttle across Fontana Lake. But that’s just the beginning. This trip continues to inspire with wonderful lakeshore hiking, an ascent into the higher mountains, beautiful creekside hiking, towering ridge views, truly breathtaking scenery along Hazel Creek (one of the prettiest valleys in the Park), and phenomenal history including a 19th century cemetery.
The boat shuttle that starts and ends the trip allows us to begin our hike in a remote area, exponentially increasing the sense of wildness on this trip, not to mention the scenic beauty. Fontana Lake is a massive, crystal clear body of water surrounded by lush forests and rushing mountain creeks. On top of that, Hazel Creek is one of the Smokies’ most outstanding backcountry trout streams both because of its abundance of fish and its intense beauty. Combine these aspects of the trip with our time in the higher mountains, carefully selected campsites, wonderful backcountry meals, and incredible history, and this trip is one of the best!