Do a search here. There are numerous posts about this subject.
But to give you the answer. One must stay in the shelter along the A.T. if you are not a registered Thur-hiker. A thru-hiker is difined as anyone traveling 50 miles prior to the GSMNP and 50 miles past the park. They may occuupy a tent, tarp, or hammock within eye sight of the shelter IF the shelter is full.
All shelter spots other than thru-hikers must be reserved.
The only location that has shelters is A.T. All other sites have no shelter. However some require reservations.
It has to do with the number of people that visit the park each year. From several roads or trailheads you could be at a shelter within 5 miles. It most likely would look like a K.O.A in a matter of time.
Hope that helps.
From the Great Southern state of
Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less. General Robert E. Lee
Last edited by BEAS; 03-27-2011 at 19:07..
Reason: added information