Shelter:Watauga Lake

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Watauga Lake Shelter 2014.JPG
Shelter Watauga Lake (CLOSED)
Capacity 6 People
Privy No
Trail Head Distance N 2.4 Miles
Trail Head Distance S 1.8 Miles
Elevation 2,091 Feet
Latitude {{#lat_deg2dms: 36.31398}}
Longitude {{#long_deg2dms: -82.1294}}
Nearest Medical Johnson City, TN
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Note! Shelter is TEMPORARILY closed due to bear activity. Please continue hiking through this area without stopping. No preparation or consumption of food or overnight stays allowed. This closure is effective until further notice. [1]

A temporary campsite (no water) has been set up at coordinates N36.29847, W82.12701 (NB Mile 426.5) just outside the Pond Mountain Wilderness. Also nearby is Boots Off Hostel along Bear Branch Road on the south side of the closed section.

Otherwise, Watagua Lake Shelter is three-sided with open front and wooden sleeping platform.


On the shore of Watauga Lake between Watauga Dam Road and US321. The shelter is 50 yards uphill off the AT on a blue-blazed side trail.


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Return on blue-blazed trail to find stream crossing AT.

Maintenance History[edit]

  • Mar 2011: Bear pole installed by Eagle Scout Seth Douthat.
  • 2007: Installed gutter on back and stained outside of shelter
  • Mar 1997: New steel roofing was placed over the existing shingles. Material floated over lake!
  • 1994: Picnic table installed.
  • 1980: Built by US Forest Service.

Photo Gallery[edit]

Shelter name Section Trail distance from Damascus
Abingdon Gap Shelter US421 to Damascus 10.2
McQueens Knob Shelter (emergency shelter) US421 to Damascus 11.7
Double Springs Shelter TN91 to US421 18.5
Iron Mountain Shelter Wilbur Dam Rd to TN91 26.1
Vandeventer Shelter Wilbur Dam Rd to TN91 32.9
Watauga Lake Shelter Dennis Cove Rd to Wilbur Dam Rd 40.1
Laurel Fork Shelter Dennis Cove Rd to Wilbur Dam Rd 48.7
Moreland Gap Shelter US19E to Dennis Cove Rd 57.3
Mountaineer Falls Shelter US19E to Dennis Cove Rd 66.9
Overmountain Shelter (Yellow Mountain Barn) Carver's Gap to US19E 84.9
Stan Murray Shelter Carver's Gap to US19E 86.8
Roan High Knob Shelter Iron Mountain Gap to Carver's Gap 92.0
Clyde Smith Shelter Iron Mountain Gap to Carver's Gap 100.5
Cherry Gap Shelter Indian Grave Gap to Iron Mountain Gap 109.6
Curley Maple Gap Shelter Nolichucky River to Indian Grave Gap 122.4
No Business Knob Shelter Spivey Gap to Nolichucky River 132.9

Per the 2016 AT Data Book.