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Cataloochee Valley

Features Animals
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC
Review Highlights
Beautiful area for a drive

We really enjoyed our day in the Cataloochee Valley during our trip to Waynesville. We saw so many... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Jennifer G
via mobile
This is the backcountry of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Let's start off by saying Cataloochee Valley isn't Cherokee, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Wears Valley... read more

Reviewed 4 weeks ago
Atlanta, Ga.
Read all 296 reviews
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  • Excellent76%
  • Very good16%
  • Average5%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“turkey” (31 reviews)
“see elk” (27 reviews)
“cades cove” (30 reviews)
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC
Write a ReviewReviews (296)
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1 - 10 of 293 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We really enjoyed our day in the Cataloochee Valley during our trip to Waynesville. We saw so many elk right outside of our car, which was awesome! The views are priceless. My only complaint is that the trails are not well marked. We went on...More

Thank Jennifer G
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Let's start off by saying Cataloochee Valley isn't Cherokee, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Wears Valley or Wayland. Cataloochee is backcountry. This is where the Park Service released the first Elk back in 2000. And for good reason... it's isolated. The Park Service warns about the drive...More

1  Thank InConstantPursuit
Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Loved going to the remote valley. It is really cool to me, that these places are being kept for future enjoyment. All the buildings I visited were in pristine condition. The elk were really cool to see, and were very comfortable with people.

Thank JHill279
Reviewed 5 November 2017

My husband and I have visited the Smoky Mountain National Park several times but had never gone to Cataloochee Valley. We were delighted to discover this beautiful, serene place. Our trip was in late October and we saw about a dozen elk in the fields...More

Thank rachelfQ9649DK
Reviewed 3 November 2017

I love Cataloochee Valley. It's on the NC side of the park. It's not very busy. The day we went there it was cold and raining so we didn't get out to hike or explore. We have been here before so it wasn't a big...More

Thank GoldRushJunkie
Reviewed 30 October 2017 via mobile

We really enjoyed seeing the Elk and the beautiful sceneries. We were camping in Cades Cove, so it took upwards of 3 hours to get here, making for a very long day. If I could make a suggestion to the park, it would be to...More

Thank Cayla W
Reviewed 24 October 2017

We wanted very much to see Elk on our vacation to Maggie Valley and had been told about going to Cataloochee Valley. We followed the directions given to us and proceeded to drive the steep and winding road from exit 20. There was hardly any...More

Thank Alain L
Reviewed 22 October 2017

Cataloochee Valley is a trip worth taking. Be fore warned it is a little challenging getting to the valley. The best entrance would be off route 276. You'll take that straight in and eventually you'll end up on a narrow dirt/gravel road. Go slow and...More

2  Thank Jeff S
Reviewed 21 October 2017 via mobile

The drive into Cataloochee Valley consists, in parts, of narrow, one lane, gravel roads so take your time, be patient and enjoy the views. It’s totally worth it. We made it into the valley around 5:00 pm local, just in time to see several elk...More

1  Thank MelanieBham1230
Reviewed 20 October 2017

We have been to the Valley several times over the past few years and it never fails to be a great trip. We admit that we go mostly for the elk, but also for the drive into the park. If you come in from the...More

1  Thank Pat D
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Nearby Attractions
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1,194 reviews
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Cataloochee Ski Area
302 reviews
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Elevated Mountain Distilling Co.
29 reviews
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Questions & Answers
17 November 2017|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Lynn W | Reviewed this property |
It is a narrow, 2 lane road that hugs mountain curves. You can drive it in a sedan, just take care going around curves.
27 September 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Sue L | Reviewed this property |
The roads were rough getting to the valley and no guardrails. They weren't wide either and I was nervous any time there was an approaching vehicle. We went in our SUV and got there without problems, I was just nervous... More
26 September 2017|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Sue L | Reviewed this property |
I agree with the other reviews. We have never paid for a tour to see elk and unless you're just not wanting to drive, I would use my money for something else. Good spots to see elk are either early morning or in the... More