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CATALOOCHEE CAMPGROUND, NC

part ofGreat Smoky Mountains National Park, National Park Service
Photo: CATALOOCHEE CAMPGROUND
Status: Closed through Thu Apr 02 2015   Season Dates
 

Overview

Cataloochee campground is located in the historic Cataloochee Valley--a relatively remote part of Smoky Mountain National Park. The secluded setting offers visitors the ability to enjoy a multitude of recreational activities like hiking and fishing, without the crowds, which are sometimes common in other parts of the park.

Natural Features:

Cataloochee Campground is surrounded by picturesque mountain ranges and pristine mountain streams, like nearby Cataloochee Creek. Elk are common in this part of the park, during the spring and fall.

At a 2,600 foot elevation, Cataloochee provides a moderate climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers. Whether blanketed in bright spring wildflowers or exploding with vivid fall colors, the scenery at Cataloochee never disappoints.

Recreation:

The Cataloochee Valley features an extensive trail system that is less heavily used compared to other areas of the park. The two main trails, Caldwell Fork and nearby Rough Fork Trail, run mostly parallel to one another in the central portion of the valley. Either of these trails extend alongside scenic creeks and streams and support both hikers and horeseback riders.

For hikers only, the 3.9-mile Boogerman Trail forms a nice loop off the Caldwell Fork Trail and is less than a mile walk from the campground.

Anglers will agree that some of the best Rainbow and Brook trout fishing in the area can be found in the Cataloochee Basin, one of the most remote sections of the park. Fly fishing is particularly good during spring months when aquatic insects hatch in large numbers.

The park also holds one of the best collections of log buildings in the eastern United States. Over 90 historic structures, including houses, barns, outbuildings, churches, schools and grist mills, have been preserved or rehabilitated in the park. A handful of which can be found in the Cataloochee Valley, including the nearby Palmer House, built in 1869, which contains a self-guided museum.

Facilities:

Cataloochee offers a traditional outdoor camping experience with the added convenience of flush toilets and drinking water. There are no hookups or showers at the campground.

Hiking trails and fishing streams are easily accessible from the site and the nearby Cataloochee Group Camp can accommodate larger parties of guests.

Additionally, the Cataloochee Horse Camp provides convenient camping for horseback riding enthusiasts.

Nearby Attractions:

A number of the park's famous historical buildings, including the Steve Woody and Caldwell Houses, both built in the late 19th-century, are nearby the campground.

The Steve Woody House, built in 1880, is located along the Rough Fork trail, an easy 2-mile roundtrip hike from the parking lot at the end of Ranger Station Road.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Birding
  • Drinking Water
  • Flush Toilets
  • Horseback Riding
  • Host
  • Parking Area
Less Than 1 Mile
  • Fishing
  • Horseback Riding Trails
  • Ranger Station
  • River Access
  • Trails
Greater Than 1 Mile
  • Hiking
  • Historic Sites
  • Wildlife Viewing
Know Before You Go
  • Bear Habitat!!
    • All food and items used to store or prepare food, including coolers, MUST be stored in the trunk or cab of your vehicle/s at all times when not in use.
    • Dispose of garbage promptly in bear-proof dumpsters.
    • This rule is strictly enforced!

  • Firewood Quarantines are in effect!
    • The possession of any firewood originating from any location for which a federal or state firewood quarantine is in effect is prohibited. The movement of firewood into the park from counties adjacent to the park for which a federal or state quarantine is in place is prohibited even if the quarantine allows for movement within the county.
    • Firewood which bears a USDA or a state certificate or which is purchased from a park concessionaire is allowed.
    • The National Park Service STRONGLY discourages the movement of firewood from one location to another.
    • This rule is strictly enforced!
    • Proposed Regulation Change: The Park is proposing to allow only USDA or state certified heat-treated wood to be brought into the park for campground fires beginning in March 2015. More details are available on the park website at www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/firewood-alert.htm.
    • Help protect the park and chose to bring only heat-treated wood on your next visit!

  • Access to Cataloochee is via a narrow, winding, mountain road. A 3-mile stretch of gravel road contains many narrow, blind curves. Though many campsites will accommodate large rigs, motorhomes over 32' and trailers over 25' in length are not recommended due to the access road.
  • A reservation is required to stay at Cataloochee. Please make your reservation before driving to the campground – cell phone coverage in the Valley is very limited and there are no provisions to make a reservation once you are at the campground.
  • There are no showers or electric, water or sewer hook-ups in the park.
  • Quiet hours are in effect from 10 PM to 6 AM. Generator use is restricted to 8 AM to 8 PM. Some campgrounds have generator free sections.
  • Fires are allowed in fire rings only!
  • A maximum of 6 people may occupy a campsite. The park stay limit is 14 consecutive days. Reservations which exceed the 14 consecutive day limit may be cancelled and refunded.
  • A Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license is required to fish in the park. Special regulations apply in the park.
  • Pets are permitted but cannot be left unattended. All pets must be kept on a leash at all times. Pets are not allowed on trails.
  • Cades Cove and Smokemont campgrounds are the only campgrounds open year round.
  • For additional park information call 865-436-1200 or visit www.nps.gov/grsm
  • Getting There:

    GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
    35.63083, -83.1125
    35°37'51"N, 83°6'45"W

    From I-40 take Exit 20 in North Carolina. Turn right onto Cove Creek Road and follow to the Park boundary. The road goes from pavement to gravel to pavement. Upon reaching the pavement the second time, turn left. Go 2.5 miles to an intersection and continue another .5 miles to the left.

    Contact Information:

    Mailing Address:

    CATALOOCHEE CAMPGROUND
    3576 Ranger Station Rd
    Waynesville  NC  37876

    Phone Number:

    Information:  (828)497-9270
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