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Cataloochee Valley

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC
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Review Highlights
Going Back in History

This valley is part of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, but can only be entered from the... read more

Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Bomanje
,
Florida
Spring Break

Before heading to Cataloochee Valley to check out the wildlife, do your research, we unfortunately... read more

Reviewed 11 April 2018
TShaf26
,
Alexandria, Kentucky
via mobile
Read all 303 reviews
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Traveller Overview
  • Excellent76%
  • Very good16%
  • Average5%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“turkey”(32 reviews)
“cades cove”(31 reviews)
“saw elk”(20 reviews)
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Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC
Website
Write a ReviewReviews (303)
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All reviews
"turkey"
in 32 reviews
"cades cove"
in 31 reviews
"saw elk"
in 20 reviews
"gravel road"
in 26 reviews
"an adventure"
in 15 reviews
"blind curves"
in 8 reviews
"caldwell house"
in 8 reviews
"wheel drive"
in 7 reviews
"the barn"
in 6 reviews
"park ranger"
in 11 reviews
"step back in time"
in 6 reviews
"steep drop offs"
in 6 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 15 reviews
"sunrise or sunset"
in 5 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 12 reviews
"take your time"
in 5 reviews
"wildlife viewing"
in 4 reviews
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1 - 10 of 300 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This valley is part of the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, but can only be entered from the eastern side in Waynesville. The road in is an adventure in itself...dirt, single lane and dusty. BUT, worth the trip. When the valley was acquired by the...More

Thank Bomanje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2018 via mobile

Before heading to Cataloochee Valley to check out the wildlife, do your research, we unfortunately didn’t! The road to the valley is S curve after S curve on gravel and mud. If you meet another small vehicle you can pass each other, if you meet...More

2  Thank TShaf26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2018

This is a must see place. There are re-populated Elk now numbering about 230. You must go near sunrise or sunset to see the most elk. This is a part of the Great Smokies mountain National Park. No fee but just enjoy.

1  Thank onemichael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 March 2018

Promotional brochures for historic sites often invite visitors to “step back in time.” Travel to Cataloochee Valley, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and you truly do journey back to a different place and time – in this case, rural North Carolina of the...More

2  Thank D2958ZXgarym
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2018

Step back in time with a visit to this isolated mountain valley, home to the only free roaming elk on the east coast.

1  Thank SPW777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2018 via mobile

Cataloochee ranch is a great place to stay if you want to get away from everything. We went up there to take pictures of the elk but found a beautiful valley.

1  Thank clamdiger2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2018 via mobile

What a truly hidden gem. Don't attempt to drive in with a car that has low ground clerance! Once over the mountains, on a narrow dirt/gravel road you are met with a typical 2 lane paved National Park road? Drive the length of the valley...More

1  Thank William H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2017 via mobile

We had always wanted to take the trip into Cataloochee Valley, especially my husband, but we never seemed to have time to fit it into our trip. We would always just do the usual Cades Cove loop, which we love, and forget about trying to...More

3  Thank NatNicW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 November 2017 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

1  Thank Jennifer G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2017

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

4  Thank InConstantPursuit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Nearby Attractions
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Questions & Answers
lilbigsis44
17 November 2017|
AnswerShow all 6 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.
2
Votes
PancakesOnTheBeach
27 September 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Gary M | Reviewed this property |
I have driven up there in every thing from a 4 wheel drive truck to a front wheel drive VW Jetta and have seen every type of vehicle you could imagine up there. The road is gravel and has some ruts but most you can drive... More
2
Votes
PancakesOnTheBeach
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
1
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