Cataloochee Campground, GSMNP

Discussion in 'North Carolina' started by Harrelldjr, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. Harrelldjr

    Harrelldjr New Member

    Jul 6, 2014
    East Tennessee
    Cataloochee Campground is located in the Catalooche Valley in the North Carolina portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Reservations are required and can be made on The campground has no hook-ups. There is a bath house with a cold water sink and flush toilets. There is also a water spigot located near the opposite end of the campground from the bathroom.

    Our most recent trip to Cataloochee was our first trip in our PUP. We have tent camped there several times as well as making a few day trips. We enter and exit the valley by exiting I-40 at exit #20 and taking Cove Creek Road. The road begins as two lane pavement, narrows to very narrow two lane pavement, transitions to one lane gravel, then goes back to two lane pavement when you enter the valley. The road is a bit exciting, but is well worth the "pucker factor".

    Our preferred sites in the campground are the sites adjacent to the creek. Sites 3, 5, 7 and 9 are our particular favorites.

    Each season has its own particular highlights in the valley. Spring brings a profusion of wildflowers. Painted Trillium grows is several spots in the campground itself. Pink Lady Slippers grow in a few spots along trails in the valley. Early summer brings elk calves. Fall brings the elk rut and the changing of the leaves. Fall also brings a larger number of people to the park to view the elk rut.

    Cataloochee Campground is one our favorites!
  2. Strut

    Strut Member

    Jun 24, 2014
    I'm heading there for the first time in mid Oct. at the recommendation of another member. Sounds great, I can't wait! How's the trout fishing in the creek? Any other good fishing holes nearby?
  3. Harrelldjr

    Harrelldjr New Member

    Jul 6, 2014
    East Tennessee
    I'm not a fisherman so I can't answer from personal experience, but I do see a fair number of people fishing there.
  4. speckhunter80

    speckhunter80 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the review.
  5. ~erik~

    ~erik~ Active Member

    Jan 19, 2015
    North Georgia
    Bumping an old thread here...
    Just came back from three days at Cataloochee. We were supposed to stay one more night but with the campground host talking about the NPS possibly closing/evacuating all the parks in the valley with Hurricane Irma coming we thought we'd just leave a tad early and avoid any traffic hassles.
    This was our second time here. Enjoyed seeing the elk, and hiking the 7 mile Boogerman Trail loop. A thousand foot elevation change made that quite a workout. Left the campsite at 10am, returned at 5pm. Saw a huge black feral pig on the trail. We were dead tired by the time we got back to our camper. But not too tired to cook steaks on our charcoal grill!
    We reserved campsite 5 six months ago so were right on the creek. The site is huge, we could have put three campers in there and were actually about 50 feet from the water. The facility has toilets, bear proof trash bins, and running water, no other services except a very nice camp host. Toilets were kept spotlessly clean.
    The seven mile drive from the interstate up to the road the campsite is on involves narrow gravel hairpin turns and caution to avoid conflicts with vehicles coming the other way. We were glad to be towing a popup and not a longer trailer. There were three or four larger (up to 30') trailers at the campground, a few small trailers, three or four other popups besides ours, the rest of the 28 campsites had tents in them.
    Highly recommend this location if you don't mind boondocking.

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