View Full Version : help with camping

08-25-2008, 04:50 PM
I'm thinking of coming up this Fri Sat Sun, was wondering if you could get 30' bumper pull rv into cataloochee? was up there a couple yrs ago tent camping and remember the road being tight. this time I'm bringing my wife and eight year old duaghter. We want to get away from the crowds but I want my daughter to be able to roam a little, and my wife to be able to hike safely. I must be able to fish from campsite. Any suggestions???? I have camped and hiked alot and never feared the outdoors, but you all are getting me a little worried for daughter with all this bear talk...any real concerns??

Hugh Hartsell
08-25-2008, 05:47 PM
Forget about the bear scare. That is really a very minor problem. However.... getting a 30ft. camper up that mountain and down into Cataloochee Cove may be a bear of a different story. That is a pretty tight road and I hope you can handle that vehicle real well. I believe that I would get in touch with Park Headquarters and talk with them about how practical that might be, or at least see if you can find someone who has done that before. There are very few turnouts or turnarounds while you're on that gravel road section. Be safe and check this out.

08-25-2008, 05:57 PM
I looked on the gsmnp web site for someone to call. The best i could come up with was an email address that said it would take a week or more to answer. another concern was weather or not there would be anything available since its a holiday week end. My wife would kill me if I drove her up that road,only to turn around because they were full....Guess it would be the best place to die just not the best way!!!!!!

08-26-2008, 12:05 AM
I took a look at the frontcountry camping page just now, and it isn't looking good:


It doesn't say, but since there's no link to make a reservation, it would seem that Cataloochee is unavailable. I took a look at a couple of the other sites that have some spots (Cosby, Elkmont), and it looks like only Friday is available.

I second Hugh's comments on the road into Cataloochee...I take my time going in there, and I'm driving a car. There's a lot of blind curves until you reach pavement inside the park. It's tough to find spots on a holiday weekend - I priced hotel rooms in Maggie Valley, and they're either booked, or the rooms that are available are scalper's prices...big time price gouging - a room that would normally go for about $70 going for $126.

08-26-2008, 08:41 AM

I'd maybe try Smokemont. For you, the Bradley Fork and Oconaluftee are right there, and you can be in Cherokee in just a few minutes to entertain the family.

Since Smokemont takes reservations, you wouldn't have to worry about getting there and not getting a campsite. The last time I was at Cataloochee - August of last year while school was still out - we got there on a Thursday, and I think it was slap full by that night. It definitely was by Friday night.

JSouth's link will get you to the Smokemont reservation page.


08-26-2008, 09:00 AM
I live here close to Cataloochee and as beautiful as that area is I would suggest somewhere else. These next two weekends are some of the busiest of the year. Not to mention that the water levels are at a 60 year low. It is raining and more rain is to come, but I would hate for you to pull that RV all the way in and not be able to find a place to park it. Best of luck in wherever you end up, the water levels and temperatures should be very cooperative this weekend.

08-26-2008, 02:01 PM
thanks for the help after thinking about it we decided to stay at Smokemont,but they like every other camp spot in the park were booked up. We got a spot at Indian Creek Campground in Cherokee. Not exactly as remote as we wanted,but we'll still be there. I have never spent any time on that side of the park or in that area at all. The lady I talked to said they stock the creek at the camp ground,how will that be for fly fishing and where in the park would be a good area near by to go???

08-26-2008, 02:54 PM
If you're going to be in Cherokee, there are a bunch of places you can fish. You can fish the Enterprise Waters in the reservation; for that, you'll need to buy a permit in Cherokee - a N.C. license won't work on the reservation...these waters are heavily stocked, including some very big fish. If you would prefer the wild fish of the park, you'll need either a Tennessee or N.C. license - I would personally recommend the N.C. license...you can buy it online, and print out the receipt as a temporary (they mail you your permanent one). From Cherokee, you can head directly into the park on U.S. 441 and fish all along the Oconoluftee alongside the road. You can also go into the Smokemont area and hit Bradley Fork. However, the stream I would recommend the most is Straight Fork; it is a bit of a drive to get to, but worth it - you have a realistic chance of getting all three species in one day. To reach Straight Fork, you have to get on Big Cove road in Cherokee, and head through the reservation, past the tribal fish hatchery, and then into the park on a gravel road that is, for the most part, in fair shape. You can fish all along the road - from the park boundary upstream for a few miles is your best shot at a brown. Further upstream, brookies start to show up, and by the time you get to the bridge crossing (about 6 miles in), that's pretty much all you'll catch.

You also aren't very far from Bryson City, and Deep Creek and Noland Creek. I've never fished there, but I know the lower stretches of Deep Creek will be packed with tubers this weekend.