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Thread: Cataloochee Campground

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    264

    Default Cataloochee Campground

    I was looking to make reservation for the Cataloochee front country campground this spring. NPS.gov for Cataloochee front country camping says campsites open mid March through October. When trying to make reservations at recreation.gov its saying no front country camping at Cataloochee until June 11th.

    Now that seems a little late in the year and confusing to me. Was wondering if some maintenance work or something was taking place

    Does anyone know what's the "lowdown" with Cataloochee front country camping.

    Thanks

    Signed,
    Sparse Grey Hackle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Great Smoky Mountains
    Posts
    907

    Default

    You got me interested as having camped and fished it in early Spring for years. I talked to REC.gov and they saw the same thing I saw on website but had no reason why.
    I then talked to Park main office and it is correct, campgrounds closed until June 11, 2020. Reason is road on NC side (the dirt section) is being repaired.
    Work was to start in winter but got pushed back, my question also was if N.C. was finally paving the gravel/dirt section(which is N.C. state owned or Haywood County?.. not Park property) and they said no. You can enter Park from Big Creek side (long & curvy gravel also) but still no camping in campgrounds until June 2020. Park will be open however. Side note: As on news I-40 from TN/NC border side is also under construction so tough sledding that direction.
    Maybe will give elk and Park an overdue rest and relaxation!
    Last edited by bigsur; 01-08-2020 at 04:52 PM.
    "It starts with a raindrop, don't let it end with a teardrop!"

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Knoxville
    Posts
    327

    Default

    I am not sure, but the road according to Google maps has what appears to be a US Forest Service road number. Although it could be a Haywood county road/number.

    What I found out is that the road had a slide. If the road did in fact slide (not surprising) they might be repairing it with nailing it to the mountain, which has become pretty common. The most recently one I saw done was the forest service road in the Tellico district coming into Bald River Falls along the river.

    I will say though that coming from the Big Creek side via that road, it is a horrible road from those I have talked to that have used it. I want to say there's like 16 miles of nothing but gravel and not well maintained at that. And if it is the least bit dry the road is really dusty. FWIW

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Great Smoky Mountains
    Posts
    907

    Default Update: Cataloochee Road Status

    UPDATE:
    Here is the article from Great Smoky Mountains National Park announcement of Cataloochee Roads status.
    Smokies to temporarily close Cataloochee area roads
    Maryville Daily Times
    From staff report


    Cove Creek Road, the main access road into the Cataloochee area, will be closed by the North Carolina Department of Transportation to conduct road repairs from Feb. 10 through May 20, Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials said Friday.

    The county roadway will be closed to stabilize a hillside just outside the park. The secondary access road into the area, Highway 284, will also be closed in the park throughout the duration of the construction project. Both roadways will be closed to all vehicles, cyclists and horseback riders.

    The secondary access road into the Cataloochee area, Highway 284, is a narrow, winding gravel road leading from the Big Creek area of the park into Cataloochee Valley. This gravel route is often seasonally closed during the winter months due to hazardous conditions and is not recommended for low clearance vehicles or trailers. This road will be closed throughout the closure period at the park boundary, about two miles north of Mt. Sterling Gap. During the closure, there will not be any potable water, restrooms, trash removal, or camping provided in the Cataloochee area.

    Backcountry trails and campgrounds will remain open throughout the closure, but there will be no access to trailhead parking beyond the Big Creek area.
    "It starts with a raindrop, don't let it end with a teardrop!"

    "Nothing straightens out my mind like a twisting mountain stream!"

    Follow the Great Smoky Mountain Trout Unlimited website:

    http://greatsmokymountain.tu.org/

    FACEBOOK: http://m.facebook.com/GreatSmokyMountainTU/

    "A true conservationist is someone who knows that the world is not given by their fathers, but borrowed from their children."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Great Smoky Mountains
    Posts
    907

    Default

    "Just in from Head Resident Elk "Thank God!...and please note our annual single mixer will continue thru May!" 🤪
    "It starts with a raindrop, don't let it end with a teardrop!"

    "Nothing straightens out my mind like a twisting mountain stream!"

    Follow the Great Smoky Mountain Trout Unlimited website:

    http://greatsmokymountain.tu.org/

    FACEBOOK: http://m.facebook.com/GreatSmokyMountainTU/

    "A true conservationist is someone who knows that the world is not given by their fathers, but borrowed from their children."

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