Name: Cataloochee Campground
Nearest Gateway City: Maggie Valley, NC
Individual Camp Sites: 27
Fee: $25 per night
Dates Open: April 15 – October 30, 2022
Group Campsites: 3
Dates Open: April 15 – October 30, 2022
Directions to Cataloochee Campground
IMPORTANT: The 3.1-mile gravel entrance road to Cataloochee Valley is narrow, with many tight, blind curves. It is rather difficult to navigate in larger recreational vehicles. The National Park Service asks that you do not attempt to drive on this road in motor homes longer than 32’ or trailers longer than 25’.
From I-40: Take Exit 20 (US 276) toward Maggie Valley. Less than half a mile further, turn right onto Cove Creek Road (1395). NOTE: Cove Creek Road becomes Old Cataloochee Turnpike when it crosses into the National Park. Drive on Cove Creek/Old Cataloochee Turnpike for 7.8 miles and turn left onto Cataloochee Entrance Road. This road takes you 3.1 miles to the campground.
Cataloochee Campground Description
Every area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is beautiful, so people tend to camp in the “easy access” places, like Cades Cove Campground or Elkmont Campground, etc. Consequently, those campgrounds are often crowded.
Alternatively, Cataloochee Campground is secluded and offers a great place to avoid the crowds. Nestled under magnificent trees near the Tennessee and North Carolina border, Cataloochee Valley is amazing.
With only 27 campsites, campers can experience the outdoors in relative privacy. The Cataloochee Creek runs just behind the campground and is an enjoyable place to cool off in the summer heat.
With mountains, valleys, hiking trails, historic buildings, and a creek, Cataloochee is a picturesque setting.
Little Cataloochee Trail will take you back in time. The historic buildings are a great reminder of what life was like nearly a hundred years ago.
Boogerman Loop is another trail with historical significance with easy access from the campground.
Cataloochee has potable water and restrooms with flush toilets.
NOTE: Campgrounds in Great Smoky Mountains National Park do not have electricity, showers, or water hookups.
DOWNLOAD: Cataloochee Campground Site Map
Each of the 27 campsites has a picnic table and a fire ring with a grate for cooking. Bring your grub and enjoy some outdoor mountain cooking.
Tent pads provide an easy place to pitch your tent. If you don’t have a tent, park your recreational vehicle at the campsite and make yourself at home.
Cataloochee Campsite | Photo: National Park Service
There is a limit of six persons per campsite.
For groups of seven to twenty-five, you may reserve one of the group campsites. Larger groups (up to seventy-five people) may reserve all three group sites.
If you are into fly-fishing, this area of the park is a wonderful place to catch wild rainbow trout. They are in abundance.
Spring is by far the best time of year to drop a line in the water. Just remember to get a fishing license first.
RELATED: Fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The National Park Service reintroduced elk into historic Cataloochee Valley several years ago. Don’t be surprised if you see some wandering around the campground.
Keep in mind that you should never approach wildlife, it can be dangerous, and it is illegal.
RELATED: Cataloochee Valley
Reservations and Registration
Guests at Cataloochee Campground must make a reservation. Visitors arriving without a reservation will not be allowed to camp.
The fee for individual campsites is $25.00 per night.
The fee for group campsites is $40.00 per night or $280.00 per week.
To check dates of availability or to make a reservation, visit Recreation.gov or call (800) 444-6777.
IMPORTANT: Prices are subject to change. Additional fees, taxes, or discounts may apply.
Nearby Points of Interest
Boogerman Loop Trail is a fun hike for anyone interested in historical structures. Cataloochee Valley was one of the most successful farming communities before the founding of the national park. The history is interesting and about 90 structures remain. Maggie Valley is the “Motorcycle Hub of the Smokies” and is close enough to explore.