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Historic mountain valley.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Far from the hustle and bustle of Gatlinburg and the tourists you’ll find this peaceful mountain valley. Known as Cataloochee, the valley was formerly home to a small mountain community before the park was established. Now you can explore the remaining historic homes and buildings and take in the peaceful mountain charm that once made this an ideal place to settle. There is also a herd of elk that can be commonly seen grazing the pastures of the valley, some of the bull elk can grow to immense sizes with very large antler racks. You can also spot wild turkeys and a number of other interesting wildlife in this scenic and quiet part of the park.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Cataloochee is in the fall when the rugged mountains surrounding the valley display their brilliant autumn colors. There typically won’t be any crowds in the area due to it’s remoteness.

Things to Note

Cataloochee is accessed via narrow, steep, gravel road that may not be suitable for some types of vehicles. The area is remote and far from most points of interest in the park so you’ll want to take that into consideration if you’re planning your trip and have a limited time.

Oconaluftee | Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee & North Carolina

The Great Smoky Mountains Film

This film is the culmination of two weeks exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We chose Great Smoky Mountains as our second ever park film because of it’s extraordinary display of fall colors, it’s incredibly diverse wildlife population, and it’s prominence as the most visited national park in the country. This film was shot entirely in 4K UHD.


Explore more of Great Smoky Mountains

Jim Pattiz

Co-Founder of More Than Just Parks. Filmmaker, Conservationist, Public Lands Enthusiast

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