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Recommended experiences in and around Great Smoky Mountains National Park
from $80.00
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from $55.00
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Reviews (337)
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Traveler rating
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All reviews wild turkeys cades cove gravel road elk viewing an adventure old church caldwell house blind curves take your time wheel drive favorite places worth the trip hiking trails sunrise or sunset open fields step back in time long drive
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113 - 118 of 337 reviews
Reviewed August 23, 2016 via mobile

Our evening visit to the valley was such a treat that we returned the next evening.
We drove to the valley first from the Cosby area, through the park - it was a long, slow and spectacular drive through a very isolated area of the park. It was so worth it! We arrived at dusk and As soon as we passed the Caldwell House there was a bear right on the road. As we entered the valley another bear ran across the road in front of us and we were also rewarded with 3 elk bucks and many nursing does.
We went back by the more conventional route ( still a trek ) .
Seeing this hidden valley was such a treat and definitely a highlight of our trip!

Date of experience: August 2016
2  Thank Kazbalilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2016 via mobile

It's about a 7 mile trip across a steep and narrow one lane gravel that twist and turn around the mountain side. It is not for the faint of heart, but it's worth the trip over there.

Date of experience: August 2016
Thank alcors11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2016

Although the drive to Cataloochee requires you to navigate a small gravel road over the mountain into the valley you won't be disappointed. We hiked Boogerman's trail which had numerous stream crossings. After we drove through the valley to visit the church, school and homesteads. We saw elk around 3:30-4 PM. They are majestic. There are 2 sets of bathrooms. One at the campground and another further into the valley. It is interesting to note that this valley used to have 1,200 inhabitants. It is free to enter Great Smokey Mountains National Park. Please make a donation.

Date of experience: August 2016
Thank Genvieve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 13, 2016

We were surprised at how easy it was to see the elk. We saw them each time we went to where they hang out except once in 3 days. The photos I got were breathtaking!

Date of experience: August 2016
Thank Nadine R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2016

Although we booked the same day, our guide, Tim showed up right on time at the hotel. We had a great visit to the Park seeing lots of elk and wild turkey, and a close encounter with a black bear.

Tim was really knowledgeable about the history, flora and fauna in the Valley and kept us well informed.

Date of experience: August 2016
Thank RSP70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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