Directions on How to Get to the Cataloochee Valley in the North Carolina GSMNP

GSMNP Seasonal Road Closures: Active

Even though the Cataloochee Valley is only 10 miles from I-40, 39 miles from Cherokee North Carolina and 65 miles from Gatlinburg Tennessee, it feels far more remote due to the condition of the roads to get into the Cataloochee Valley.

Road Conditions in the Cataloochee North Carolina Area of GSMNP



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There are 2 ways to get into Cataloochee, the hard way and the very hard way. If you have a large vehicle or are towing a trailer we suggest you only take the hard way through Cove Creek Road into the Cataloochee Entrance Road.

The very hard way includes taking Old State Road 284 which was the Old Turnpike used during the Civil War. You can came from US321 to Cosby via a paved road and just before Big Creek NC, the road becomes steep, winding with blind curves, rocky and in winter even more treacherous.

Directions from Cove Creek Road to Cataloochee Entrance Road (the hard way)

How to get to Cove Creek Road from I-40 exit 20 in North Carolina
Take 276 for .2 miles and take your first right which is Cove Creek Road.

How to get to Cove Creek Road from Cherokee North Carolina
Take 19 toward Asheville and pass Maggie Valley until you come to 276 N and make a left hand turn on 276.
Just before the I-40 ramp on your left hand side is Cove Creek Road

Directions from Cove Creek Road into the Cataloochee Valley
Once on Cove Creek Road take it up for approximately 7 miles until it becomes a 1 lane dirt road. On the way there will be only 1 sign about the Great Smoky Mountains national park you will pass.

Keep taking the dirt road and about a mile later you will pass the large Great Smoky Mountains National Park entrance sign. Keep going on the dirt Cataloochee Entrance Road for about another 2 miles until you run into a paved road at the intersection.

Make a left at the intersection and go a little over 2 miles and you are now in the Cataloochee Valley of the GSMNP.


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Directions from Old NC 284 to the Cataloochee Valley (the VERY hard way)

Directions from Gatlinburg Tennessee to Old NC 284
Take 321 East about 17 miles from the 441 intersection downtown and at the 321/32 intersection makes a right turn.

Take 32 east a little over 10 miles at which point it turns into a dirt road at the Tennessee North Carolina border.

Continue 1-1/4 miles until you come to the Big Creek intersection. Follow directions from Big Creek to Old 284 below.

Directions from Cosby TN to Old NC 284
Take 32 east a little over 7 miles at which point it turns into a dirt road at the Tennessee North Carolina border.

Continue 1-1/4 miles until you come to the Big Creek intersection. Follow directions from Big Creek to Old 284 below.

Directions from Big Creek NC to Old NC 284
Just before the entrance to The Big Creek section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park there is a bridge you will cross to Mount Sterling Road Old State Road 284. This is not the Waterville/I-40 road or 32 to Cosby.

Directions from Old State Road 284 in North Carolina to the Cataloochee Valley
Take the Dirt Road (Old 284 / Mount Sterling Road) about 11-1/2 miles south to the intersection.

Turn right to go to the Cataloochee Valley about 1-3/4 miles away or go left to go up to the top of the paved portion of the Cataloochee Entrance road.


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