Print-Friendly Version
Add this event to your calendar (Outlook, iCalendar)
Add REGISTRATION REMINDER to your calendar

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

Backpacking, Elk Rutting, Photography, Fall Foliage Weekend

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Cataloochee Valley   Backpacking: Backpacking, Elk Rutting, Photography, Fall Foliage Weekend   National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Fri, Sep 23 2011  3:00 pm >> Sun, Sep 25 2011 2:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 10:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Mon, Aug 22 2011 8:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Thu, Sep 22 2011 10:00 pm
Event Duration:1 Days 23 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D3: Moderate
Distance:3 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Lisa Maldonado
Shane Sutton
Email Trip Leader(s)
You must be logged in to get the Trip Leader contact information.
Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:16
Minimum Group Size:8
Number Registered So Far: 14 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


We will spend the weekend in the beautiful Cataloochee Valley while camping and hunting Elk with our Cameras. There are a few weeks of the year that the Elk in this area attempt to mate. Be prepared to hear the elk bugling.
We will backpack to our primitive campsite #39 Pretty Hollow which is about 2 1/2 easy miles from the parking lot. This is a great opportunity for beginner backpackers.  There will be plenty of photo opportunities including elk, wild turkey, rolling mountains, meandering streams, native plants and flowers, Fall Foliage and much more. The best time to see the elk will be in the early morning and late at night. You will have the opportunity to leave your food and cooking supplies in the car. The group will start hiking before sunrise to view the elk. We will then go to the cars to get our breakfast. Pack a lunch and do a day hike. Return to the cars to cook dinner and view more elk at sunset.  There will be plenty of opportunity for day hikes on the Rough Fork Trail, Boogerman Trail, Pretty Hollow Gap trail to Mount Sterling Ridge and the Cataloochee Divide Trail.

We will need to keep a safe distance from the wildlife and be very quiet as to not disturb their routine.
Video I took from last weekend:

Required Items to Bring:
Sleeping bag and mat
2 breakfasts
1 lunch
2 dinners
Bear Bag
Hiking Poles
Rain Gear
Hiking Boots
Jacket in the event that the weather is cool.
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Directions: The entrance road to Cataloochee Valley is a winding, gravel road that has some steep drop offs with no guard rails. The road is narrow, so drivers may be required to stop or back up their vehicles to allow oncoming motorists to pass. Horse trailer traffic may be encountered on the road. Please use caution when driving on this road.

The most direct route into the valley is to take Cove Creek Road. To get to the valley from interstate I-40, exit at North Carolina exit #20 and travel 0.2 miles on route 276. Turn right onto Cove Creek Road and follow the signs 11 miles into the Cataloochee Valley. To get there from Oconaluftee or Cherokee, take the Blue Ridge Parkway to Highway 19. Follow 19 (toward Asheville) through Maggie Valley. Turn left onto Highway 276 N. Just before the entrance ramp to I-40 (but past gas station), turn left and follow the signs 11 more miles to Cataloochee. Using the Cove Creek Road route, motorists will be traveling on a gravel road for approximately 15 minutes.

A more scenic route (not recommended for RVs) is to take a long winding road, highway Route 32, from Cosby, TN to the Tennessee- North Carolina state border, where the road becomes gravel. It twists and winds into Cataloochee. (This route is not recommended if your passengers are prone to car sickness.) Using this route, motorists will be traveling on a gravel road for approximately 45 minutes.

Mileage to Cataloochee:
from Gatlinburg – 65
from Cherokee – 39


Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):195Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 10:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $78.00 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.