Laurel Falls (GSMNP) Reservation Only Sept-Oct

I just wouldn't care to hike on a trail that crowded. We were up there in May and some of those trailheads were way over used. Then people park along the highways.
 

Huntinfool

Senior Member
I was at Elkmont this weekend. Laurel Falls was a MAD HOUSE! I just drove past several times and could barely get by. Groups of 20+ heading up the hill. I know they got to the top and had to just wait to even see the falls.

Folks...it's pretty. But it ain't that great.
 
The vast majority of people go to the same small handful of spots.

Did a multi-day backcountry hike to Clingmans from the NC side last weekend - plenty of parking spots in the lot where I arrived Sat am. Saw a handful of people over the three days in the woods, and then had the disconcerting experience of going from quiet solitude in the trees to the Disney parking lot that is Clingmans Dome.

The best places there are still very lightly traveled, imo.
 

NCHillbilly

Administrator
Staff member
There are usually cars parked bumper to bumper for literally about a mile and a half-two miles up and down the road from that trailhead on most days in the summer.
 
Into Clingmans Dome? That's nuts.

I have a four day weekend in Oct and am still deciding between GSMNP or Slickrock/Citico... leaning towards the latter. 60K avg visitors per day in GSMNP during October.
 

NCHillbilly

Administrator
Staff member
Into Clingmans Dome? That's nuts.

I have a four day weekend in Oct and am still deciding between GSMNP or Slickrock/Citico... leaning towards the latter. 60K avg visitors per day in GSMNP during October.
But most of those are in predictable areas, and never hardly leave the road. Especially on the TN side. Slickrock is pretty nice too.
 
I've never had an issue parking at Road to Nowhere, Cataloochee, or the trailheads around Cherokee (chastain, Hyatt, etc).

Ever fish Citico creek(s)?
 

NCHillbilly

Administrator
Staff member
I've never had an issue parking at Road to Nowhere, Cataloochee, or the trailheads around Cherokee (chastain, Hyatt, etc).

Ever fish Citico creek(s)?
The Tennessee side is a lot worse, with Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge funneling people by the thousands into the park. And those durn side-by-sides that they rent out are clogging the roads up.
 
I've never had an issue parking at Road to Nowhere, Cataloochee, or the trailheads around Cherokee (chastain, Hyatt, etc).

Ever fish Citico creek(s)?
I think NC Hillbilly said Cataloochee isn't as crowded as 441 area and Cades Cove. Clingman's Dome didn't look that crowded, they were all at Alum Cave, lol.
 
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The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a nightmare.
I missed that one when we was up there. I loved all the cabins, churches, barns, etc. in Cades Cove. Just not enough to put up with the crowds and traffic. It was not relaxing in the least. Plus not many restrooms.
That and it wasn't even in the mountains. Totally not what I pictured in my mind. I'm not sure what I thought it was gonna be but not that.
 
Went to Cades Cove in the Fall about 25 years ago. Was gonna drive the loop one evening to look at the deer. Took me 1 and 1/2 hours to just get to the first cut through to get out. Crazy!
 
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