Winter Road Status
During winter, roads in the park may close due to snow and ice, especially at night when water from melting refreezes on roads. For road status information please call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow road updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »
Park Recruits Volunteers for Elk Bugle Corp in Cataloochee
Contact: Pete Walker, (828) 506-1739
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is seeking volunteers to assist rangers with managing traffic and providing visitor information on responsible elk viewing practices in Cataloochee, NC.
Cataloochee is a remote mountain valley on the eastern edge of the Park where remnants of early settlements are preserved. Surrounded by mountain peaks, the isolated valley is a popular, year-round destination. Elk were reintroduced in Cataloochee in 2001as part of an experimental release to determine if an elk herd could sustain itself in the Park after a 200-year absence. Approximately 140 elk now live in the self-sustaining herd.
Each volunteer is asked to work at least two scheduled, four-hour shifts per month starting the second week in May and continuing through November. This target period is during high visitor use from late spring during the elk calving season through the end of the fall color and elk mating season.
Volunteers will spend time roving the valley in a zero-emission electric vehicle or by bike. Volunteers who prefer to rove by bike are required to bring their own bicycle and protective riding gear. Bike patrol volunteers will rove along the road through the valley which is mostly flat with very little change in elevation.
If you're interested in volunteering or would like more information about the program, please contact Park Ranger Pete Walker at (828) 506-1739.
Did You Know?
The wispy, smoke-like fog that hangs over the Smoky Mountains comes from rain and evaporation from trees. On the high peaks of the Smokies, an average of 85 inches of rain falls each year, qualifying these upper elevation areas as temperate rain forests. More...