Sparing elk in Cataloochie Valley.

2017 Elk Rut and Fall Color


Here are the directions for the house in Waynesville, NC 28785. The check-in time is 3PM. Please do not arrive early and expect to gain access. The house will be open at 3PM. Be prepared to be driving on unimproved roads at times. Sugar Mountain Rd. is unimproved and so will be the access road to Cataloochee where the elk graze. Conditions are unknown, but everything should be fine, if past experience dictates.

A couple point of note:

  • You do not have to do what everyone else is doing. I will be visiting the elk every morning. If you have had enough of elk after the first day, you are free to do as you please. If you return late for dinner, we will save it for you, so don’t worry. There will be plenty to eat at all meals. Fell free to do as you please. Never feel tied down to what I or the group want to do. You are here to have fun, so, please yourself and do what you want.
  • That said, my interest is to photograph the elk each morning, waterfall during the day, ( I know some cool places) and shoot sunsets in the evening. It may be possible, weather permitting, to actually get a Milky Way or star trails shot at night. All this is played by ear, so don’t be afraid to speak up and do as you please. You’re here to have fun.
  • A word about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We are here on the edge of leaf peeping season so the park will be crowded during the weekend times and possibly during the week as well, but not as much. My personal proclivity is to avoid this, however, there may be an opportunity to shoot elk crossing the river behind the visitor’s center at Oconaluftee (near Cherokee), so we may do that. Other adventures into the park are up to you. I know a lot of folks like Cades Cove but it’s a 2.5 hour drive from there to the house. Just so you know. Also, Clingman’s Dome is not open.

Jonathan Creek Rd is @ I-40 & US-276 Exit 20 in N.C.

  • Follow Interstate 40 to exit 20 in North Carolina.
  • Head south on Jonathan Creek Rd./US-276 S for 1.8 mi
  • Turn right onto Joe Carver Rd. There’s a Dollar General on your right near the intersection for reference. Follow for 0.2 mi
  • Turn left onto Beantown Rd and follow for 1.2 mi
  • Turn right onto Sugar Mountain Rd for 0.2 mi
  • Turn left onto Trout Cove Rd. which turns to gravel. Continue past Antler Pt. If you reach the dead end you went too far.
  • Destination will be on the left 0.6 mi
    • 621 Trout Cove Rd
  • Waynesville, NC 28785

Itenerary and Meals:

Thursday, 28 SEPTEMBER

3PM – Arrive

6/7PM – Dinner – Cook out. Burgers, dogs, potato salad, chips, etc.

Friday, 29 SEPTEMBER

7AM – Depart house for Cataloochee Valley and photograph the elk herd.

9-10 AM – Depart Cataloochee.

At this point you can do whatever and go where you want. I’ll be driving into the mountains to photograph landscapes and waterfalls.

6-7PM – Return to house and dinner.

Mongolian Beef on white rice with side veggies and bread.

Saturday, 30 September

Same as Friday unless otherwise decided by group.

6-7PM – Return to house and dinner.

Beef Stroganoff on egg noodles with side veggies and bread.

Sunday, 01 October

Same as Saturday unless otherwise decided by group.

6-7PM – Return to house and dinner.

Cheesy Chicken and Rice with side veggies and bread.

Monday, 02 October

House must be vacated by 11AM.



  • There will be lots of cookies and cakes for dessert.
  • There will be coffee, milk, granola.
  • There will be plenty of bottled water provided.
  • Bring your own beverages of choice (alcoholic or otherwise).
  • There will be lots of cooler space and ice provided.
  • There will be cold cuts, chips, cookies, etc. provided for lunch on the road every day. If you decide to strike out on your own for the day, you can make and take a sack lunch with you.
  • Bring all your own toiletries. I also recommend you bring your own bath towel, especially if you are picky about such things. Towels and linens are provided, however, we can’t be sure of the quality.
  • There is wireless internet available.
  • Never hesitate to ask a question. My number is 513-314-3916.

Click the link below to download a pdf of the directions.



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