• Kevin Dobson

Cloudland Canyon

Before we even arrived we knew we wanted the West Rim campground, we also knew there would be a slight chance that we wouldn’t get in. We arrived around 2pm, checked in, she said there were still some sites in the west rim that were available and the east rim was empty. We drove straight to the west rim and drove around the loop one time checking out all of the sites, we found one we liked (well, fit in) and made another loop and grabbed it.


Our neighbors are pretty noisy again, but at least at 10pm they quiet down. It just makes it hard when the kids go to bed at 8pm and their kids are still outside screaming and running around until 10pm. The cold front came through Sunday evening/Monday morning so we had a good bit of rain. We didn’t really do much Monday except catch up on laundry, work and school. We did go play disk golf, they charge extra here for it, $4 per person. They also charge you for your daily car pass even though you stay at the campground. We also drove around the east rim and it’s pretty tight with just the truck. I’m glad we didn’t have to take the trailer through that! Definitely not for longer trailers. I wish the park would let you reserve specific sites. The shorter trailers and vans tend to take the longer spaces because they can. If we got here at 6pm, it’s possible that we wouldn’t even have a site. We have a 30 amp site, but there is a site across from us with 50 amp service and 60’ pull through site. Want to know what’s on it? A 10’ x 10’ tent with an SUV. Yep…That’s what I mean, they really need site specific reservations. Although, I kind of feel sorry for the people in the tent, it got down to around 35 the one night and I’m glad I’m not them!


Tuesday we went on a hike to Cherokee Falls, it was breathtaking! No one was around and the kids just soaked it all in! It was a breezy cool morning of about 50 degrees, perfect! There were quite a few people on the trails but every one of them were super nice. After lunch we decided to do some grocery shopping. Note…if you want to stay here, make your grocery list something generic. We went to Ingles and they didn’t have hardly any of the brands that we buy. We ended up with only half of the things on our list, came back home and picked up Sean and the kids and went to Walmart instead that was 30 minutes away! It’s bad when you get spoiled shopping at Walmart!


Wednesday we hiked to Hemlock Falls for a total of 600 stairs down and 600 stairs up. The hike was the most strenuous in the park. The falls were beautiful and we went a little bit the other way on a trail and over a small bridge. On the way back we stopped under what they call turtle rock to eat a snack. I’m so glad we pack snacks! We were all starving, lol. We played some disk golf again that afternoon. I took Diesel out that evening and after I brought him in we heard something on our steps. We opened the door and saw two green glowing eyes. I yelled at Sean to shut the door. Kevin opened it up again and looked out the door with a flashlight. It was a dog! His name was Red. We called the phone number on his collar and no one answered. We knew we couldn’t keep him in the RV and we also knew he couldn’t stay outside as they were calling for freeze warnings. We decided to take him to the camp host. It was 10 after 9 and here we are walking in the cold, in the dark, up to some strange RV to knock on their door. They answered the door and they knew who’s dog it was! Thank goodness! They called the owner and kept the dog there until the owner got there.


Thursday we hiked to overlook point. The views from there were so beautiful I could have sat there all day. It was so peaceful and serene, I kind of wish the kids knew how to be quiet for a few minutes so we could all soak it in. I have been trying to teach them little by little to be quiet when we get to a destination, of course they are very courteous when there are other people there and are super quiet, and they just need a little extra work when it’s just us.


Friday we hiked to the observation tower. In my opinion it’s not worth it. It was a super short hike and then you walk up a few stairs to a tower that overlooks a dirty catfish pond. With all of the incredible views and scenery they have here, it was a major disappointment, but it got us out. That afternoon, Kevin and I went into downtown Chattanooga. It was amazing. We went to a café called Rembrandts Coffee. It is a wonderful little café that has a super wonderful outdoor patio with a fountain and tons of birds chirping. The coffee and tiramisu was absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to pass by and go again. We walked the river walk, watched the boats and paddle boarders, walked over the glass bridge and downtown by the aquarium. Downtown is definitely made for smaller vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles. You have to pay to park pretty much everywhere except the art district which is a 2 hour limit.


Saturday we stayed in most of the day and got ready for our take off on Sunday. Sunday morning we woke up to snow flurries. So, of course we had to stay a bit longer and play. Overall, we loved Cloudland Canyon and will definitely be back. We were in site #41 and it had a great spot for our hammock! The only downfall to the park is that the sites are first come first served. You have to get there early and hope that someone isn’t in the spot you want. They have two rims that are far apart from each other. So, if you want spaced apart but more tree cover, go to the West Rim. If you want sites that are closer together but less trees, go to the East Rim. Both are beautiful, but the East Rim sees more traffic since it borders a main road.

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