There are lots of places to see the August 21st eclipse if you don’t mind heavy traffic and being crowded among hundreds, or thousands, of other viewers. But if you’re looking for a more meaningful and private experience, head to Cataloochee Ranch in Maggie Valley for a once-in-a-lifetime mountaintop celebration.
The experience begins around noon in a meadow a mile high on Fie Top Mountain with a chuckwagon cookout and stories from Native American storyteller Lloyd Arneach before darkness falls.
Around 2:36 pm, as the moon obscures 99.89% of the sun, the mountaintops of Cataloochee will be in virtually total darkness. You'll experience the moments before, during, and after the eclipse with 360 degrees of open, unobstructed views.
This special event is limited to guests at the Ranch and no more than 100 outside attendees, on a space-available basis. Tickets are $150 per person, and include special glasses for viewing the eclipse.
If you make it a full weekend vacation with an overnight stay at the Ranch, you'll save on the eclipse tickets. Stay one night and you’ll save 50% on the eclipse celebration. Two nights, you’ll save 75%. Three nights, and the eclipse celebration is free. For reservations or information, call (828) 926-1401.
Cataloochee Ranch has welcomed vacationers from North Carolina and beyond for more than 80 years. Generations of families have returned to this spectacular setting for horseback riding, mountain hiking, a trout pond on site, wagon rides and more. Day trips include an opportunity to see wild elk.
Evenings at the Ranch are filled with music, singing, storytelling, and other entertainments with a mountain flair. Guests can enjoy individual rooms or Smoky Mountain cabins to call their own. The Ranch’s new chef, C.J. Reum, is classically trained in French techniques, but also skilled in Mediterranean and new Southern cuisine.