In the late afternoon and near dusk, individuals, pairs and small herds of elk materialize out of the dark forests that surround Cataloochee Valley’s expansive meadows to graze the open fields. more

Mountain Explorer

On a recent Sunday my wife and I piled the dogs in the car and headed up Cove Creek Road in Haywood County, North Carolina, to see what was to be seen in the Cataloochee Valley. more


Bull Elk

Holly Kays photo

The elk herd in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, first reintroduced in 2001, continues to grow and expand its presence outside park borders. Though there’s no hard figure, the herd now likely numbers somewhere around 150, up from 52. more

Mountain Explorer


Samuel Hobbs photo

As the people jockeyed for a better view, park rangers paced the railing of a large pen below and called for quiet along the row of eager spectators. On cue, one of the rangers lifted the latch of a tailgate on a large horse trailer. more