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Nantahala means "Land of the Noonday Sun." It's the name of a National Forest and the river that runs through the forest, located in southwestern North Carolina near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Nantahala, established in 1920, is the largest of the four national forests in North Carolina, and has elevations that range from 1,200 to 5,800 feet, with the last part of the Mountain Waters Scenic Byway passing through the forest. Three wilderness areas are located within the Nantahala National Forest; Ellicott Rock Wilderness is located at the point where North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia intersect, the Southern Nantahala Wilderness and the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock makes up the second and third wilderness areas. This rugged, natural setting is ideal for all kinds of outdoor recreation, such as hiking and backpacking, mountain climbing, kayaking, horseback riding and mountain biking. The Nantahala River is one of the country's prime white water rafting rivers, and consists of eight miles of waves and swift currents. The trip down the river takes a little over three hours and is almost continuous Class I and Class II rapids, with an optional Class III at the end, over a three foot high falls. The Nantahala is a short distance to the small town of Cherokee, which is just two miles from the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This area is steeped in Native American history and folklore, and is just minutes to Indian casinos, the Oconaluftee Indian Village, Ceremonial Grounds and Council House and the Cherokee Fun Park. Other attractions near the Nantahala National Forest include the Cherahaula Skyway, Maggie Valley skiing, the tourists towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and the Biltmore House in Asheville.

Surrounding areas: Topton, North Carolina (3.5 mi), Stecoah, North Carolina (5.8 mi), Aquone, North Carolina (6.0 mi), Lake Nantahala, North Carolina (7.5 mi), Nantahala Gorge, North Carolina (7.5 mi), Almond, North Carolina (8.0 mi), Robbinsville, North Carolina (8.3 mi)

Nantahala Vacation Rentals




Nantahala Hotels and Resorts

 
Hotels & Motels
Microtel Inn & Suites Robbinsville107 Rodney Orr By-PassRobbinsville, NC8.3 mi.(828) 479-6772
San-ran MotelRobbinsville, NC8.3 mi.(828) 479-3256
Andrews Valley InnBeavercreek RdAndrews, NC10.7 mi.(888) 777-7901
Charleston Inn208 Arlington AveBryson City, NC15.4 mi.(828) 488-4644
Nantahala Village Mountain Resort9400 Hwy 19 WestBryson City, NC15.8 mi.(828) 488-2826
Sleep Inn500 SPG StBryson City, NC15.8 mi.(828) 488-0326
Snow Hill Inn531 Snow HL RdFranklin, NC17.7 mi.(828) 369-2100
Microtel Inn & Suites81 Allman DrFranklin, NC17.9 mi.(828) 349-9000
Days Inn1320 E Main StFranklin, NC18.4 mi.(828) 524-6491
Hampton Inn244 Cunningham RdFranklin, NC18.9 mi.(828) 369-0600
Ela Motor Court5280 Ela RdBryson City, NC19.4 mi.(828) 488-2284
Lloyd's On The River5370 Ela RdBryson City, NC19.5 mi.(828) 488-3767
Best Western Murphy1522 Andrews RdMurphy, NC23.0 mi.(828) 837-3060
Comfort Suites35 Hwy 441 NorthCherokee, NC23.6 mi.(828) 497-3500
Days Inn Smokey Mountain Inn660 Painttown RdCherokee, NC23.6 mi.(828) 497-2300
Econo LodgeUs Hwy 19Cherokee, NC23.6 mi.(828) 497-4575
Fairfield Inn & Suite - Cherokee568 Painttown RdCherokee, NC23.6 mi.(828) 497-0400
Hampton Inn185 Tsalagi RdCherokee, NC23.6 mi.(828) 497-3115
Holiday Inn CherokeeHwy 19 WCherokee, NC23.6 mi.(828) 497-9181
Holiday Inn Expres Hotel & Suites376 Paint Town RdCherokee, NC23.6 mi.(828) 497-3113
Holiday InnHwy 19 SCherokee, NC23.6 mi.(828) 497-9181
Microtel Inn & Suites674 Casino TrlCherokee, NC23.6 mi.(828) 497-7800
Quality Inn-cherokeeUS 441 N BypCherokee, NC23.6 mi.(828) 497-4702
Ramada Limited196 Painttown RdCherokee, NC23.6 mi.(828) 497-4231
Sleep InnHwy 441 Pob 1956Cherokee, NC23.6 mi.(828) 497-4730
TravelodgeAcquoni RdCherokee, NC23.6 mi.(828) 497-2226
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites300 Big Sky DrHiawassee, GA24.0 mi.(706) 896-8884
Ramada Inn Lake Chatuge Lodge653 Hwy 76Hiawassee, GA24.0 mi.(706) 896-5253
Best Western River Escape Inn And Suites248 Wbi DrDillsboro, NC24.0 mi.(828) 586-6060
Mountain Creek Cottages162 Dicks CRK RdDillsboro, NC24.0 mi.(704) 586-6042
Baymont Inn-Cherokee/Smoky MTNS1455 Acquoni RdCherokee, NC24.7 mi.(828) 497-2102
Best Western Great Smokies Inn1636 Acquoni RdCherokee, NC24.7 mi.(828) 497-2020
Days Inn754 Hwy 64 WMurphy, NC25.0 mi.(828) 837-8030
Econo Lodge100 Ter StMurphy, NC25.0 mi.(828) 837-8880
Holiday Inn Express Hotel And Suites130 Holiday DrMurphy, NC25.0 mi.(828) 837-1111
Comfort InnHwy 23/74Sylva, NC25.5 mi.(828) 586-3315
Holiday Inn Express64 White Oak LnDillard, GA26.4 mi.(706) 746-3383
Knights Inn3 Best Inn WayDillard, GA27.1 mi.(706) 746-5321
Docks Motel8219 State Hwy 73Townsend, TN27.2 mi.(865) 448-2234
Comfort Inn Parkside7824 E Lamar Alexander PkwyTownsend, TN27.3 mi.(865) 448-9000
 
Bed & Breakfast
Angels Landing Inn94 Campbell StMurphy, NC24.8 mi.(828) 835-8877
Freeze House Bed And Breakfast71 Sylvan HeightsSylva, NC25.5 mi.(828) 586-8161

Nantahala Weather & Climate

The Mountains of North Carolina range from 800 feet to over 6,600 feet and topography affects the local weather. Expect temperatures to be 10 to 20 degrees cooler on the mountaintops. Spring is unpredictable, particularly at the higher elevations. Snow may fall in March, but by May, things warm up with daytime highs in the 80s. Summer is warm and humid, but more pleasant at the higher elevations. Afternoon showers and thunderstorms are common in the summertime. Winter is generally moderate, but extreme conditions can occur in the mountains. It's not unusual to have warm temperatures in the valleys and snow in the higher areas. In the lowlands, snows of one inch or more occur just 1-5 times per year. More frequent and deeper snows fall at the higher elevations.

     Month       High Temp   Low Temp   Rainfall   Ocean Temp 
January 48°F 25°F 7.17 in. -
February 52°F 27°F 6.09 in. -
March 60°F 34°F 6.97 in. -
April 68°F 40°F 5.18 in. -
May 76°F 49°F 5.37 in. -
June 82°F 57°F 5.54 in. -
July 85°F 61°F 5.00 in. -
August 85°F 60°F 5.50 in. -
September 80°F 54°F 4.45 in. -
October 70°F 41°F 3.51 in. -
November 60°F 33°F 5.33 in. -
December 51°F 27°F 6.02 in. -

Nantahala Map & Transportation

Main viewing image.
 
Click each thumbnail image to enlarge.
The closest airports in the area are the Mc Ghee Tyson airport (TYS) located about 40 miles northwest of Nantahala in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Gatlinburg Pigeon Forge airport (GKT) located approximately 40 miles north of Nantahala in Sevierville, Tennessee, the Moore Murrell airport (MOR) located roughly 63 miles northeast of Nantahala in Morristown, Tennessee, and finally the Asheville Regional airport (AVL) located around 64 miles east of Nantahala in Asheville, North Carolina.

Nantahala Attractions

 
Amusement and Theme Parks
Cherokee Fun ParkCherokeeNC23.6 mi.
Santa's LandCherokeeNC23.6 mi.
DollywoodPigeon ForgeTN35.1 mi.
Rockin' RacewayPigeon ForgeTN35.1 mi.
Ghost Town in the SkyMaggie ValleyNC35.8 mi.
NASCAR SpeedParkSeviervilleTN40.5 mi.
 
Water Parks
Lake Lanier Island Beach & Water ParkLake Lanier IslandGA79.5 mi.
White Water ParkMariettaGA105.1 mi.
 
Golf Courses
Franklin Golf CourseFranklinNC17.7 mi.
Mill Creek Country ClubFranklinNC17.7 mi.
Chatuge Shores Golf CourseHayesvilleNC18.7 mi.
Mountain Harbour Golf & Yacht ClubHayesvilleNC18.7 mi.
Smoky Mountain Country ClubWhittierNC19.9 mi.
Cherokee Hills Golf & Country ClubMurphyNC24.7 mi.
Laurel Valley Country ClubTownsendTN27.2 mi.
 
Ski Areas
Scaly MountainScaly MountainNC27.5 mi.
CataloocheeMaggie ValleyNC35.8 mi.
Ski Wolf LaurelMars HillNC73.0 mi.
Ski BeechBanner ElkNC117.5 mi.
Sugar Mountain Ski AreaBanner ElkNC117.5 mi.
Hawksnest Golf & Ski ResortSeven DevilsNC119.0 mi.
 
State Parks
Chatuge State ParkGA24.1 mi. 
Black Rock Mountain State ParkGA30.5 mi. 
Moccasin Creek State ParkGA31.4 mi. 
Unicoi State ParkGA39.4 mi. 
 
Museums
Sequoyah Birthplace MuseumVonoreTN38.5 mi.(History)
East Tennessee Discovery CenterKnoxvilleTN48.6 mi.(Science)
Ewing Gallery of Art & ArchitectureKnoxvilleTN48.6 mi.(Art)
Knoxville Museum of ArtKnoxvilleTN48.6 mi.(Art)
East Tennessee Historical Society MuseumKnoxvilleTN48.6 mi.(History)
Farragut Folklife MuseumFarragutTN49.5 mi.(History)
 
Zoos and Aquariums
Knoxville Zoological GardensKnoxvilleTN48.6 mi.
Western North Carolina Nature CenterAshevilleNC66.3 mi.
Greenville ZooGreenvilleSC78.0 mi.
Tennessee AquariumChattanoogaTN94.3 mi.
Warner Park ZooChattanoogaTN94.3 mi.
Zoo AtlantaAtlantaGA114.0 mi.


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