Cades Cove Loop Lope

Mon June 3 - Sun November 10, 2024 Directions


10 Mile Loop Lope - November 12

$85 11/10 7:30AM EST - 10:20AM EST Registration Opens June 3, 2024 at 10:00am EDT

5K Loop Lope - November 12

$85 11/10 7:35AM EST - 9:05AM EST Registration Opens June 3, 2024 at 10:00am EDT

Virtual 5K

$85 Registration Opens June 3, 2024 at 10:00am EDT

Virtual 10 Mile

$85 Registration Opens June 3, 2024 at 10:00am EDT


Cades Cove Loop Road (10 Mile Course) and Cades Cove Loop Road/Sparks Lane/Loop Road Exit (5K Course) in Great Smoky Mountains National Park


The Cades Cove Loop Lope is the only organized footrace held inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park, to benefit Friends of the Smokies. All funds raised benefit park projects and programs such as historic preservation, wildlife conservation, native plant and grassland restoration, and so much more.

There are two course options, a 5K or a USATF Certified 10-Mile Loop. Participation is limited to 800 total runners. This race sells out fast, so please don't wait to register!

If you can't make it to Cades Cove on Sunday, November 10 or the race is already sold out and you still want to support the park, please sign up for the Virtual Race! A virtual race can be run (or walked) anytime, anywhere, even indoors or on a treadmill. Virtual runners will receive a race t-shirt and finisher's medallion via mail, however, they will not be eligible for awards. 

Carpooling is essential to maximizing participation in this race. A limited number of vehicle reservation passes for on site access in Cades Cove will be available for purchase for an additional fee. Please note: Parking reservation passes typically sell out the day registration opens. Registrants who do not purchase a vehicle pass must either carpool with a passholder they know or utilize the group transportation option from the Townsend Visitors Center. A handicapped accessible shuttle will be available at the Townsend Visitors Center. 


Race Day Information

For 2022 results, click here.


  • LIMITED VEHICLE RESERVATION ACCESS PASSES FOR THE 2023 CADES COVE LOOP LOPE WILL BE AVAILABLE WHEN REGISTRATION OPENS. All other participants must shuttle from the Townsend Visitors Center the morning of the race. A handicapped accessible shuttle will be available. 
  • Leave No Trace: Because this race happens inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park, it is essential that all of us (staff, volunteers, and runners) do our best to Leave No Trace on race day. If you wish to discard clothing, like gloves, or any type of food or beverage waste (like goo packets) even if they are biodegradable, please hold onto those items until you come to a water station or the finish line.
  • Awards: Trophies will be presented to the overall (male and female) 1st place finishers for both the 5K and 10-Mile courses. There will be 1st place awards for age categories. Awards for the 5K will be available for pickup at 8:30 am. Awards for the 10-mile will be available for pickup at 9:30 am.
  • Course Sweeps: After 1.5 hours on the 5K course and after 2.5 hours on the 10 Mile course, members of the Smokies’ all-volunteer Cades Cove Bicycle Patrol will ride along the routes to notify participants that the Cades Cove Loop Road will open to vehicle traffic. A shuttle vehicle for any participants remaining on the 10 Mile course will drive the course at 10:20 a.m. If the shuttle vehicle approaches you and you are still on the course, you WILL be required to ride the vehicle out. Due to the nature of this race, the road must open in a timely manner and participant safety is of the utmost importance. Therefore, this policy will be strictly enforced.
  • All participants must be capable of completing the full race distance, start line to finish line, by 10:20 a.m. under their own power. Participants outside of the time limit may not be recorded or published as official finishers, receive on-course support from aid stations and traffic safety personnel, or be allowed to complete the full race distance. Friends of the Smokies reserves the right to set cutoff times and participants not meeting the cutoff time will not be allowed to continue.
  • BE AWARE: It will be dark in Cades Cove when you arrive, so consider bringing a headlamp or small flashlight.
  • Water Crossing (5K Course):There is a low water point on the 5K course. A creek crosses the road near the beginning of Sparks Lane and you will have to run through it. The water level depends on the weather during and around that time. There will be a volunteer stationed on the other side of the water with towels for you to dry your feet!
  • Strollers are allowed on the 5K course, however, please be aware of the water crossing (mentioned above) and you will be responsible for transporting the stroller on the shuttle bus if you do not obtain a parking pass or ride with a passholder. Parking passes usually sell out the first day registration opens, which is June 1st, 2023.
  • Participant Transfers: Since we will likely have a waiting list for this event, we are unable to transfer a registration from one participant to another.
  • Event Transfers: If you signed up for either the 10-Mile or the 5K and decide you'd like to switch to the other distance, this is allowed and can be accomplished through your profile page. If you experience troubles making this change, please let us know either by contacting OR at Packet Pick Up so that we can make this change for you. 

Race Contact Info

If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.


10-Mile Elevation Map

5K Elevation Map

Race Website

Additional race information can be found at

Aid Station and Course Map

Site Map


Cades Cove Loop Road (10 Mile Course) and Cades Cove Loop Road/Sparks Lane/Loop Road Exit (5K Course) in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Race Participant Survey

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