Cades Cove Loop Lope

Sun November 3, 2019 Directions

10 Mile Loop Lope

$75 7:30AM EST - 10:00AM EST
Sorry! This event is full.
Join the Waiting List Registration ends November 1, 2019 at 1:59pm EDT

5K Loop Lope

$75 7:35AM EST - 9:05AM EST
Sorry! This event is full.
Join the Waiting List Registration ends November 1, 2019 at 1:59pm EDT

Virtual 5K or 10 Mile

$60 Registration ends November 1, 2019 at 11:59pm 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

This is the one & only organized footrace held in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, brought to you by Friends of the Smokies to benefit Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Participation is limited to 750 total runners. There are two course options, either a 5K Loop Lope or a 10 Mile Loop Lope. Price for either course is $75 per participant. 

NEW THIS YEAR: Participate virtually! 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 undated finisher's medallion via mail, however, they will not be eligible for awards. ***ONLY runners registered for the virtual race will receive t-shirt and medallion via mail. There is no packet mailing for this race.

Carpooling is essential to maximizing participation in this race. Only 100 vehicle passes will be available for purchase for an additional $35 fee when registration opens. Registrants who do not purchase a vehicle pass must either carpool with a passholder they know or utilize the group transportation option which will be provided by Friends of the Smokies.

Preferred Lodging Partners

The Townsend Gateway Inn will offer participants a 15% discount on their stay during the weekend of Friday, November 1 - Sunday, November 3, 2019. They are located 1 mile from the Townsend Visitors Center where shuttle buses will pick up participants for the race and about 25 minutes from Cades Cove. 

To reserve your room at the discounted rate, click here and use the code CCLL2019 at check out. You can also reserve by calling (865) 238-0123 and mention that you are reserving for the Cades Cove Loop Lope.

Race Contact Info

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


Here's what's in the race packets**-

  • Race bib & chip
  • Safety pins
  • T-shirt (and other fun goodies!)
  • Vehicle pass (if secured through the registration process)
    • If you purchase a Vehicle Pass and Race Day Packet Pick Up, your Vehicle Pass will be mailed to you. 

**Does not apply to Virtual Runners

Here's where to pick up race packets-

  • Tuesday, October 29, 2019 from 4 - 8 pm
    Elkmont Exchange Brewery and Eating House
    745 N Broadway Knoxville, TN 37917
    $1 from each pint of beer sold will go to Friends of the Smokies!
  • Saturday, November 2, 2019 from 3 - 7 pm
    Little Arrow Outdoor Resort
    118 Stables Dr Highway 73, Townsend, TN 37882
  • Sunday, November 3, 2019 from 6:30 - 7 am
    Cades Cove Amphitheater
    Additional $20 in addition to Race Registration
    Limited spots available for Race Day Packet Pick Up 
    Must be pre-registered for Race Day Packet Pick Up through Run Sign Up to pick up your packet on Race Day!!
    In order to keep park visitor impact to a minimum, we must limit the number of packets being picked up on Race Day morning. To minimize the risk of starting the races late and opening the Townsend Wye/Loop Road late, we are only offering a limited number of Race Day Packet Pick Up spots for an additional charge of $20. Packet Pick Up on Race Day will close promptly at 7 a.m. so plan accordingly.

There will be no packet mailing.

Awards Ceremony Schedule will be posted soon. There will be a 5K Awards Ceremony and a 10-Mile Awards Ceremony. Finishers’ medallions will be distributed on race day; everyone who registers will receive a medallion. At the awards ceremonies, trophies will be presented to the overall (male and female)  1st, 2nd & 3rd place finishers for both the 5K and 10-Mile courses. There also will be age category trophies for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place male and female finishers for both courses. If you do not stay to pick up your award, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to get it to you. 

For Virtual Runners: All participants registered for the Virtual 5K or 10-mile will receive a race t-shirt and undated finisher's medallion via mail. NOTE: Only virtual runners will receive their materials via mail. Virtual runners are not eligible for awards based on timing.

The following registration policies apply:

  • Must be registered for the virtual option in order to receive race t-shirt and undated finisher's medallion by mail.
  • If you are registered to run in a race and cannot attend, all of the above registration policies still apply to you. The only way to run a race virtually and receive your t-shirt and medallion in the mail is if you are registered under the virtual option.
  • If you are registered for the virtual race and wish to attend, you may only do so if there are still spots available for the 5K or 10-mile race. We are limited to 750 participants total on race day. You may transfer to the 5K or 10-mile prior to the event ONLY if there are still spots available. You will manage this through your personal RunSignUp account and there is a $15.00 processing fee.

A note about the 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. In preparation for cars on the road, the finish line will come down as well. Registrants do not have to exit the courses.

Additional Things to Know

  • Because this race happens inside one of the crown jewels of the national park system, 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. Our volunteers will dispose of those items for you. Please do not throw anything at all down on the course.
  • Time changes on race day. Be sure to "fall back" before going to sleep on Saturday night.
  • After you arrive in Cades Cove on race morning, please do your best to be as quiet as possible since there will be campers staying in Cades Cove who are not participating in the race. After you park your car or get off the bus, please be conscious of the volume of your activities. 
  • Please be aware of your surroundings at all times. There will be people coming & going from the Cades Cove campground who are not participating in the race. As you walk from the parking area to the starting line (by the way, it's 1/2 mile approximately), and as you exit the Loop Road after the finish, please watch for vehicles.
  • Whether you are a passholder and will park your vehicle in Cades Cove, or are riding the buses and are parking your car in Townsend, you may be directed to park on uneven terrain. If your vehicle has low clearance, be advised.
  • It will be dark in Cades Cove when you arrive, so consider bringing a headlamp or small flashlight
  • 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. Depending on the weather during and around that time, the water level may change. We will keep you updated! We'll have a volunteer stationed on the other side of the water with shop towels, if you want to dry your feet. If you want to bring a change of shoes and socks we will have a bag check/coat check. 

REFUND POLICY – Our refund policy is designed to encourage anyone who has an issue crop up with training, scheduling, or life getting in the way to cancel and free up a spot on our waiting list. The policy is as follows: Prior to 10/5/2019, refunds will be issued at 100%, minus race processing fees. From 10/5/2019 to 10/26/2019, cancellations will result in a 50% refund. For cancellations after 11:59 PM on 10/26/2019, no refunds will be issued.

Where to Park and What To Do

Information for Parking Passholders and Non-Passholders

No vehicle without a pass will be admitted past the Townsend Wye on race day until after 11:00 a.m. All passholders must show their vehicle pass at the checkpoint at the Townsend Wye in order to enter Cades Cove on race day. This means there are no drop-offs and pick-ups allowed for participants.


If you are not a vehicle parking passholder, and are not riding with a passholder, then you will need to ride the provided buses. The buses are not running back & forth on race day. Each bus will make one trip in and one trip out. We cannot guarantee any certain departure time from Cades Cove after you finish the course. 

For those who are riding the buses, please arrive at the designated parking field adjacent to the Townsend Visitors Center (located at 7906 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Townsend, TN 37882) in order to be ready for departure on the buses at 6:30 a.m. Buses will begin arriving at 6:00 a.m. (Thank you to the Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority for lending us the field beside their visitors center in Townsend, TN for parking on race day.) The first bus will leave as soon as it is full; the last bus will leave at 6:30 a.m.

Bus Riders - Do not arrive at the Townsend Visitors Center before 5:30 a.m.

- Watch for volunteers with reflective vests and flashlights directing you
- Turn on to Myers Road next to the Visitors Center (VC)
- You will be directed to turn a little past the VC and into a field. You will park on uneven terrain. If your vehicle has low clearance, be aware of your surroundings.

- It will be dark so having a light to walk from the parking area to the buses which will be in the front parking VC parking lot (directly in front of the VC) would be helpful in keeping you safe


It is unlikely you will ride in/out on the same bus. Please do not leave items on the bus. There will be a coat check/bag check under the Friends of the Smokies tent which will be located near the Cades Cove amphitheater/pavilion, across from the campground office. We will provide the safety pins and volunteers to assist you; the coat check number will be a tear-off from your race bib.


If you purchased a vehicle pass, please have it handy when you approach the Towsend Wye intersection so that you can show it to the Park Ranger who will be at the checkpoint.

The road will be closed between the Townsend Wye and Cades Cove for the race. The Cades Cove Loop Road will be closed for the race until 11 a.m.

When you get to the entrance of Cades Cove there will be a park employee or park volunteer to direct you to the parking area. Please be courteous to them; we could not do this race without them.

This year we will also have directional signage to assist you in locating the start line, the finish line, and coat check. BRING A FLASHLIGHT OR HEADLAMP, PLEASE. IT'S REALLY, REALLY DARK OUT THERE.

After you park if you would like to check a bag or jacket, the coat check station will be under the Friends of the Smokies tent in front of the amphitheater, across from the Cades Cove Ranger Station. The tear-off slip at the bottom of your race bib will be your coat check ticket.

There is approximately a 0.5 mile walk from the parking area to the coat check station. There is approximately a 0.5 mile walk from the parking area to the start line. They are in opposite directions from one another. Hopefully the volunteers and directional signage will help guide you.

You may be asked to park on uneven terrain. If your vehicle has low clearance, be aware of your surroundings.

The 10 Mile race starts at 7:30 a.m. The 5K race starts at 7:35 a.m. Passholders do not need to arrive earlier than 6:15 a.m. If you arrive earlier than that, we may not be ready to assist or guide you or answer your questions. Again, remember to "fall back" on Saturday night.


10 Mile Course

10 Mile Course Elevation Map

5K Course

5K Course Elevation Map

Aid/Water Stations + Course Monitors

Locations of Aid/Water Stations + Course Monitors

Click the icon below to download the attached PDF.

Race Website

Additional race information can be found at


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