Restaurant Review: McCloud Mountain Restaurant And Lodge
The view of the valley below stretches out forever it seems. Sitting in the exquisitely decorated McCloud Restaurant, the serenity of nature blends with the power of height giving you the feeling that you truly are on top of the world. The restaurant is only a part of the wonderful features you will find hidden high atop Mount Cloud. Traveling the short, steep and winding road is a breathtaking experience of its own, but the summit delivers a true diamond in the rough: McCloud Mountain Restaurant & Lodge.
The restaurant boasts a panoramic view of the Great Smoky Mountains and it delivers! It is self-proclaimed as "In the Heart of the Cumberland Highlands Overlooking the Hamlet of Powell Valley." As we stood on the multi-level decks soaking up the amazing view of the valley below, we were amazed to find we could see all the way from Norris Lake to Knoxville, Tennessee. McCloud Mountain Restaurant & Lodge is located high atop Mount Cloud in the Cumberland Mountains. Located only a few miles from the town of LaFollette, Tennessee the 1300 acre tract of land, on which the restaurant and lodge are located, is perched at the top of Mount Cloud at an impressive 27,000 feet elevation. The road to the top of the mountain is curvy and steep to say the least. The guard at the entrance to the mountain was kind enough to allow us entry, but the exclusivity of the Lodge suggests that reservations be made before any attempt to visit. It is open to the public, by reservation only. The menu was expansive, offering everything from Chef's Salad or Specialty Burgers to Prime Rib and Gourmet Pasta Dishes. The prices were modest and the food is well worth the price. The McCloud Mountain Restaurant offers a breathtaking view for all with its massive windows overlooking the valley. I can only imagine the beauty of the view at night with the valley below twinkling with lights and the sky above twinkling with stars and moonlight. It would be absolutely stunning!
The restaurant is available for special events and holiday parties and a wedding planned for the center of the massive windows would be breathtaking! Imagine being able to see the fireworks displays from the many towns below accentuated by those of Knoxville spread out before you!
The Lodge Experience
The restaurant may be the draw for locals to Mount Cloud, but travelers will want to seal the experience with a stay at the luxurious Lodge. The lodge boasts eleven suites which each are designed to offer a stay rivaling any retreat. They each include a jacuzzi tub, a kitchenette, a flat-screen satellite television, and a king-sized bed. The panoramic view of the valley is yours on a private balcony. In addition to the lodge, there are two beautiful homes available for rent as well. Each offering the same spectacular view and amenities. To wake up to this gorgeous view filled with a foggy steam gives the valley the look of an ocean and as the morning sun burns it off, finding a green, lush carpet below would start any day with a lazy, relaxed fresh breath.
Find It On The Map
Make The Trip
The view is worth the trip! If you are ever in the Knoxville, Tennessee area it is a lovely drive through the mountains to reach the town of Lafollette where you will find Mount Cloud. Reservations to the Restaurant is suggested and to the Lodge are required. During winter weather they would possibly be inaccessible due to the steep and winding road. A helicopter pad is located near the top of the road and a stable is nearby. The mountain offers a natural bridge hidden down a path just off the road as well as a stone henge type series of naturally formed rocks. They are well hidden and the area is protected by a security guard at a locked and gated entrance. Make your reservations and the gate is open to you. You can find more information and make reservations at the website of www.mtcloud.com. I hope this restaurant review: McCloud Mountain Restaurant and Lodge will encourage you to make the trip and give it a try! You will be glad you did!
Photo and Text Copyright 2011 Deborah M. Carey