Tuesday, September 18, 2012

GAF Parking and Camping Information

A lot of folks will be joining us at GAF on September 28th – 30th, and we want to make sure that logistical confusion and parking don't mar anyone’s good time. Below, I’ve outlined our parking plan for GAF 2012. Read up before you come so you can all spend less time worrying about your car, and more time enjoying the festival.

GAF 2012 will feature the first ever recreational releases on the
Class IV/V Cascades section of the Nantahala.


We plan to use our existing on-campus parking most of Friday and Sunday. When you arrive at NOC, drive across the bridge and let our friendly parking staff direct you to an open spot. Please take their advice, and park efficiently so everyone can park on-property.

Saturday morning and early afternoon are the peak parking times at GAF. If on-property parking is full or if you just want to go ahead and get settled, turn up Silvermine Road, across the street from the Outfitter's Store.  NOC staff will be stationed at the mouth of Silvermine Rd. (near the Wesser General Store & Fly Shop) with maps and directions to approved lots. Please don't park alongside Silvermine road. We've seen too many festival attendees get tickets on this road over the years, even though it looks like there are pullouts.

The first satellite lot is located approximately ¾ of a mile up Silvermine Rd (within walking distance for many people). It is a fenced grass lot on the right hand side, and will be clearly marked with a special event parking sign. There will be an attendant on hand to help you park efficiently.

As this lot fills up, cars will be directed further along Silvermine Rd. to the second satellite lot 2.2 miles up the road. You will want to be sure you stay on the main paved road as you drive up Silvermine until you see the second marked lot. It usually only takes about five minutes to drive to this lot, so don't worry about the distance. The lot is nicely graveled, and because we are only running shuttles in one direction we can service the lots very frequently. No one should have to wait more than 10 minutes to get a ride.

In the unlikely case that we fill up both of our Silvermine parking locations, we will open an additional lot at the Ruby Mine near Bud Dill’s gas station, just east of NOC on Hwy. 19/74. Please don’t park in this lot unless directed to do so by NOC staff, because we’ll only be running shuttles in this direction once we fill the other lots.

Finally, NOC is offering free shuttles to the Wayah Forest Service Put-In for those who choose to leave their cars off property while they are on the river. We usually do this as a thank you to guests helping us avoid a parking crunch during Saturday at GAF. In other words, if you paddle into GAF we'd be glad to drive you back to your car when you're finished. (Just make sure you catch the last rafting bus headed to the put in around 3:30. It should be very easier to thumb a ride to the top with another boater this weekend anyway.)

Please note that all GAF remote lots close at 7pm. We’d love for you to stay to enjoy the free live music and dancing, so please make your way up to the lots as the afternoon wears on to move your cars back down to the center. It’ll make life easier for you when it’s time to go home.


As in years past, we are unfortunately unable to accommodate camping on campus or in remote lots during GAF. There are simply so many people rafting, dancing, shopping and playing that it's impossible to accommodate everyone.  Check out our lodging page for great tips on camping and lodging close by.

We will have off-duty law enforcement on campus throughout the event to make sure that everyone has a good, safe time. They’ll also be helping us with our no-camping policy, so it's important to make sleeping plans ahead of time. Please note that some registered vendors and event staff will be spending the night on campus to keep an eye on everything; they have been accounted for in the event plan and are exceptions to the no camping standard.

So, that's the deal. Guests who know the parking plan and who make appropriate sleeping plans will find this year's event really fun and really easy. We appreciate the preparation, and we can't wait to see you at GAF!

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