The Scouts had failed to return home from a camping trip Sunday in the Pisgah National Forest southwest of Asheville.
According to Donna Johnston, of the Boy Scouts' Occoneechee Council in Raleigh, the campers had veered off a hiking trail and chose to camp an extra night. They decided not to try to exit the forest until daylight.
The campers apparently got lost Sunday night but walked out of the forest Monday morning. A searcher found them and brought them to the Cruso, North Carolina, fire department.
An overnight search team failed to find the eleven members of Troop 217 from Raleigh, said Charity Sharp of the Cruso Volunteer Fire Department.
The troop was on a weekend camping trip in the Black Balsam Gap area near the Blue Ridge Parkway in southern Haywood County, according to Haywood County sheriff's dispatcher Michael Huffman.
"We're in the Great Smoky Mountains," said Sharp. "It's very mountainous with a lot of creeks, waterfalls and trails that are not clearly marked. It's very easy to get lost."
Cell phone service is spotty in the area, she said.
Five search teams had combed the area overnight and found no sign of the Scouts, said Haywood County Emergency Services Director Greg Shuping.
The campers' vehicles remained parked in a lot at the campground entrance Sunday evening, leading authorities to suspect the scouts simply extended their excursion for an extra night, Huffman said.
Search teams were organized late Sunday night after their families in Raleigh did not hear from them after they were supposed to have begun the five-hour drive home, Huffman said.