CAMPING IN EAST TENNESSEE
At The Preserve, you can have your “home away from home” in the Great Outdoors. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to a variety of campgrounds, each with something unique to offer its visitors. Discover them all and sleep under a different set of stars each night. Keep reading to discover the most popular campgrounds in the Smokies.
Most Popular Campgrounds in the Smoky Mountains
Whether you’re perfectly comfy cozied up in your car, an RV is more your style, your horse is your best friend, or you find yourself most at home in the back country, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has a campground for you. Peak camping season is from March to October, depending on the campground. During the winter months, you can still enjoy the breath-taking views from the comfort and warmth of your home at The Preserve.
Be sure to check out requirements and tips from the National Park Service before planning your stay.
Campgrounds for Amenity-Seekers
Smokemont Campground (RV Friendly) is a lively 142-site campground with plenty of activities in its grassy area where visitors play volleyball, Frisbee, or read. It is perfect for the history buff with close access to Mountain Farm Museum and Oconaluftee Visitor Center.
Cades Cove Campground (RV Friendly) is part of the well-known and well-developed 11-mile loop. This campground offers the opportunity to rent bikes, ride a horse, and even treat yourself to soft-serve ice cream at the general store nearby.
Elkmont Campground (RV Friendly) provides you with a peaceful sleep next to the white noise of the Little River. It is also one of the largest in the park with 220 campsites and a general store. If tent-camping is your thing, you’ll be in good company here.
Campgrounds for Adventurers
If hiking the Appalachian Trail is on your bucket list, make a day (and night) of it by taking the 20.6 mile loop, and stopping at one of the 4 back country sites (68, 69, 70, and 71) along the way. You’ll have the chance to summit Clingmans Dome and Andrew’s Bald with views of Fontana Lake and, of course, the Smokies.
Campgrounds for Nature Lovers
Deep Creek Campground offers views of beautiful streams and waterfalls, as well as access to two mountain biking trails in the Park. It is on the smaller side with only 92 campsites.
Cataloochee Campground is for the fisherman at heart. Slightly more secluded than the more popular campgrounds, it offers close access to rainbow and brook trout fishing and self-guided hikes of an 1800s settler’s house. Be on the lookout on the way there – a horse just might stop you in your tracks.
Campgrounds for Horse Lovers
Big Creek Horse Camp Of the Park’s five horse camps, you can’t beat this one. River access and plenty of shade are sure to cool you off during the summer months, and miles of horse trails and historic sites nearby provide plenty to explore.