• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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  • Trail Advisory

    Several trails in the park are temporarily closed. Please check the "Backcountry Facilities" section of the Temporary Road and Facilities Closures page for further details. More »

Campground Regulations

Quarantine Notice: The possession of firewood originating from a location for which a federal or state firewood quarantine is in effect is prohibited in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Click for additional information about this quarantine, including states affected.

The following regulations apply to camping in Frontcountry Campgrounds and Group Campgrounds.

Food Storage
All food and equipment used to prepare and store food (stoves, pots, coolers, etc.) must be kept sealed in a vehicle (preferably the trunk) or in a camping unit constructed of solid, non-pliable material or as otherwise directed at all times when not in use. If your vehicle does not have a trunk for storing food and equipment, the following campgrounds have food storage lockers: Balsam Mountain, Big Creek, Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Cosby, Deep Creek, Elkmont, and Smokemont.

Dispose of garbage promptly in dumpsters provided. Unattended or improperly stored coolers and food may be impounded by campground staff and stored at the campground office. This regulation will be strictly enforced and violators are subject to fines.

You must register and pay a fee. Check in at the campground office or follow instructions on the Pay Station sign. Checkout or re-register by noon.

Advance reservations are required at Cataloochee Campground for the entire camping season. Campsites at Cades Cove, Cosby, Elkmont and Smokemont can be reserved in advance for the period May 15 - October 31. Remaining family campgrounds are operated on a first-come, first-served basis. Group sites require a reservation. Reservations can be made be calling 1-877-444-6777 or by visiting http://www.recreation.gov

Length of Stay
Your stay is limited to 14 consecutive days at a time. Longer stays require that you move to a different campground

You may have up to six people per campsite.

No more than two motor vehicles or one vehicle with trailer are allowed per campsite. Please keep wheels, including trailer wheels and guest cars, on the pavement. Park only in designated spaces.

All tents must be pitched on the pad, where provided.

Fires and Wood Gathering
Campfires are permitted only in fire grates. You may collect wood only if it is on the ground and dead. Quarantine Notice: The possession of firewood, whether hardwood or softwood, originating from a location for which a federal or state firewood quarantine is in effect is prohibited in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This closure prohibits the movement of firewood into the park from counties adjacent to the park for which a federal or state quarantine is in place, even if the quarantine allows for movement within the county. Click for additional information about this quarantine, including states affected.

Pets are allowed in the campground but must be confined or on a leash (6' maximum). Pets are not allowed on trails and should not be left unattended in the campground or your car. Please prevent excessive barking and properly dispose of pet waste.

Waste Water
Dish water and bath water must be drained at utility sinks or dump stations, not on the ground. Do not wash or bathe in streams or at water fountains. RV sewage should be drained only at a dump station. Showers and utility hookups are not available in the park. Showers may be available in nearby towns.

Quiet Hours and Generators
Quiet hours are in effect from 10 pm to 6 am. Generator use is prohibited from 8 pm to 8 am. Generator use and battery charging by engine idling is prohibited in generator free areas. During quiet hours, noise-producing equipment should be turned off and entry to the campground is limited to registered campers.

Alcohol is permitted in campgrounds and picnic areas, provided the person in possession is at least 21 years old.

Bicycles, Inline Skates and Skateboards
Bicycle riders must comply with all traffic regulations and are restricted to public roads, parking areas, and designated routes. The use of inline skates, skateboards or scooters is prohibited.

Prohibited Items
Fireworks, traps, and the use of chainsaws are prohibited.

Did You Know?

President Roosevelt at the park's Rockefeller Memorial.

Money to buy the land that became Great Smoky Mountains National Park was raised by individuals, private groups, and even school children who pledged their pennies. In addition, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Fund donated $5 million to create the park. More...