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

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

Frontcountry Camping

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. Failure to comply may result in a citation or seizure of firewood. Please see the list of quarantined states and counties.

Firewood which is in its original packaging stamped with a USDA - APHIS - PPQ shield stating that the wood is certified under one or more sections of federal regulation 7 CFR 301 is allowed. Also firewood which is purchased from a park concessioner is allowed. Visit www.nature.org/firewoodmap for a map of local stores and businesses that sell certified firewood.

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

 
Frontcountry campsites allow visitors to camp near their car.

Frontcountry campgrounds have campsites that can accommodate tents, pop-up trailers, or RVs.

Amy Nichter Photo

The National Park Service maintains developed campgrounds at 10 locations in the park:
• Abrams Creek
• Balsam Mountain
• Big Creek
• Cades Cove
• Cataloochee
• Cosby
• Deep Creek
• Elkmont
• Look Rock
• Smokemont

Please scroll down the page for information about each of these campgrounds. You can download a park map to find the locations of these campgrounds in the park.

Each campground has restrooms with cold running water and flush toilets. Each individual campsite has a fire grate and picnic table. There are no showers or electrical or water hookups in the park. Shower facilities are available in the communities surrounding the national park. Please inquire about the nearest facilities when you check-in at the campground. (5 amp electric hookups are available at a few sites in Cades Cove, Elkmont, and Smokemont for use only by those with medical needs. Check www.recreation.gov for more information.)

Campsites at Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Cosby, Elkmont, and Smokemont may be reserved online or by phone at (877) 444-6777. Advance reservations are required at Cataloochee Campground. All remaining park campgrounds are first-come, first-served. Additional information about camping reservations, including reservation time frames.

In addition to individual campsites, the park offers a limited number of group camping areas.

Please read Campground Rules and Regulations for information concerning food storage, generator use, quiet hours, and other campground regulations.

 

Campground

Map

Number
of Sites

Fee

Elevation

2014 Open/Close
Dates

Maximum RV Length

Abrams Creek

Map

16

$14

1,125'

5/23 - 10/13

12'

Balsam Mountain

Map

46

$14

5,310'

5/23 - 10/13

30'

Big Creek

Map

12

$14

1,700'

4/11- 10/26

No RVs

Cades Cove

Reserve Now

See maintenance work advisory below.

Map

159

$17-$20

1,807'

Year Round

One dump station open
year-round

Trailers-35'

Motor Homes-40"

Cataloochee

Reservations REQUIRED

See entrance road advisory below.

Map

27

$20

2,610'

3/14 - 10/31

Advance reservations required entire season.

31'

Cosby

Reserve Now

Map

157

$14

2,459'

4/11- 10/31

25'

Deep Creek

Map

92

$17

1,800'

4/11- 10/31

26'

Elkmont

Reserve Now

Map

220

$17-$23

2,150'

3/14 - 11/29

Dump station at Sugarlands Visitor Center
open 3/28 - 11/5

Trailers-32'

Motor Homes-35'

Look Rock

Map

68

$14

2,600'

Closed

No size limit

Smokemont

Reserve Now

Map

142

$17-$20

2,198'

Year Round

Dump station open year-round

Trailers-35'

Motor Homes-40"


Cataloochee Entrance Road Advisory: The entrance road to Cataloochee Valley is a winding, gravel road that has some steep drop offs with no guard rails. Horse trailer traffic may be encountered on the road. Because the road is narrow, it may be necessary to stop or back up to allow other vehicles to pass.

Cades Cove Campground Maintenance Work Advisory: Several periods of work are scheduled in the campground this winter and spring that will involve construction noise and equipment. Work is scheduled for December 20-21, 2014 and Jan 5-9, 2015. During the construction periods, campers are encouraged to consider camping at Smokemont Campground on the North Carolina side of the park or in campgrounds in surrounding communities. Campers should expect extensive noise from sunrise to sunset, from chainsaws, construction machinery, and falling trees. Some campsites will have to be closed for the safety of visitors. Campers should also expect delays and detours along the campground roads. Intermittent work may be scheduled January through April. Specific dates will be posted once they are scheduled.


 

Groceries, Camping Supplies, Food, and Firewood

A limited selection of groceries, camping supplies, visitor convenience items, and food and beverage service are available in the park. Please see listing for additional information.

Bundles of firewood are available for sale in the communities surrounding the national park. However, firewood may not be brought into the park unless it bears the USDA-APHIS-PPQ certification or it is purchased from a county that has no quarantine in effect. See firewood quarantine page for additional information. The following campgrounds have on-site firewood sales:

  • Cades Cove (at Cades Cove Campground Store)
  • Elkmont
  • Smokemont (at Smokemont Riding Stables)


Late Arrival Procedures
Park campgrounds are not gated. You may check in after hours, pursuant to the instructions that follow. However, please be considerate of your neighbors while setting up camp by keeping noise and light to a minimum. Quiet hours are from 10:00 PM-6:00 AM. Generator quiet hours are from 8:00 PM-8:00 AM.

At Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Elkmont and Smokemont: If you have advance reservations and arrive after the campground office closes, please proceed to your assigned site. If you have forgotten your assigned site, check the Late Arrival List posted on the bulletin board for your name and site number. Return to the campground office the next morning to check in. If you fail to check in your site may be reassigned and your reservation may be canceled.

If you do not have advance reservations, check the Late Arrival List. If there are campsites available for campers who do not have a reservation, those available sites will be posted on the list. Set up ONLY on one of the sites listed as available. All other sites are assigned to campers with reservations. Return to the campground office the next morning to check in.

At other campgrounds: Locate a vacant site and register immediately at the campground office or bulletin board. Registration involves filling out a registration envelope and depositing the camping fee in the nearby safe.


Dump Stations for RVs
Dump stations with potable water are located at Cades Cove, Cosby, Deep Creek, Look Rock, and Smokemont campgrounds. In addition, there is a dump station located across the road from the Sugarlands Visitor Center, approximately six miles from Elkmont Campground.
.

Discount Passes
The America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is an annual pass that covers entrance fees at sites managed by the National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management. This pass does not provide discounts for camping fees.

If you are 62 or older or receive disability benefits, you may be eligible for the Senior or Access pass. These two passes do provide discounts on camping fees.

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