Before planning your backcountry trip please read the trail closures and warnings page.
Five drive-in horse camps provide ready access to backcountry trails within the park.
Auto-access horse camps have picnic tables, grills, designated parking spaces (usually gravel), refuse containers, hitch racks and space to pitch a tent or two. Big Creek has flush toilets with cold water. Other horse camps have portable toilets and no drinking water. Water is available for horses, either in the campground or at a nearby stream.
Fees are $20 per site, except for Big Creek, which is $25 per site. You must pay for the site when you make your reservation. Fees are not accepted at the horse camp. Payment can be made by credit card. Personal checks are accepted only if the reservation is made at least 20 days in advance.
Each campsite has a limit of six people and four horses. If you have more than six people or four horses, you will need to reserve another site. Sites vary in the number of vehicles that can be accommodated. Some allow only for one vehicle and trailer, others allow for two vehicles and two trailers (horse or camping). Please check the reservation website for details.
A cancellation fee will be charged if you cancel your reservation or if we cancel your reservation because you fail to show up. You will also be charged for one night’s camping fee if you cancel on or after the day your reservation begins or you fail to show up.
To make changes to your reservation or to cancel, please call 1-888-448-1474. If you are going to be arriving late (i.e. after noon of the second day), please phone 865-436-1230 to hold your reservation.
Horse Camp Rules and Regulations
• Horses must be kept in stalls and not at the campsite. Clean stalls out when leaving. Discard old and unwanted hay in designated areas.
• Keep horses out of campsites. Future campers will appreciate it.
• Tie horses only to hitching racks and stalls. Do not tie horses to trees.
• Stall spaces are limited. Bring only the number of horses for which you have reservations.
• Do not leave stock unattended.
• Never leave feed where wildlife can get to it—wildlife attracted to feed can come into conflict with people.
• All equine brought to or kept at any park horse camp or ridden on any park trail shall be accompanied by either the original or a copy of an official negative test for equine infectious anemia.
Food Storage Regulations
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.
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.
Did You Know?
What lives in Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Although the question sounds simple, it is actually extremely complex. Right now scientists think that we only know about 17 percent of the plants and animals that live in the park, or about 17,000 species of a probable 100,000 different organisms.