• 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 »

How the Reservation System Works

Some campgrounds and day use facilities at the national park operate on a reservation system for at least a portion of their operating season, while others operate strictly on first come, first served basis. For reservable facilities, reservations can be made at www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Online reservations can be made 24 hours a day. Reservations by phone can be made between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Advance reservations are required at Cataloochee Campground, Group Campsites, Horse Camps, and the Appalachian Clubhouse and Spence Cabin.

The facilities listed below operate on the reservation system for at least some portion of their season. Unless otherwise noted, all sites at that facility operate on the reservation system during the reservation period.


Reservation Period

Can Be Made

Cades Cove, Elkmont, and Smokemont campgrounds

May 15-Oct 311

6 months in advance

Cataloochee Campground

Same as season dates2

6 months in advance

Cosby Campground

Same as season dates.2 Limited reservation sites; most sites are first come, first served.

6 months in advance

Group Campsites

Same as season dates2

1 year in advance

Horse Camps

Same as season dates2

1 year in advance

Picnic Pavilions

Same as season dates2

1 year in advance

Appalachian Clubhouse

Same as season dates3

1 year in advance

1 Walk-up, same day reservations may be available at the campground during the reservation period.
2 You can make a reservation on the same day as your arrival via www.recreation.gov or by calling (877) 444-6777. Reservations are not available at the facility.
3 Minimum 2 day advance reservation.

Did You Know?

Fontana Lake is formed by Fontana Dam.

At 480 feet, Fontana Dam, located on the southwestern boundary of the park, is the tallest concrete dam east of the Rocky Mountains. The dam impounds the Little Tennessee River forming Fontana Lake and produces hydroelectric power. More...