There are a handful of Smoky Mountain campgrounds inside and outside of the national park. The GSMNP maintains ten frontcountry campgrounds within its boundaries. All of the following Smoky Mountain campsites offer restrooms with running water and flushable toilets as well as fire grates and picnic tables. Don't expect showers, electricity, or water hookups at these campgrounds though; if that's what you're looking for, take a look at our other campground options.
Update for 2023: The National Park Services is proposing a new fee structure for these campgrounds in the future. Read more at The People's Park - NPS.gov.
Smoky Mountain Campgrounds In Tennessee
Abrams Creek Campground
Located in a remote area of the national park, these are Smoky Mountain campgrounds for tent-only camping. The cost per night is $17.50 and check out is at 12:00 pm. Heat treated firewood only. Quiet hours are between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am, and flushable toilets and drinking water are available. Hiking & fishing are easily accessible from this location.Abrams Creek Campground
Cades Cove Campground
The popular campground at Cades Cove is $25.00 per night and allows RVs as well as tents. The campground also offers flush toilets and drinking water, as well as a campground store (open May through October) with a snack bar, breakfast items, pizza, ice cream, and even bike rentals.Cades Cove Campground
One of quieter Smoky Mountain campgrounds, the Cosby campground is tucked under a canopy of cool shade. Each site has a fire ring, picnic table, and many trees. RVs are welcome with some restrictions and reservations are recommended. As with all frontcountry campgrounds, only heat treated firewood is permitted and quiet hours are between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am.Cosby Campground
Elkmont campground is the busiest & largest in the national park. It houses over 200 tent and RV Smoky Mountain campsites with pavement, tent pads, fire rings, and picnic tables. The individual sites vary in slope and length so be sure to check the descriptions when reserving. Nine campsites here are wheelchair accessible.Elkmont Campground
At this time the Look Rock campground is closed and the national park website does not have a page with information on it.
Smoky Mountain Campgrounds In North Carolina
Big Creek Campground
Big Creek offers 12 tent only campsites as well as flushable toilets and drinking water, but no hookups or showers. The horse camp is the only one in the park with potable water and flushable toilets. Each of the Smoky Mountain campsites allow a maximum of two vehicles and are $17.50 per night. Pets are allowed on leashes (max 6 feet).Big Creek Campground
Smokemont is another one of the few Smoky Mountain campsites that goes for $25.00 per night. There are sites available for tents as well as RVs, and there's even a nearby grassy area great for games and activities or just lying in the sun. The riding stables offer goods and services like snacks, beverages, firewood, and ice.Map Reserve
Balsam Mountain Campground
Another tent-only Smoky Mountain campsites, Balsam Mountain is also $17.50 per night with 42 different sites. Quiet hours are between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am. Flushable toilets and drinking water available. This location is surrounded by mountain ranges & streams, and elk are often seen in the area. It is also the campground at the highest elevation: 5,310 feet.Map Reserve
This tent only campground also goes for $17.50 per night with quiet hours between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am and check out at 12:00 pm. Located in the remote and historic Cataloochee Valley, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activies without the crowds that are more common in other parts of the park. Campers will often see wildflowers, fall colors, and elk in the area. This location also has a horse campground.Map Reserve
Deep Creek Campground
With 92 individual Smoky Mountain campsites in a beautiful location, Deep Creek is one of the more popular campgrounds and goes for $25 per night. RVs are permitted and the campground is ideal for water recreation. Summer is the most popular time of year, so reserve your spot in advance. Be sure to check out the 3 waterfall hikes!Map Reserve
From May 15th – October 31st Elkmont, Smokemont, and Cades Cove campsites may be reserved up to five months in advance. All other campgrounds are first come, first serve and up to six people may occupy a campsite. Two tents or one RV and one tent are allowed per site. Maximum stay during the summer and fall is seven days, but in the off-season, the stay can be fourteen days. Pets are allowed in the campgrounds as long as they are restrained on a leash or otherwise confined at all times. Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m.
Park campgrounds are frequented by bears and other wildlife. All food, coolers, utensils, stoves, etc. must be stored out of sight in a closed vehicle when not in use. Always remember not to throw food scraps or packaging in fire rings or to feed any wildlife. This is for both the safety of visitors and the health of the park’s wildlife.