2 Parks near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
Jun 2015 - $20.00
We stayed on a holiday weekend and found the campground to be crowded and noisy, but still a great place to stay. Entering the park, the registration station features a long lane, so finding a place to stop to register was easy. The check-in process was simple (we reserved our spot online) and the staff were friendly and efficient. We were told that we would want to fill our water tank at the dump station (kind of off-putting, to be honest) but found the potable water area clean and at a reasonable distance from the dump station. Filling was simple and there was plenty of room to make the turn back to the entrance so that we could get to our loop.
The roads inside the campground are narrow and one-way in many places, so if you have a long rig you may have to be very careful getting lined up to back into your spot. Concrete 'logs' and large rocks make this a bit more complicated as well. It may be advantageous to look at the satellite view of your spot to see if you'll have room to back larger campers. That said, we say many larger rigs in there so it can be done - just be prepared to a test of your skills.
The camp store is fantastic, featuring coffee, hot food, dry goods of all sorts, firewood, ice, and even rental bicycles. Check the hours of the store - they tend to be open early and close at 5 PM.
Lastly, be aware that there are NO utilities at any of the sites (except low voltage for the few ADA spots, but these require evidence of need before you can reserve them.) All spots have a large tent pad, fire ring, and short driveway. The surface of our spot was wildly out of level and composed of decaying asphalt and gravel. It took some work to get leveled out, and we still were leaning quite a bit. There are water fountains at the rest rooms if you need more water (take your jugs, not your camper.)
All things considered though, I would stay here again in a heartbeat - it's a great place! - WrongWayRandall
May 2014 - $10.00
Absolutely beautiful place. We were through there a couple of weeks ago and you cannot compete with the raw beauty that was the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cades Cove was a wonderful campground that, while full, offered a host of people respectful of one another and were all there for the same reason - to enjoy the great outdoors. I will be returning regularly. And the drive out of the park was even better than the drive in. Most scenic place in the US, near as I can tell. - jmoore
May 2014 - $17.00
Beautiful scenery all around. Cades Cove loop road is a must-see when in the Smoky’s and this campground is right there. Roads are paved and all sites are gravel. There’s a fast running stream just 50 or so yards from the campground, making it a great place to walk dogs. There are no hookups but they do have flush toilets in the bathhouses, which are kept clean despite the number of campers using them. The cost is $17 and while cheap doesn’t buy you anything other than a a place to park your camper. Sites are close together. This has been my experience in national parks and Cades Cove is no exception. Most sites are not level but many appear to be big rig friendly. No cellphone service of any kind is available. Even with our booster and directional antenna, we got nothing. Satellite is not possible due to the heavy tree cover. Generators in loop B where we stayed are allowed. As is the case with most if not all national parks, dogs are only allowed on the roads and in campgrounds so no pet friendly hiking is available. We stayed in early May when only walk-ins are allowed. The campground was about 1/2 full when we arrived at 4 PM on a Thursday however Friday and Saturday appeared to be full. The best thing about this campground is the loop road around Cades Cove. On each 11 mile 1-way trip, we saw numerous deer, turkey and at least 1 black bear. - Barefootdog
Sep 2014 - $22.00
Primitive ....lots of peace and quiet until your neighbor (who cannot afford a National Park approved generator for noise) runs it continously. Complaints and questions to park headquarters were answered, but were unenforceable because they did not have a dosimeter... I offered to buy the app for them. So for the first time in countless visits, we left early . I was actually ashamed to call myself a local and the inconsiderate people next door-local. But otherwise try to stay off of the generator loop. Maybe you can tolerate it until the 8pm quiet time kicks in. Plenty of room for the kids to ride bikes and play in the river. Great area to commute to hiking trails, Gatlinburg, and Cades Cove. Sites clean and wide. Have pay phones for use, since no cell phone service is available. Store has plenty of firewood and supplies available if needed. Campground hosts accessible and very knowledgable. A peaceful place to relax and look for wildlife. - scottymac
Aug 2011 - $24.00
We had family from Switzerland with us and had a large group of kids. This place was a blast! The younger kids were told about the Junior Park Ranger Program and we were on! Very educational ranger programs and lots of things to do! All the rangers were very helpful , knowledgeable and friendly! Can't wait to go back! - ehale3
Jul 2011 - $15.00
We arrived late one evening, got our site set up and drove into Gatlinburg to gather some supplies. Gatlinburg is kind of like a beach boardwalk, so it may or may not be what you enjoy. Even in the middle of July, the humidity was very high. It rained all 3 days we were there, so we never really felt dry. The campers beside us gave up and went to Knoxville. The river/stream is awesome. It has a good flow rate, and generates a nice sound when sleeping at night. We let the kids float part of the stream on some tubes. They loved it, but the water is cold, so have some nice big towels to bundle them up in when finished. The shade is very dense in the park due to the amount of very large shade trees. The restrooms were cleaned daily, but there are no showers in the park. I loved the park, but the damp/wet weather made our trip a bit difficult. If you had a few days of clear and dry skies, this might be an almost perfect place. - eltex