2 Parks near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
Sep 2015 - $20.00
I have mixed feelings about this campground. It is in the middle of the forest yet there was lots of traffic coming through the area to drive the circle around the campground.
Our site was smallish but adequate. The site had not been blown off and so there was lots of leaves and tree debris, looked unkept. The worst part to us was the cement logs and barriers along the road, the sides of the sites and the back of the sites. I think this deters from the ambiance of the park as well as making it difficult to park into some sites.
It has no services so we brought our own water tank full, empty gray and black tanks and a generator. We also came w a full refrigerator and freezer as a large grocery is not convenient.
The circle road is only closed to traffic on Wed/Sat early mornings. I think it should be closed more for bike traffic, suggest Sun. There were a great many bikers when we were there, along w many walkers. The Visitors center is half way around and does not have any drinks so make sure you have your own with you. With all the stops we made, seeing historic cabins and other sites, it took us about 3 hours to do the loop, getting off just as auto traffic was approaching. More info in tips... - twotimes
Aug 2015 - $11.00
We stayed one night this time (we have been here many times). July was just too hot for us in a motorhome. We stay in a 40 foot Motorhome and there are only a few sites we can fit in. The one that was available was in near full sun all day and the temps were in the 90's. We had to seek a campground with hookups this time. I think we would have been able to stay longer if we would have fit on a different site. The campground is one of our all time favorites. It has no hookups and no showers, but a stay here is well worth the primitive nature of the campground. Wildlife (deer, turkey, and an occasional bear wander through the campground. We have met the nicest campers here and made some lasting friends from across the country. The Cades Cove Loop Road is the major attraction, but the entire Smokey Mountain National Park is available for your enjoyment. We will stay here again. - burnswl
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
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