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Cades Cove Campground (NPS Campground) was rated 8 out of 10 based on 23 user reviews. Phone: (865) 448-2472
CGID2679

Cades Cove Campground (NPS Campground)

Camp Information
Sites
159
Date of Stay
May 2014
Latest Rate
$20



Hookups
Electric
no
50amp
no
Water
no
Sewer
no
Wireless Internet
no
Cable TV
no
Accommodations
Pull-Thru Sites
yes
Big Rig Access
yes
Waterfront Access
no
Shade Trees
yes
Pool Access
no
Pets Allowed
yes
Tents Allowed
yes
Family Friendly
yes
Latest Review Information
Ratings (Last 10 Newest/Oldest)
10   10   9   9   10   4   7   10   9   10   
Clean Restrooms (Last 5 Newest/Oldest)
yes  yes  yes  yes  yes  
Clean Showers (Last 5 Newest/Oldest)
question  question  question  no  no  
Review Rating
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[ 10 / 10 ]
May 2014
$20
We stay here every May. Have had only good experiences. Well maintained. No showers available. Restrooms are always clean. Close to camp store, where they sell camping supplies, groceries, and hot foods. Another store on the premises sells souvenirs and ice cream cones. There's also a bike rental shack. Also available guided horse tour, buggy rides. Cades Cove Loop is a wonderful place to see nature at it's best, including wild animals- black bear, deer, turkeys, coyotes, wild boar, snakes, birds and more. Gorgeous scenery all around with old homesteads to walk through. Lots of nature trails. We love it there! We camped here in a Motorhome.

Adertisement:
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[ 10 / 10 ]
May 2014
$10
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. We camped here in a Motorhome.

Review Rating
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[ 9 / 10 ]
May 2014
$17
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. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

Review Rating
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[ 9 / 10 ]
May 2012
$17
If you want a campground that offers level sites, many in good shade and a most unique atmosphere then this is the place for you. Know this -- there are no hookup in all but 2 sites. There is fresh water available at each bath house and each loop has 2 bath houses. You will not get cell phone reception. Your laptop aircard will not get you online. You will (most likely) wake up to the sounds of a tom turkey calling his hens. You will probably get a little tired of seeing deer. We did not encounter any black bear and we got up early and stayed out late looking for them. My son was most impressed by the multitude of young people and how friendly everyone acted. A great campground for kids, adults, the young-at-heart and others. If you like amenities and pools and playgrounds and rec rooms, this is not your campground. We camped here in a Tent.

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[ 10 / 10 ]
October 2011
$17
This is a great campground. It's not for RV people who need their hookups and electricity. They have two sections, one allows generator use, the other does not. I stay in the non-generator section and it's very quiet. On weekends, people just driving through stop and make a mess of the restrooms, but the rest of the time they are clean. The best time to camp here is September through May. The summer is very crowded and you are more likely to experience noise, trash, dirty restrooms, etc. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 4 / 10 ]
June 2011
$20
Wow. I look at the previous ratings and can tell some reviewers are letting the emotions get ahead of reality. Yes, Cades Cove is simply beautiful, the animals (bear, fox, owls, turkey, deer, etc.) are abundant and fascinating to observe. Everyone should visit this place at least once in their lives. But it's time to review the campground, and it was pitiful. The good news is that the bathrooms were clean, and there are three dump stations to accommodate traffic. Picnic tables were new. However, the roadways in the CG are in poor condition with potholes, disintegration, etc. Speeding on the outer loop of the non-generator area back to the group campsite is a serious problem. We easily estimated people driving 40 MPH at times, with children and pedestrians everwhere. Never saw a ranger patrol the area over two days. Park was far more concerned about confiscating ice chests from campsites (bear safety) than about high speed travel. Campsite was hemmed in by artificial concrete "logs", making it feel stuffy. Asphalt simply "ended" while backing into our site in an irregular, broken maze and off into gravel and crumbly asphalt we parked. Site was not level in any direction. No showers, (and with no hookups and lots of tenters, well, I'll let you imagine). Being Cades Cove, and being summer (the place was packed with people), one would expect evening campfire programs every night. There was only one, and it rained that night. Very disappointing. We were especially disappointed with Cades Cove when we visited Cosby CG at the other end of the park and compared it to Cades Cove CG. Cosby was totally renovated with perfect campsites. Enjoy the Cove, the horseback riding, hiking, and biking. But be prepared for a campground in need of modernization and speed enforcement. We would not camp here again. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 7 / 10 ]
June 2011
$20
Our favorite campsite ever. The only thing we dislike about it is the disgusting bathrooms. I don't think anyone cleans these things at all. Other than that, we have a really good time cruising the loop, taking pictures and camping. We play in the creek a lot with the kids and at the end of each day walk down and get some ice cream. The rangers here are mostly friendly (with the exception of a few rent-a-rangers), but for the most part, we really enjoy camping here. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 10 / 10 ]
May 2011
$20
Great National Park campground... no hookups but large 3-drop dump station with potable water. Very generous (large) site, wooded for some shade. We were in B59 and it stayed shaded all day. Campground is next to the famous Cades Cove loop - we rode our bikes around the 11-mile loop and saw bears, wild turkey and deer. Reasonable generator rules (8am-8pm, not continuous). Horseback riding, carriage rides, ice cream, bike rentals within walking distance. General store with pay phone. NO CELL SIGNAL. Make a reservation and come on by! We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
November 2010
$20
The proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains makes this park highly desirable. It is within walking distance of Cades Cove. It's a great place to ride bikes because, in spite of being in the mountains, the campground itself is really only gently rolling. There is a small grocery with a grill in it. They are known for their soft-serve ice cream. There is also a bike rental place. The sites are quite large with lots of space between. Even though the website claims to accommodate units up to only 35 feet, we took our 40-foot rig here. You just have to be sure you get one of the larger sites, and the site lengths are listed online. I love that you can make site-specific reservations. The bath houses are clean, but there are no showers. Because of black bears in the area, the rangers are VERY particular about food storage. If you leave your site and leave a cooler out, they will confiscate it. I appreciate that. The campground has two sections: one that allows generators and one that does not. Since this is dry camping, that is a significant factor to consider. There is horseback riding in the area, and sometimes there are hayrides. They also have ranger-guided nature hikes/tours sometimes. There is absolutely NO security at this campground. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 10 / 10 ]
October 2009
$10
This is a wonderful camping area, especially in the fall. There are no hookups, phones, TV service, or other amenities. Water is available as well as restrooms and a dump site. Hiking, animal watching and just relaxing is great here. We love it. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
September 2009
$20
This is my favorite on earth. The cove is lovely and you can spend days hiking around the cove or just waking the 11 mile loop road. The Loop Road and the roads in the CG are in bad need of repair and are scheduled to be re-surfaced in May 2010. The loop road will be closed at that time. Sites are well shaded. Restrooms are clean but no showers. Very nice dump station in CG. Fresh water is available at dump station or at restrooms. Store is well stocked and bike rentals available. Horseback tours are available in the warmer months. No cell phone service and limited over the air TV reception. Caution on entering check-in station low overhanging branches. Staff at this facility are very friendly and helpful. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 6 / 10 ]
August 2009
$20
A nice park if you want to dry camp. Had big sites. We didn't use the bathhouse but it's a nice place. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
August 2009
$20
This is a WONDERFUL national park campground. The sites are huge. You should only camp here is you are prepared to dry camp - there are no hookups of any kind. If you are prepared for this, you will be in the midst of the beautiful Smokies right next to Cades Coves - truly a heaven on earth. I have camped and hiked in a dozen national parks, and while this does not have the grandeur of the Tetons or Glacier, it is well worth the visit. If you want the awful kitsch of Pigeon Forge or Gatlinberg, then this will NOT be for you. If you are there for the glory of the national park, then it is wonderful. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
May 2009
$20
Campsites are large, well maintained, and shady. Designated fire pits are located on each site. Trails, creeks, ranger classes, picnic areas, bike rental, and horseback riding available. Cold water bath houses have sinks and toilets, but no showers. This is a wonderful back to nature campground with many activity options. We camped here in a Tent.

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[ 7 / 10 ]
September 2008
$20
A beautiful National Park, no hook-ups, but we can dry camp comfortably for 4-5 days. Generator use was allowed during certain times only and one section of the park was designated a no-generator area. Great access to the Cades Cove loop, good hiking and biking trails. Reservations would be a good idea - it was much busier than we though it would be - we were only able to stay three nights because of upcoming reservations. (877) 444-6777 We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.

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[ 2 / 10 ]
August 2008
$10
The only thing this campground has going is location. The grounds are poorly maintained. The roads are narrow and full of ruts. Large stones and other useless obstructions are throughout the park making it hazardous to maneuver a 37 foot fifth wheel trailer. Ditches, stones and saplings make backing into campsites difficult. Overhead trees will damage your roof accessories. They have no restrictions about how loud a generator can be. The people next to us had a large construction generator and when I complained to rangers they said I could move. I will not return until they decide to make some improvements. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
July 2008
$21
Cades Cove Campground is in the heart of the Smokey Mountains and far away from the neon world of Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg. It is a great place to get the feel for the mountains by going on a hike or swimming in a clear mountain stream. The camping experience in this campground is being closer to nature than in a more sophisticated campground. Don’t miss the ‘loop’ road around Cades Cove where you can loose count of the number of deer you’ve see on an early morning or late evening drive. Note that the “loop’ Road is only open to bicycles on Saturday Morning (which you can rent at the store). And be sure to stop at the grist mill at the halfway point. The camp store is well stocked. This is one of the best places to enjoy family and the true camping experience in this part of the country. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 7 / 10 ]
October 2007
$20
This campground is good if you really want to do some rustic camping. No hook-ups at all, but Section B does allow some generator use. It's a large campground with virtually no security. The sites are quite roomy but there is very little privacy between the sites in the form of shrubbery, etc. The rangers are very strict regarding proper storage of food because of the bears, but other than that it appears that about anything goes in this campground. Lots of barking dogs, and pet owners do not pick up after their dogs. I do appreciate the new reservation system they have implemented through which you can reserve a specific site. You just can't beat the beauty of the Smoky Mountains. We took the Cades Cove hayride, and it was very pleasant. Highly recommend it. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.

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[ 9 / 10 ]
June 2006
$20
Ggreat campground no hook-ups or showers. Very clean level sites w/firepits picnic table. There is very clean rest room flush toilet with clean potable water and an area to dump grey water from your tote. Great store. Lots of wildlife. Stream close by. Great for short walks with kids. Loved this place 3 nights here in June. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
May 2006
$17
We visit this campground once or twice every year. I would rate this campground a ten if it had hookups. It is still one of my favorite places to camp. Great scenery, wildlife, and hiking. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
April 2006
$17
This campground has no hookups and the bath houses have only toilets and cold running water, but they were VERY clean. Cades Cove campground is located in one of the most beautiful locations in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Wildlife is everywhere. It's very wooded and quiet at night. At least it was quiet when we were there. If it get noisy, the ranger lives within a quick walk of any of the loops. As for my choice of loops, C Loop seems to be more spacious. B Loop seems to be a bit more wooded and gets more wildlife coming through. Deer browse close to the B Loop. The campground has a store that's stocked pretty well. They also rent bikes here for people that want to ride the 11 mile scenic loop adjacent to the campground. For kids with bikes, this is paradise. For me, taking sponge baths in the popup camper was a small trade off for the kind of camping experience offered here. I would highly recommend it. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.

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[ 8 / 10 ]
October 2003
$17
This is hard to rate park for an RV. It is very nice for what it is: a well landscaped campground in a national park with few amenities. No power, electric, not even a bath house. If you're comfortable with that, it is a very nice park, nice campsites. We camped here in a Motorhome.

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[ 4 / 10 ]
2001
$17
This campground is located adjacent to the Cades Cove Loop Road in the Smoky Mountains National Park. Reservations are required from early spring to late fall. There are no showers in this campground. The sites are very rough,uneven and short. It was very crowded and noisy when we visited. The scenery in this area is breathtaking. We camped here in a Truck Camper.
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