National Park Camping
There's nothing like camping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Most park campgrounds are open seasonally. Please remember all national park campgrounds are primitive. There is no water or electric hook-up. During the busy seasons, campgrounds at Cades Cove, Elkmont, or Smokemont must be reserved. Call 877-444-6777 or go to: http://www.recreation.gov/
Be aware of bears as you hike and camp! Be informed about what to do. Click here to see the National Park's 6 minute video clip about hiking safety in bear country: http://thegreatsmokymountains.org/hike_smokies_challenge
Special note: Please do not bring firewood into the Park from quarantined areas. There is a danger of bringing in destructive forest pests, such as the emerald ash borer, or diseases, such as the thousand cankers disease in black walnut. Quarantined counties now include several in Tennessee neighboring the Park: Blount, Knox, Anderson, Loudon and Union, and Grainger counties.
Campers have four options for burning firewood in the Park: First, firewood can be purchased from local businesses that sell firewood bundles bearing USDA seals certifying that the wood may be transported safely. A second option is to purchase firewood from a Park concessioner at any of the three largest campgrounds in the Park-Cades Cove, Elkmont, and Smokemont. A third option is to use cut timber that is kiln-dried, finished and from which the bark was removed during the milling process. Though the National Park Service discourages the movement of firewood from one location to another, a fourth option includes bringing wood into the Park from a non-quarantined area. Visitors can reduce the risk of transporting destructive insects by using only dry, non-rotten wood with the bark removed.
See the Park webpage: Firewood Alert, and Click here for more details:Firewood
Abrams Creek 16 sites
Balsam Mountain 46 sites
Big Creek - (G) 12 sites
Cades Cove - (G) 161 sites
Cataloochee - (G) 27 sites
Cosby - (G) 163 sites
Deep Creek - (G) 92 sites
Elkmont - (G) 220 sites
Look Rock - (G) 68 sites
Smokemont - 142 sites
(G) - indicates groups are permitted at the campground
To make reservations at any of the National Park campgrounds call 1-877-444-6777 or visit their website at www.recreation.gov. Reservations may be made up to 5 months in advance.
If you prefer camping with all the amenities click here for a list of Townsend campgrounds located at the national park entrance.