Standard (tent/RV)
Tent Cabin
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Big Creek Campground

Big Creek Campground is located in a remote portion of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The beautiful flowing waters of Big Creek parallel the campground offering the visitor a pleasant soundscape and peaceful beauty.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hiker's paradise, with over 800 miles of maintained trails ranging from short, leg-stretchers to strenuous treks. The Big Creek area offers some of the most challenging hikes within the Park. Baxter Creek trail begins near the campground and with an elevation gain of 4200' from trail head to the summit of Mt Sterling provides a strenuous work out for the strongest of hikers. The nearby Big Creek trail offers a pleasant hike along the waters of Big Creek with a beautiful waterfall along the way.
Local anglers agree that Big Creek offers some of the best trout fishing in the area. Fly fishing is particularly good during spring months when aquatic insects hatch in large numbers. Wildlife viewing is a popular pastime, and with around 1,500 black bear living in the park, it is not uncommon for visitors to spot one. The park is a sanctuary for a magnificent array of animal and plant life, all of which is protected for future generations to enjoy.


Big Creek Campground offers 12 TENT ONLY campsites for a traditional outdoor camping experience with the added convenience of flush toilets and drinking water. There are no hookups or showers at the campground. There is an emergency phone available at the Big Creek Ranger Station located 1 mile from the campground. No generator use or recreational vehicles are allowed in Big Creek Campground. There is a food storage locker available for public use.

Natural Features

Located at an elevation of 1,700' Big Creek Campground is surrounded by picturesque mountain ranges and a pristine mountain stream. Black Bear sightings are not uncommon and some lucky visitors may spot River Otter playing in Big Creek.

Nearby Attractions

Nearby attractions include the Cataloochee Valley, Newport, TN, Cosby Campground, Hartford Whitewater Rafting, the Appalachian Trail and the Max Patch/Pisgah National Forest.

ADA Access: N

Drive In
Walk In
Hike In
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
No Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
No Market
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
No Sanitary Dump
No Showers
Trash Available
No Water Hookups
No WiFi
Big Creek Campground is located in North Carolina
35.7597 N
-83.1042 W
Get Directions
The campground is sixteen miles east of Newport, TN on I-40. Exit I-40 at exit 451 (Waterville). Follow the road past the Walters Power Generating Stationto the 4-way intersection at Mt Sterling Gap. Follow the signs to Big Creek.
8 Reviews of Big Creek Campground
The greenscape was awesome

Even though it rained we gad a great hike. The falls were beautiful, and jumping into Midnight Hole was fun. Even at midnight :)

Gorgeous, Tent Only Campground

The only tent-only campground in the GSMNP considered frontcountry. Well maintained sites and restroom area. Note that some sites are closer to the parking area than others, and if you have trouble walking long distances I’d recommend site 1! Highly recommend.

Very nice and secluded. Very clean with good trail and creek access.

Sites are limited and must be reserved through the phone or website.

Easy car camping & hiking

There are about 10 spots and a parking area to have your car near. There are bathrooms as well but no showers. The sites must be reserved in advance. It’s a good spot for families. Dogs are allowed to camp but not permitted in the Midnight Hole hiking area next to the campground.

Campground near Rafting Excursions on the Pigeon River

Even though the sites are walk-in sites, when I was there it was pretty crowded since the sites are close together.  At night, you can hear the distant sounds of the creek … if the other campers can stop talking.  This is not a campground for RVs.  There are no hookups and there are no places for RVs to park.  The thing I like best about this campground is its proximity to the Appalachian Trail and several other trails, including the Benton MacKaye Trail.  Midnight Hole, which is a 1.5 mile hike, is a great place to cool off.  Once you get there, you can swim to a big rock and jump off into a natural pool.  I believe this is the same place I took Boy Scouts many, many years ago and they loved it.  You just have to be careful because it is deep and COLD.  The trail to Mount Cammerer is quite strenuous, but the view is worth it.  Other than the great trails, the other attraction is the whitewater rafting.  There are a few outfitters just over the state line, and they shuttle rafters to the starting point beside the power station.  The one I used was NOC.  When I first came here years ago, I thought the river looked low, but by the time we put our raft in, the river was raging.  I think the most fun, besides the rafting, at this campground is playing on the rocks in the creek.  There is also a group camping area, which is separate from the family campground.  That is because they release the water just for rafting.  This campground is conveniently located off of Interstate 40 near the Tennessee and North Carolina state line. Once you get to the national park road leading to it, it is a 1.2 mile drive on a gravel road.

best group camp

this group camp grounds were the best! privacy tent camping, near the stream and great hiking trails. close to the AT . going back!! with the tallest standing chimney

Mediocre campground but access to incredible hikes

The great smokies are definitely worth a visit! To be fair we didn’t spend much time at the campground as we were off exploring the park, but it was your basic frontcountry campground

First to Review
Beautiful & Quiet

Another family favorite. Whether you’re hiking to Midnight Hole (and amazing swimming hole where you can jump off the huge boulders next to a waterfall), or up to Mouse Creek Falls, or camping, or simply having a picnic and sticking your toes in the cool mountain water, it’s an incredible place. Usually pretty quiet and not too many people - except on the hottest days of summer!