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It has the potential to be a little crowded, but to be able to take a dip in the creek mid summer is priceless. One of my favorite swimming holes is here
As other reviews have said, this campground is in a lovely location, right on a small creek/river. The grounds are well maintained and grass covered for the most part. Some tent sites are sorta marked (picnic tables), but you can camp anywhere you want. When I stayed there, it was not very crowded, quite and there was a car in the campground (not sure how that fits with "motorcycle campground". There are also lot's of cabins if you prefer.
Facilities are ok, could be cleaner and better maintained, but the host is trying. I think times are tough for this business. Food is available on Friday and Saturday's, limited options, but available. On the subject of food, that is probably the biggest drawback about this campground. Plan on a 15 mile +/- ride to eat. The host has coolers for free use, sells ice, I didn't notice grills, but he may have them.
All-in-all, a nice place to which I'll return.
This is the second time I have camped at this place, and it was even better the second time around. I say this because I explored more of what this area has to offer. The main reason people come to this area is to see the elk. Thousands upon thousands of people come here for that reason. However, there are many trails in this area as well with a lot of old structures—barns, houses built during the 1800s, an old church, an old schoolhouse, etc. I specifically wanted to hike the Boogerman Trail, which I had heard about for years. The trailhead is about a hundred yards from the campground, but more about that later. This campground has a washhouse with toilet, sinks, and a dish wash station, but it does not have showers. The campsites are level and well-shaded. There are no water or sewer hookups, but the sites are relatively private. You can still see the other campers easily, but the sites are not on top of each other. Reservations are REQUIRED since the drive to the campground is a ten mile curvy road with about four miles of it being gravel.(By the way, it was revealed last week that the road to Cataloochee Valley, including the campground, would be closed for repairs until sometime in May.) The Boogerman Trail is often wet, especially after rain, and it is a moderate climb. However, you walk by at least one tree that is HUGE. You will pass by a stone wall and an old homestead. You will also have to cross Caldwell Fork(creek) several times before getting back to the trailhead. Rough Fork Trail, which is at the end of the dirt road through the valley, leads you to the Woody house. It is a pleasant one mile walk. Big Fork Ridge Trail is another trail, with the trailhead being just before you get to the end of the dirt road. It is a much longer and steeper trail. I love this campground, not just because it is a pleasant camping experience, but because there is so much to explore.
Smokemont is located a few miles up Newfound Gap Rd from Cherokee, NC and the Oconaluftee visitor's center and farm. You'll have a head start on driving to Clingman's dome to watch the sunrise and you're not far from places to explore on the east side of the Smokies.
Smokemont is one of the few campgrounds open year round, with loops A & B available in the off-season. I stayed here in early April and there were plenty of open sites. You can make reservations online or take a chance at first-come, first-served. With the exception of two sites offering electric for medical equipment, there are no utilities available. Firewood is available at nearby Towstring Horse Camp. Bathrooms are basic, with flush toilets and running water. Sites are good sized, most with square tent pads; it may be difficult to fit some of the larger tents on these pads.
Loop F is across a bridge and for RVs only. Some of the sites on the outer edge of the loop are on the river; i liked the looks of sites F34, 35, 38. Sites in the middle of the loop are more open. None of the other sites in the campground are directly on the river, but they're just across a road and you'll fall asleep to the sound of babbling water and be able to wade in it during the day. D loop sites are largely pull-through sites, great if you have a larger rig.
If you have a longer stay in the national park, spend a couple of nights here and enjoy all that the area has to offer, then move to another section and explore that area as well. You'll spend less time on the road each day and enjoy your visit more! While here, check out the Mingus Mill, go into Cherokee and learn more about the tribe and its history, and visit the farm at the visitor's center. Keep your eyes open as you drive, esp. in the early morning or at dusk; you may see deer, bear, or elk.
This is just between Clayton & Dillard. The bath houses are super clean and the site was very well maintained. The views at this campground are amazing. Clayton offers several local restaurants that are great as well as a few chain restaurants. Just a short 30 minute drive over the mountain takes you to Highlands, NC….this little town was fantastic. Tons of great restaurants and also lots of boutique & antique shopping.