Great place to stay before hiking long day hikes
I'll give it 5 stars because there is no way to beat the location of the Cades Cove campground located at the entrance to the Cades Cove loop road that is dotted with old homesteads, trails to waterfalls, and wildlife. Stay here because the road itself is crowded enough during peak seaon; you'll be glad you won't have to fight the traffic just to reach it!
Some of the B loop sites are starting to look a little older, with cracking pavement. There's been some tree loss here as well. The back of the campground offers slightly larger, more level, and quieter sites. bathrooms are no frills, clean, flush toilets, no hand soap. The C loop is open year round, but not all of it. The front rows tend to have more of a slope and are closer together; the ones on the back side of the loop are larger, more level, and more secluded. No showers in the park; ask at the visitor's center for a list of area campgrounds that will allow you to shower for $3-5.
This is one of two year-round campgrounds in the park. Make your reservations online. You need to spend a couple of days here, but not your entire stay. The camp store is heavy on souvenirs, also has take out food. Bike rentals make it easy to take advantage of the bikes only mornings on the loop road. Firewood is available here, but you may also gather downed firewood in the park. Otherwise, it must be heat-treated firewood.
No cell service; head into Townsend, TN for that.
We have camped here in our tent and my only complaint is that the tent pads are slightly elevated and we have a huge two room tent that would not fit on any of the tent pads. We found a site that didn't have a tent pads and that's where we set up. So of you have a large or abnormally shaped tent you'll need to do some research first to find a tent site that will accommodate your tent. We love how wooded and shaded the sites are. We camped in the middle of a hot sticky Tennessee summer and felt just fine in all of the shade. Right around the corner from the loop of historic Cade's Cove, we were able to explore the loop and all that it offers. We were also close to the gift shop and camp store so the kids could go grab an ice cream cone in the afternoon. We had a a great time here.
This is my favorite campground! It could be because I’ve been camping in Cades Cove every year since I was 5. I’m 30 now & married my husband at the missionary baptist church in cades cove in 2014. Many good memories have been made in this campground. It’s primitive $20 a night no hook ups large wooded sites. One loop generators are allowed & another loop they aren’t so that’s nice. It’s peaceful & very quiet. There’s a river that runs a long the outside of the campground. Good swimming holes. A store that sells food (the best ice cream), firewood & camping supplies. They also have bike & helmets for rent. They’re very strict about bear proofing your campsite. All my years camping there I’ve seen many bear walking through the campground. So it’s for your safety & the bears that you obey the rules. The rangers walk around frequently & make sure no ice chest or grills have been left out so before you leave your campsite make sure to pick those items up or they will get confiscated & you will get a little ticket. Again it’s all for your & the bears safety. The 11 mile loop is closed for vehicles on wed & sat mornings until 10:00 am so bikes can ride through. I highly recommend walking or riding your bike through early in the morning or in the afternoon. There is a halfway point to use the restroom & buy some souvenirs. Also there is a road called parsons branch most of the time it’s closed but we’ve been lucky a few times & it’s been open. Definitely need a suv or truck to drive down it bc you cross over water a few times. EXTREMELY PEACEFUL! All 3 times we’ve driven it we never saw anyone else. It’s a narrow road & you end up on the dragon in North Carolina so you’ll have a nice drive down the foothills parkway to get back. Also rich mountain road is beautiful to drive down in the fall. It will bring you back out in townsend.
Very busy in summer but very nice in winter.
We love camping here! We usually camp in the 3rd site when you enter at the ranger station. It is usually nice and quiet. Last yr we decided to try the out side loop across from the nature trail this site provided alot more excitement as someone fell on the nature trail. Then we had 3 unexpected visitors for dinner (mom an her 2 cubs). The next morning we saw a deer and her fawn across the street. Just love the nature and feeling of camp everyone is friendly. We can leave camp during the day and not worry about it. (Great spot to camp and walk the cove when closed to traffic!)
Better places to visit on the weekends. this place gets a lot of traffic. Lots of black bears in the summer, though!
Dog friendly area, but not dog friendly trail. This place gets a lot of traffic. It's beautiful, but there are better places to go on the weekends.
This is a great place for fall colors! The campground is large, but the sites are placed so it doesn’t feel crowded. There is no water or electric available, so fill your tank before you come. Cades Cove has a loop drive that is very popular for driving. It can sometimes have traffic jams. And pollution! But, if you are camping there you can get around the loop before the crowds. Great scenery & wildlife.
The campground is dog friendly, but be aware that once you are there there aren't any trails that dogs are allowed on. There are a ton of black bears in the area, and they view dogs as a threat and will approach you if they see your dogs.