This is my 2nd favorite campground ever! The sites are huge, the river running through is perfect for inter tubbing, good swimming areas, tons of hiking, & beautiful scenery. PEACEFUL!! My parents started bringing me camping here when I was 9 we’d come every year for a week. I’m 30 & married now so I drag my husband camping here ha I still tube on the river & hiking is the best. My favorite time to come is summer. I’ve camped there twice during the synchronized firefly show (definitely look it up if you haven’t heard of it). The campground closes from Nov-March but you can still go in & hike. March is a gorgeous time to go & there aren’t a lot of people camping around that time. It’s primitive so there aren’t any hook ups at all. There aren’t showers but they have many nice bathhouses set up that have toilets & sinks. Highly recommend!!
GSMNP is so huge, it is difficult to decide where in the park to stay. Elkmont is sort of centrally located and has trails from the campground (although we drove to other trailheads). This busy campground is huge with loops A-N. We stayed in Loop A and although our site did not back up to the creek, we could easily hear it. Good spacing between sites. Clean bathrooms with cold running water and a utility sink. No internet, showers or hookups but for $12.50/night (with 50% senior discount), you can’t beat the price! Firewood is available for purchase in the park and it was the best wood we’ve ever bought. Our two bundles had our fire going for well over four hours. Although the campground is huge and full, it was very quiet.
Elkmont Campground has over 200 campsites with paved driveways, gravel tent pads, fire rings, and picnic tables. Due to its central location and variety of amenities, Elkmont Campground tends to be very busy in the summer and into the fall. Restrooms at Elkmont Campground have flush toilets, cold running water, and utility sinks. Potable water is available at spigots near each restroom.
A variety of hiking is available in the park. Outside of the park in nearby Gatlinburg, you can find rafting trips, museums, restaurants, and more!
Beautiful camping, hiking, and incredible views and overlooks. My favorite time to camp or spend time in Elkmont is definitely the fall.
I’ve been camping ther since I was a kid. By far the most amazing campground around.
Beautiful campground, surrounded by nature. The most predominate sound is the river that runs the entire length of the campground. This is our favorite campground in the Smoky Mountains.
I've stayed at Elkmont many times. It's about 7 hours from my house, so know the miles are worth it. For those that can do without electricity and onsite water and sewer, this is the best campground in the Smokies. All others have a dump site in the campground. The closest to Elkmont to dump RV tanks is across from the Sugarlands Visitor Center almost 7 miles away. I wish Elkmont would remedy that, but it stays full most of the camping season as it is, so I doubt any upgrades are forthcoming. It's the only thing keeping me from giving it 5 stars.
That aside, this campground is our favorite. The Little River that flows through the campground is great. It's good for tubing. The campground store is well stocked most of the time. There aren't as many ranger led programs as there used to be, but the one's still there are wonderful.
The circus that happens during the firefly event is also worth putting up with. There is nothing like the display the fireflies put on usually the first 2 weeks in June. Keep in mind reservations for that week must be made pretty soon to the 6 month period the NP set up. Wait a month and you won't get those weeks.
Lastly the weather, although this area receives the 2nd most rainfall in the lower 48, is very cool in the dead of summer. Might get hot in the middle of the day on rare occasions (good time to dip into the aforementioned river that never gets too much above 40 degrees), the nights are usually cool enough to sit around a campfire.
The "month visited" down the menu would only give me one choice. July is the last visit we made, but any month its open is great. Again if you want the firefly weeks or leaf peeping fall weeks, make sure to reserve right at that 6 month window. Or you will have few choices if any.
This campsite is in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is one of the biggest and busiest.
Yay: this is a fairly typical big national park campground in many ways. There is a camp store with firewood (you are required to buy it from an authorized location!). Nice roomy campsites with a lot of plant cover letting you feel like you have a private area. You can hike some trail from right on site. Rangers have almost nightly programming for all ages.
Nay: given the traffic it is well maintained but can still be a little behind in restroom cleanliness. We’ve stayed here many times and how clean the campsite and bathrooms/facilities are can vary a lot. The staff are all excellent though and are happy to hop to it and solve any issues you may have with the facilities. Also bring tons of bug spray! No showers.
Surprise: cool little ghost town nearby for neat photos. Many sites are along an adorable creek (B-teens for example).
As the most visited national park by far, it’s not always easy to find peace in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. And Elkmont Campground -- the park’s largest at 220 campsites -- may not seem like the ideal place to try to find that peace, but somehow, we did.
We visited the Smokies in November, after the fall colors had peaked and long after summer travelers had crowded the trails and campgrounds. Sometimes, visiting during the off-season is all it takes to have an ideal national park experience.
Our campsite at Elkmont was huge! We had ample space for our tent and shade tent, which we set up over the provided picnic table. Our site backed up to the Little River, providing idyllic camping backdrop noise. The campground provided basic amenities like running water and flush toilets.
The only downside to our time in the Smokies was the rain. During our five days there, it rained almost every day. We attempted a three-day hike along the AT, but decided to come back after two. We skipped the park’s highest point at Clingman’s Dome, because we never had a clear day.
But we managed to enjoy our time in plenty of other ways. We enjoyed our time in Cades Cove and Abrams Falls with almost no other visitors, and we loved hiking to Ramsay Cascades and Grotto Falls, two fine misty-day activities.
You can read much more about our five days in the park on our blog: Switchback Kids (Great Smoky Mountains)
Our stay at Elkmont was great, a pretty traditional campground in the park, kind of pricey but great location. Make sure to book ahead or show up real early in the summertime!