About Elkmont Group Campground
Situated in the stunning Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this site offers an ideal setting for group camping excursions and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Natural Features: Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World-renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, Great Smoky Mountains is Americas most visited national park. At 2,150 feet elevation, Elkmont Group Camp provides a moderate climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers. Great Smoky Mountains National Park preserves a rich cultural history of Southern Appalachia. From the prehistoric Paleo Indians to early 19th-century European settlements, the park strives to protect the historic structures, landscapes and artifacts that tell the stories of the people who once called these mountains home. Elkmont is also known for its historical and cultural significance as a former logging community and summer resort getaway. Recreation: Visitors can enjoy high-quality backcountry fishing in the cool waters of the nearby Little River and countless other streams and rivers that snake through the mountains, with trout available in abundance. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hikers paradise, with over 800 miles of maintained trails ranging from short leg-stretchers to strenuous treks, with a number of those trails easily accessible from Elkmont Campground, including the popular Laurel Falls Trail, which leads to spectacular 80-ft. waterfall. The Elkmont, Little River and James Creek Trails are also accessible. Hiking and fishing are not the only reasons for visiting the Smokies: Picnicking, wildlife viewing and auto touring are popular activities. With around 1,500 bears living in the park, its not uncommon for a visitor to spot one. From the big animals like bears, deer, and elk, down to microscopic organisms, the Smokies have the most biological diversity of any area in the worlds temperate zone. The park is a sanctuary for a magnificent array of animal and plant life, all of which is protected for future generations to enjoy. The park also holds one of the best collections of log buildings in the eastern United States. Over 90 historic structures, including houses, barns, outbuildings, churches, schools and grist mills, have been preserved or rehabilitated in the park. Facilities: Elkmont Group Camp offers four tent-only sites, accommodating anywhere from 15-30 guests per site. Modern amenities like flush toilets and drinking water make for a comfortable outdoor experience. Each site has picnic tables and fire rings with grills, creating the perfect atmosphere for family meals or late night smores. The campsite provides easy access to hiking trails, historical buildings, horseback riding trails and waterfalls. Elkmont Campground tends to book up during peak months but additional camping is offered nearby at the Cosby Campground and Cosby Group Camp. Nearby Attractions: Gatlinburg, one of the Smokies famous tourist towns, is located about 9 miles from the site, offering organized rafting trips, museums, restaurants, galleries, an aquarium, skiing and more. ACTIVITIES Historic & Cultural Site: Historic Sites Interpretive Programs Fishing Hiking Visitor Center: Ranger Station Wildlife Viewing Day Use Area: Amphitheater
National Park Service
Elkmont Group Campground is located in Tennessee
From Cherokee, NC: Take Newfound Gap Road (aka U.S. 441) North through the park into Tennessee. Turn left at Sugarlands Visitor Center. Follow Little River Road approx. 4.5 miles. Turn left at the Elkmont Campground sign and proceed 1.5 miles to the campground office. From Gatlinburg, TN: Take Newfound Gap Road (aka U.S. 441) South into the Park. (If coming from Pigeon Forge, take the Bypass into the park.) Turn a right at Sugarlands Visitor Center. Proceed 4.5 miles to the Elkmont entrance and turn left at the Elkmont Campground sign. Go 1.5 miles to the campground office.
5 Reviews of Elkmont Group Campground
We have stayed at Elkmont on several occasions. It is operated by the National Park Service. Amenities are limited but the restrooms and camp store are very good. You can run a generator during the day to charge batteries but not at night. The river is amazing and there are hiking trails there. Synchronous Fireflys in late May / Early June. Wonderful campground. Highly recommended. You can reserve 6 months in advance. Fills up quickly in the summer.
I stayed at Elkmont on the regular camping side designed for smaller families, solo travelers and such, but while there I wanted to see just what the big differences were in the solo camp and the group camp. I was so impressed with the amenities, the feel and the layout of the camp I was staying at, and it quickly became one of my favorite campgrounds in the Smoky Mountains.
The group site did not disappoint! Same vibe just bigger spaces. The spaces are about 3 times as large as the single sites and are available for larger groups of around 20 people. You can set up multiple tents int his space or one of those mega tents. While there are not a lot of these sites available, they are sectioned off from the other sites and perfect for groups. I could see this being really fun for a trip with friends.
The tree coverage in this area is great for keeping the early morning rays from beaming in so strongly and makes for a great peaceful feel when there is a slight breeze blowing through.
I loved the amenities of the campground which included well maintained bathhouses that were large and supplied showers, flush toilets and warm water which was great, especially considering it can be a bit chilly in the mornings in the mountains.
Also, this site was located very close to one of the many visitor stops which had an interpretive center, a National Park Information Video, interpretive programs for all ages and of course hiking.
- Book in advance, this location stays booked more than any others I found!!
- Stop in town to get supplies, there are no stores in the campground itself which offer all the things you need.
- Remember to use common sense when it comes to animals. There are bears in this area so keep all food items locked away.
Elkmont is a big busy campground in the Smokies. This is the group site for when you have at least 20 people in your group. You still have access to all the amenities and ranger programs in the main campground, but this one gives you some privacy. You must reserve in advance. Great for family reunions, work retreats, scouts, etc.
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.
Elkmont used to be a small town within the limits of the national park. The residents tried to hold out before being kicked out of their homes. When I went., there were signs saying "Save Elkmont". It was kind of creepy, but cool. But, the campground is nice and big and close to a lot of awesome hikes in the park. It's also a little farther in than other campgrounds so ot feels a little more wild.
First to Review
Went here on a work retreat. Modern facilities made roughing it easier for the first-time campers. Close to all the tours and touristy things in Gatlinsburg, also good for a diverse group. Very wooded, small river on site, also some trailheads here. I’d recommend this for any group. Saw a bear!!