The positive: Great and friendly staff, clean facilities. There was an otter living near our site. Close to park entrance.
The negative: Photos of tent sites along the Little Pigeon River are misleading as can be. Being in Pigeon Forge I knew not to expect complete solitude but this was over the top nonsense. When the noise of the amusement parks and traffic dies down you get about an hour of peace before the food warehouse on the other side (about 50 yds) starts loading trucks non stop through the night. We were awakened every night at 1 am or later to the sounds of tractor trailers backing up. The came the loud bangs of the trucks actually being loaded. We left a night early and drove halfway home because we couldn’t tolerate it any more. Do not stay here ever if you actually like real camping.
Visited for just one night in mid-August and absolutely loved it. Stayed at T1, which you can’t pull your car up to, but we were able to park a couple hundred feet away. The views are incredible, we were literally in the clouds. I highly recommend this spot. Also lots of butterflies in the area if that’s your thing 🦋
We have stayed here twice, once in May 2019 and October 2019. It is a beautiful campground that is extremely well kept and decorated. The sites are paved and well sized. We love how it is on the trolley line in Gatlinburg and a short ride into town. Best location for RV in Gatlinburg for sure. The only reason I’m giving it 4 stars is the booking has to be done via phone and both times we stayed they’ve had a minimum night stay requirement.
We didn’t have reservations and got to the area later than planned, so we were lucky to get the last spot at this campground. The view of the river here is amazing. We camped right on the edge of the river and the sound of it rushing was so peaceful.
The facilities were immaculate. We didn’t use the laundry room or the game room but as far as I could tell they were also very clean.
The only drawbacks are how close the sites are to the edge of the river. There was very little space between the fire ring and the river’s edge; so little we couldn’t walk all the way around the fire ring. Also, some sites have a small fire rings that leave a lot to be desired. It would have also been nice to have access to a permanent grill.
This campground is about views. It doesn’t have water or electric hookups. It doesn’t have sewer hookups. It doesn’t have a swimming pool, playground equipment, an entertainment pavilion, or any of the other things many campgrounds and RV resorts have. The biggest attraction for Mile High Campgound is the view, but I guess I should say views(plural). The campground is adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but there is a long approach road to lessen any traffic noise—not that there would be any anyway. It seems to be situated on a ridge, so it offers different views in several directions. The host was nice and suggested that I pick a site before paying. I camped during the week and when it was cold, so I had a good choice of sites. She highlighted the available ones with the best views, and it was difficult to decide which one I liked best. I chose one with a view of a sunset rather than one with a sunrise, knowing I might not get up early enough to catch the sun rise. You can expect it to be at least ten degrees(or more) colder than down in the valleys. There is a reason it is called“Mile High.” This is a primitive campground, and there are no hookups that I know of. There is, however, a bath house with flush toilets and showers. The bath house is a bit rustic, but it serves the purpose. Some people might not like that it has a concrete floor and just one stand up sink, but again, it serves its purpose. There are also“toilet facilities” at opposite ends of the campground since it is a long, narrow campground. Since I forgot to take any firewood, I bought a bundle of kindling for$5.00. I knew I wouldn’t have a long fire anyway. As I mentioned earlier, there are no modern amenities like a swimming pool, playground, or recreation hall. Did I mention that this campground is all about the views? There is a platform for viewing the sunsets close to the camp office. The campground is within a short driving distance of several waterfalls, places to view elk, Harrah’s casino, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so sticking around the campground all day is not something you probably want to do. The towns of Maggie Valley and Cherokee are close, so if you like shopping, those towns have several quaint shops and other attractions. Overall, this campground is a pleasant campground to stay in because of the peace and quiet and the beauty.
Smokemont Campground-Blue Ridge Parkway, Cherokee, NC-
-site 25($25 nightly).
Nestled in the Great Smokey Mountain National Park at 2200 feet, close to crystal clear mountain streams, great hiking, and right down the Ridgeway from Clingman’s Dome.
There are far too many outdoor activities to list that are a short drive away. So the location is prime.
(Disclaimer: My perspective comes from a tent camper that prefers privacy and solitude…so take my ramblings with a grain of salt…and I ordinarily fly by the seat of my pants without reservations).
Even during the week in late October, there were only four available sites left right near the entrance. Campground Rangers in the office and walking the grounds were very friendly and helpful. All sites are line of sight…and though at capacity, campers were politely quiet.
Tent sites have a gravel pad that you must utilize…firepit and picnic table. An all non-electric, non-generator campground. You won’t get cell service either…you must travel to the nearby visitor center for that convenience.
Bathrooms are modern, no showers.
Water is available throughout the campground.
The park’s visitor center, roughly a mile down the road usually have local herd of elk grazing in the adjacent fields where tourist stop to take photos. A few gobblers joined the elk during my visit. Warning signs and Rangers on foot, keep photographers from encroaching onto the fields…but the visitor center parking lot is usually filled and vehicles are parked along both side of the roadway.
Clingman’s Dome is a highlight. Realize that though you get to drive most of the way up the mountain, you must still walk from the parking lot to the summit and up the ramp for the birds eye 360 view.(**Pit latrines are in the parking lot only…not in the tiny visitor center, nor at the summit) Note: while the walkway to the summit is paved, it has a fairly steep pitch. Tip: earlier in the day has fewer clouds, afternoon tends to see more view-obscuring cloud cover. The wind is strong and several degrees cooler than the parking lot.
Final Thoughts: Smokemont Campground is a quiet, comfortable, conveniently located campground for short stays in a wonderful setting…but realize it is extremely popular and fills up nightly.
This is the second time I have been to Kephart Prong Shelter. The first time was over thirty years ago, and it seemed dreary. This time, however, was a much better experience. To stay here, you have to get a permit from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park since it is within the park boundaries. To get to the shelter, you have to hike two miles starting from Hwy. 441 through the national park between Cherokee and Gatlinburg. The trail is not as steep as some trails, but it is rocky! It is so rocky that my trail shoes didn't quite seem adequate… because the trail was rocky. It was rocky all the way after the first of four foot bridges. After the first footbridge it became"rockier." Large rocks, small rocks, medium sized rocks. It was rocky. Did I mention that the trail was rocky? BTW, I finally decided to take a break at the fourth foot bridge because my feet hurt from the rocky trail. Once you get to the shelter, the trail continues up to the Appalachian Trail. In my opinion, the main reasons for staying at this shelter are(1) that it is on the way to the AT, or(2) you just want to get into the woods for a night. The“bathroom” is a short trek into the woods to the seventh big tree on the left. You have to hoist your food up at night via one of two cable systems. Otherwise, you risk of your food being taken by mice/rats, bears, or other critters. The only water source is from the creek, which is a pleasant sound at night while you’re sleeping. Make sure to take a good inflatable pad. You can take a closed cell foam pad, but they don’t provide a whole lot of cushion on a wood platform. Overall, Kephart Trail shelter is good for a night’s sleep, but I have been to better shelters.
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.
Tucked away in quiet town of Townsend TN on Hwy 73, the campground has tent sites and RV hookups. There are toilets and a shower for each restroom. The restrooms were clean and plenty of hot water. It is just off the main hwy and there is plenty of traffic noises, but that dies down at night and you wake up to the birds chirping and the sound of the nearby stream. Staff is friendly. Had an enjoyable stay
I truly love this campground. It is for campers who want to get back to the basics. No electricity, no water hookup at the sites, and no sites that accommodate large campers or trailers. Instead, the campground offers beautiful scenery, lovely trails, and peace and quiet. If you’re not a “glamper” and you want to get away from it all in a rustic, peaceful atmosphere, then this is the place for you.
*FYI: This is in a dry country. My wife was disappointed.
The tent sites here are nice, clean and tucked away from the general RV spots, and the showers aren't bad as long as a couple daddy long legs in the corners don't freak you out.
Here's the downside: just across the lake is the "town" of Lake Santeetlah, which consists of a bunch of vacation homes for a bunch of loud, rich assholes who love to blare their music over their massive, outdoor sound systems, and somehow manage to scream sing even louder. Listen, Karen and Larry, I really don't need to hear your awful, off-key rendition of "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" at 11pm on a Monday. Also, thanks for ruining "Ain't No Mountain High Enough".
This campground is clean and in a good location to the main road but the sites are very small. We could not use our awning due to being so close to the camper next to us. If you have a small camper you should be ok but larger ones with slideouts may have problems.
This small campground is conveniently located close to the casino in Cherokee, the town of Cherokee, and along Soco Creek. It is within the Qualla boundary of the Cherokee Reservation. This is the second time I have stayed at this campground, and it has changed a little since the first time. There are more cabins and RV sites than I remember from my first visit. It is still a quiet and peaceful little campground. If you enjoy trout fishing, this is an ideal place for it. The creek is stocked on a regular basis. The host was nice and very helpful. There is a store where you can get basic camping supplies. Some of the tent sites have raised gravel pads, and some are just gravel. Large groups, such as Scouts or church groups, have the option of staying in their bunkhouses. It appeared to me that all of the sites have water and electricity, if I am not mistaken. For RVs, there is a mixture of back-in and pull-through sites. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of privacy since the sites are relatively close, but you get a sense of community here. I spoke to an elderly couple who were very friendly. At night, the creek pretty much drowns out the sounds from the road. Because of the location of this campground, you will find lots of things to do. If you are not into casinos, there is the whole Cherokee Indian culture to explore with the museum, the outdoor drama(during the summer), the Oconaluftee Indian Village, and more. Thousands of people come to Cherokee every year to see the elk, which most times can be found close to the Oconaluftee Visitors Center. There is also the Mountain Farm Museum and Mingus Mill. There is just so much to see and do close to this campground. Overall, this is a great little campground, and I would not hesitate to recommend it.
This campground could be amazing, IF they had more than 2 showers! There are only 2 bathhouses in the campground, with only one shower in each women’s and one in each men’s room. Also, there’s only two toilets in each women’s room. This is a real problem when the campground is full, plus a two night minimum was required when I stayed. So if you are not in an rv with a restroom/shower, keep in mind the bathhouse situation.
The campground is right on the lake, and it is beautiful! I stayed in tent site #62, it is the first site when you enter the campground only area. I was in a rooftop tent, so wasn’t able to park on the tent pad, but was able to make it work. The first sites are pretty close together, with not much privacy from your neighbors. There were other sites farther down that looked more spacious. We did not have electricity r water hookups, but there was a water spout nearby. The tent pad was pretty small, and was taken up by a giant concrete picnic table that was too small for an adult to sit at. You would need a small done tent for this one. The site text to us had a couple of some tents and put in on the pad and one on a flat spot in the grass and it worked for them.
The rv sites with hookups are all higher on the hill, but I believe they pretty much all had like views. The sites weren’t as spacious as I would like.
The campground has a swimming area, playground, boat launch, paved walking trails, very popular area for bike riding (if you like hills), fishing, basketball courts, picnic pavilion, etc.
There’s a camp store with essentials, including ice and firewood. The lady working in there was exceptionally nice and friendly!
The campground is conveniently located just a couple miles from the exit, and very close to West Knoxville. I really would love to see some updates on this potential gem!
I was a little taken back when we first arrived at this campground because of how many people lived here long-term. There were clearly people who had been here for a very long time, even having pole barns put up over there rigs. I was slightly turned off by it because it felt like we were pulling in to a trailer park to camp (nothing wrong with trailer parks at all, just didn’t want to camp at one). We were only there for one night, but my views of the place quickly changed. Everyone here was so friendly and nice, and there is really good community here. The ground are decently taken care of aside from the long-term residents. The pool seems to be clean and the playground was fun for the little ones.
This campground is easy access from I-75.
Location is convenient but definitely more suited for campers than tents. Highway traffic noise (semis, engine braking) is LOUD…might be ok in a camper but not in a tent. Sites are small, close together and mostly gravel. Facilities are nice and clean.
Nice place with 10 50 amp pull through sites and a few back in 30 amp used by monthly renters that make you feel welcome.
This is a nice Campground but most all sites are close together and on a hillside. Sites were mostly level requiring very little adjustment of RV. Pool was very nice as well as playground. We felt as if the the sites were not equal to what you paid for them (priced a little high) as compared to other campgrounds in the area. Probably will not return.