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This is one of my favorite campgrounds. Family and friends try to go several times a year. Due to its popularity, make sure you make reservations n advance.
Paved roads and sites. Both 30 and 50 amp service along with water. There is a dump station as you exit the camping area.
Park is well maintained, bathhouses are clean with LOTS of hot water. Water pressure is not as good as it used to be. WIFI can be spotty to weak.
We stopped at this site on a spur of the moment trip and we absolutely love it. The owners are very friendly and showed us the best lot to pick. Prices are fair and the amenities were nice and clean. We stayed on the lot near the running stream with a waterfall and had a nice time sleeping to the sound of water. We highly recommend this site if you plan on doing any traveling to Boone or the surrounding area and don’t want to deal with swarms of other people.
Access: I've read a lot about the road leading into this campground/trailhead area. There are two different ways to access it from what I can tell. I came in from the north (despite coming from I-40). Googlemaps took me all the way up Hwy 181 to Gingercake Rd, in the Gingercake residential neighborhood. From there, it is about 7 miles to the Table Rock Picnic Area. Approximately 5 miles of that is compacted gravel/dirt road. I did this in a Honda Accord. You DO NOT need an SUV or 4wd to do this route. You do need patience however. There are some spots where rocks are sticking up and if you don't have tires designed for SUV's, you could risk a puncture. There are some potholes to dodge and some washed out areas. All of this can easily be navigated. I saw a Prius that had made it up. Again, I did this with an Accord with zero issues. The last two miles is a relatively steep paved road. The alternative route up (which you pass on the way to how I went) is about 13 miles off of Hwy 181. I think this is the way that many people go and review that it is very rough. It brings you up to the Picnic Area from the south. The two ways merge just before the paved portion.
I should note that there are campsites all the way up once you hit the dirt portion of the road. Several of those campsites would be good options getting to the northern portion of the gorge.
At the Picnic Area, there is plenty of parking, a bathroom and well, a picnic area with tables and grills. To the right is the trail to Table Rock and beyond up to Hawksbill. There are no campsites, at least not to the point where you go up to Table Rock. To the left is the picnic area and then the campsite area. I would estimate there are at least ten spots where a tent could be pitched with an accompanying fire ring (made of rocks). This is on the ridge heading up to The Chimneys. I was there in winter and there were still at least four sites taken, so in summer I imagine you would have any privacy for what that's worth.
I stayed at the site further up on the right (they aren't numbered). This was the last spot before you really hit the trail (which by the way is immediate world-class views. I don't know if it was just in my head or not, but the winds were extremely high that night and it felt like some of the sites a little way down the hill closer to the parking lot (maybe 100 yards) had less wind. Not sure if that was real or not, but you may consider that a lower spot. All of the sites are between 100-400 yards from the parking lot. So no need if you decide to bring more than you might need.
Overall, can't recommend this location enough. Bring what you need though. There are not facilities and the nearest anything is essentially an hour away in Morganton.
At milepost 339 on the Blue Ridge Parkway is another typical National Park Service campground. At this one, there was someone to greet and check us in at 4 pm, which was welcome especially as it was mere days before the campground closed for the season. We did not make reservations for a weekday so late in the season, but I would recommend you do so at peak times. There are three loops in this campground: one for RVs (but no hookups), and two for tents/vans. We drove around the tent/van loop, which was much more sparsely occupied, but not all of the pads were level. Many of the pads were meant to be shared with multiple campsites, making them more optimal for tent campers, but not out of the question for our van. We settled into Site 22 in the A (RV) loop, which was a pull-in side pad(making it easy in and out).
Restrooms are typical of what I’ve come to expect in NPS campgrounds– functional but not luxurious. Three stalls plus what looked to have once been a fourth. Two sinks but the water was sparse in one and dripped from the other. No showers but there was a soap dispenser, garbage receptacle, and lights, things not always found in NPS campground bathrooms!
The biggest draw to this campground is the 2.5-mile loop hike to Crabtree Falls. I recommend you hike in a clockwise direction, starting from the B loop and ending in the A loop. This leaves the bulk of the strenuous climbing for the end, rather than descending sharply at the beginning. The waterfall was beautiful, likely made more so due to recent rains.
Well, one mile above the rest. Such a sight to see. Check your tour cd to verify it works before driving away from the gate. It is helpful as you drive through and not all function correctly. Plenty of hiking trails but some close in the winter months. Picnic and play areas. Educational spots for the little ones. Breathtaking views.
One of these days, A 0 stars rating is critical to the overall scoring process. Honey Bear should be thankful for the scoring process because the single star at least gives some advantage to the overall score. Let me begin by saying that the pictures do not match the grounds. Well, one of them may match hit the rest are seriously filtered. Turning into the grounds from the main road, there is a series of make-shift goat pens made from old wooden pallets. Each standing on its end and side-by-side attached however but not well enough for the one escape artist who is actually one of the better sites you will enjoy during your stay! To the right, an empty (seemingly also abandoned) commercial building that houses empty office locations. The old sign team still stands with no signage but one fluorescent bulb still burns at night. Further ahead, on the left are two open roll off dumpsters for trash. If that is not cause for rodents and other vermin, nothing is. Beyond those are travel trailers that others are being stored. The office is nothing near as clean as you are going to expect. The coffee house is closed but the only way you will know that is if you follow them on Facebook. Hope you have Facebook. The bathhouse and laundry facilities are also closed. We reserved a double site. One hour prior to arrival, we received a call regarding being transferred to a different site. When we arrived to the site, it was a small site and not what we paid for. I spoke to Marsha and indicated that we wanted a different location. We were supposed to be in B section however due to below freezing temperatures, we were moved to A section where they have a few frost free water connections. We paid and we are here! Let's make the best of it. Once set up and stabilized, we plugged i to the power connection which shorted out our power cord and our unit receptacle. Because she has no maintenance personnel, I had to test the power supply myself which determined that all three legs were hot. Serious problem especially when the temperature was 29°. I called to let her know what was going on and she did not have a solution. Our options were dependent on whether or not the grounds keeper was still on site. It is now after 8:00 pm. On Sunday. We had enough battery power for basic functions and enough gas for heat so we did it old school. Monday, we headed straight to a dealer to purchase a new cord as well as the receptacle. I called at 12:02 pm to verify if the supply had been repaired but was told that she was not at the office yet because she does not come in until noon and was unsure of the grounds keeper was there. I said it is after noon but no response given. It was after 1:00 pm before the supply connection was replaced and once we had our work completed, we were back in business. I hope you know some handyman basics because you are going to need them. Not once did she follow up to make sure our stay was going better. Not once did she offer to make good on anything. I spent my first two days of vacation working because Marsha does not work at all when it comes to maintaining the grounds, water, power and such. I will be furthering this with appropriate sites, social media outlets and local bureaus/chambers.
I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS LOCATION!
I loved the area we stayed at in Grandfather Mountain Campground. I've been multiple times throughout the summers and have always enjoyed staying at one of the campsites right by the river. The campsite is always clean and friendly staff are there ready to answer questions on where to hike, eat and about the wildlife that's in this area of Western North Carolina. If you're lucky enough to catch one of the beautiful sunsets, I would recommend sitting in the grassy field (also on option to camp there) and take in the mountains laced with purples and pinks as the sun sets. And of course you'll have to hike grandfather mountain and walk across the swinging bridge. I finally went this last trip and was not disappointed! There is an intense hike that included climbing up latters and leads to beautiful views!
This campground is also close to Boone, NC. It is a cute little town that has a sweet downtown area to walk around in and grab a beer. If you like breakfast food I would highly recommend trying Melanie's. There food is to die for, and also very earth conscious.
As far as campgrounds go , it wasn't bad . Just something is it's a self service check in which I didn't know , and when I asked for help one of the camp host wasn't vary helpful but since I had a reservation I just needed to go to the site( which was not posted ) . Our neighbors had a generator going ( which is posted that it's prohibited) which was on for the 1st day before someone finally told them to turn it off . Our site was beautiful and overlooked the lake , but you couldn't get to the water from our site , there was about a 6 ft cliff so for kayaking you have to go down the road from the campground and pay $2.00 for a day pass . It's not a bad place to stay just don't know if I'll ever go back .