The best HIKE IN camping near
Gruetli-Laager , TENNESSEE

354 Reviews25 Campgrounds

This map requires WebGL

Please update your web browser or enable WebGL to view the map.

Troubleshooting Info
EXPLORE
The Dyrt App

The #1 Camping App

Camp with confidence with the highest-ranked camping app for both iOS and Android. Search more than 1 million listings, reviews, and tips for campsites across the U.S.

Enter your phone number to get the app.

The Dyrt App The #1 Camping App
Most Recent Gruetli-Laager Camping Reviews
Absolutely amazing views

We stayed here for 3 nights in section C, was a great experience. Only complaint but not really a complaint, would be the shower/bathroom. Little out dated but works just fine! Hot water worked perfectly. Sites were a little close to eachother but that didn’t bother us any. The hiking was absolutely breathtaking. Tons to do. Gift shop and welcome center was very nice. I would most definitely come to this park again, going to start planning for next year!

Worth it.

Great park. Nicely maintained, friendly staff, spacious and spread out sites. We stayed in walk-in 19. It's a half mile from parking and the comfort building, and the trail is covered in tree routes, so wheeled items (coolers, wagons) may not do very well. But what a great place to get outside! No bugs in October. Did see some armadillos!

Once settled, go hike! The West Rim trail is manageable. Be careful with dogs, as parts of the trail have grated stairs, and dog feet don't do well on the grates. 

But the view are spectacular.

With more time, we would have done the waterfalls trails as well.

In all, excellent place. Will certainly go back.

Love this place

Bathrooms have hot showers and flushing toilets the trails and waterfalls are beautiful the sites are nice and private would definitely come here again absolutely wonderful place

Beautiful location

This campsite is large with multiple sites for tents, campers and RVs. Nice bath house and playground area. The hikes and waterfalls are gorgeous. Well maintained.

Great Campground

Amazing campground, with one of the best hikes around.

Good stay

Overall good place to visit. Some sites are squeezed too close together but there are great sites scattered all throughout the park. It’s a large park with 4 camp loops, hiking is good with the main waterfall worth the walk into the canyon. The park seems well maintained and clean, bath houses were clean and had spacious showers. Only reason I didn’t give a 5 star review is with luck of the draw your site may be a little crowded.

Awesome Waterfalls

 Rock Island State park is a great place to camp. The campground is large and the campsites are spacious and far enough apart that you feel secluded, even when it’s full. It’s heavily wooded, so you don’t feel like your neighbors on right on top of you. The sites are paved and have water and electric, no septic where I was, however and they have a dump station that was large enough for two people to use at the same time. There are so many things to do at the campground, or the park, you will not be bored. Rock Island has some of the best waterfalls in Tennessee, and you can get right up to some them, if you are brave enough to kayak close to them. They also have a swimming area, and sand volleyball. Great biking in the park also. The area has lots of little shops and antique stores, if you’re into that, and Calf Killer Brewery is a short drive, and I highly recommend visiting there. Overall, this is a great park to visit, and a great place to camp.

Bridgestone- Firestone, Virgin Falls

Bridgestone-Firestone-Virgin Falls WMA This WMA is the cream of the crop. I think it’s the largest WMA I’ve ever been to. I think we had the perfect camp spot. Nice and level, wooded and secluded, fire pit already constructed, plenty of firewood around. If you love primitive camping, this place is a goldmine. There’s no shortage of great camp sites too. Virgin Falls is nearby, however the trail was closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. There is also a store there, but it was also closed. I was here back in spring turkey season, and there were only a couple other hunters that were camping that I saw. During hunting season, you can only camp here if you are hunting, but it is always free. This is a very nice choice for free primitive camping.

Virgin Falls Pocket Wilderness - Gem of a Place

This is one of my favorite areas to hike and camp. There are three official camping areas: Cable Crossing, Martha’s Pretty Point, and at Virgin Falls. There are two ways to get to the Point: the main trail (white blaze) and the Upland Trail (blue blaze). The Upland trail is about 2.4 miles to the point, is mostly a wide gravel logging road, and is easy until you get to a creek crossing in the woods where it is a little confusing as to which direction to take. We actually got a little lost in the woods on the last trip because it was overgrown at that spot and just wasn’t very obvious. But we retraced our steps and figured it out. Campsites 4-7 are up on the point. 7 is the largest and most secluded. 6 is also very nice. 5 is right along the main trail, across from the point, and 4 is right at the point, which sounds nice, but day hikers walk right through the site to get to the overlook. Part of the creek runs right below the point, past the ladder on the trail back down to the main trail (upland trail is somewhat of a loop). But don’t count on water. I hiked it two weeks before I went back and camped it. It was running when I hiked it, 2 weeks later it was dry despite having rained for days. We tarped rainwater the first night and hiked the half mile down to the creek on the main trail the next day for water. Finding a good tree to hang the food was no problem here, and we had no close encounters with any wildlife. We did hear coyotes in the distance the first night, which was nice. 

Campsites 1-3 are at Cable Crossing**. Campsite #1 is the most secluded of the three, with a rock wall on one side which is nice. But it’s the least level of the sites. I don’t like it because of that. Site 2 is flat, but small. Site 3 is large and flat. We had 4 tents there easily. These sites are right along the main trail, so there’s a lot of traffic. Wood to burn is very scarce here. But being at the creek crossing, water isn’t a problem. Water filter is a necessity for camping in this little wilderness. Finding a good tree to hang food here was impossible. We did the best we could, but if something wanted the food, they were going to get it. It was hung pretty low. We had no scavenger activity. I think the likelihood of bears here is very small, but we always hang because it’s a good habit. The hike in to Cable Crossing from the parking lot is pretty easy. A little harder than the Upland trail to the point, but still pretty easy. It’s Just past the intersection of the main trail with the Trail up to the point where this area starts to get strenuous. At this point, I have only been as far In as Big Laurel Falls (I really love Big Laurel). The hike from Cable Crossing to Big Laurel is no joke. I’d call it moderately difficult. But I’ve heard it gets even harder past there. I’m going to day hike the rest of it soon. I’ve just had so much fun exploring the first 2.5 miles of this place, learning all I can about the first half of it. 

**Just on the other side of the cable crossing is an “unofficial” campsite. It’s not a designated site, but it gets a lot of use and I’ve seen Forestry employees interacting with folks camping there and it seemed fine/acceptable.

Beautiful Park. Great for remote tent camping

We stayed for 4 nights in walk in site 21.  It was bit interesting to get all our stuff to the site, and thank goodness we had 2 wagons and teens to help carry.  It was a great private site, allowing for a good size tent and 3 hammocks.  Easy access to the West Rim trail which was a terrific hike.  Waterfalls were dry, which was disappointing but the hike to them from the West Rim Trail was quite pretty.

Note that the Visitor Center had no wood left, having arrived on a Sunday.  We saw a sign for wood delivery and called Mac.  He was very accommodating, delivered wood within a couple of hours to us in the parking lot.  A great price!  Call Mac at 423-596-4805.

All in all we had a great experience.