There are lots of activities for the kids. Campsites in the newer sections are very nice and worth the upgrade charges as you are not as crowded. The older part of the park is well maintained and nice, yet was designed and laid out in an era of smaller RV's so it is a little crowded. Bathhouses are very nice and well maintained. We stayed over the Thanksgiving Holiday and the park was full to capacity.
This camp ground was super clean and very well taken care of. The women on the camp ground was wonderful, we had gotten there after dark because of thanksgiving traffic and she waited up for us to get our site. The only reason I’m giving it a four star instead of five is because we like to tent camp and over the tent grounds there was a bright light that wouldn’t turn off. Definitely more of an RV place but still very nice.
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.
I had wanted to stay at this campground for several years, and I finally got the opportunity to do so. It looked inviting every time I passed by it. When I looked on the website, it showed tent sites, but most of the sites are for RVs. I was surprised to see that the best sites are along Jonathan Creek. These do not have water or electricity, but that didn’t matter to me. There are tent sites that have water and electricity, but they are behind the office, which is part of the main building. I am guessing that there are well over 100 RV sites. Most sites(if not all) have water, electricity, and sewer hookups. There are not many tangible amenities; there is no pool or playground, basketball court, etc. However, this campground is all about location. Not too far from the campground is Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Hemphill Bald(mountain and trail), the Cataloochee Divide Trail, and the natural beauty of the mountains. There is also Jonathan Creek, which is known for trout fishing. The tent sites along the creek are beautifully arranged in a line with enough space not to be crowded. Unfortunately, most of them do not have fire rings, but I found one at T5 that did have. I am guessing that the picnic tables at the entrance to the tent sites are for the tents since only one or two tent sites had picnic tables and it is close to the end of the season. My favorite part about the tent sites is that you can sit facing the creek and look at the mountains in the background, although you will see a few houses in the mountains. Another advantage of the tent sites by the creek is that you hear the creek all night long, which drowns out any road noise. This campground is privately owned and not part of a franchise. It is good to see that they still welcome tent campers.
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 first time I came here decades ago, I stayed in a tent. The second time, I stayed in one of the cabins. This time, it was a whole different experience. This campground has transformed, like many campgrounds, into more of an RV resort. Not having to walk to the bath house in the middle of the night was a welcome relief, but RV camping is not my favorite way to“camp.” Primarily a tent camper, I am not used to being shoulder length from my neighbor at the campground. However, this campground/RV resort is a great destination campground for RVers. It has all the amenities you could want—a swimming pool, basketball court, open pavilion; and some people were even playing corn hole under one of the pavilions. A great thing about this campground is that you get a sense of“community” here since some of the campers stay here for six months out of the year. Besides the aforementioned amenities, there are at least two areas for children to play that have swings, slides, etc., and there are horseshoe pits for older“children.” Trout fishing is a popular activity in this area, and with the adjacent creek being stocked on a regular basis, visitors often come away with some prize catches. I have seen more than one fisherman coming away with three or more trout. The campground is along Jonathan Creek, so if you are lucky enough to get a spot along the creek, the sounds are very relaxing. Where we were, we heard lots of road noise during the day, and since this area is a destination for bikers, we heard lots of motorcycles. Fortunately, staying in a camper, the road noise is somewhat lessened. Unless you are staying around the campsite all day, the noise shouldn’t bother you. After all, this area is a popular destination for lots of activities outside the boundaries of the campground. Some people go to“Wheels Through Time,” a nationally famous motorcycle museum, and some people just like driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is only five to six miles from the campground. Others enjoy going to see the elk at Cataloochee Valley or in Cherokee, or they might catch a sunset at Waterrock Knob. This is just a small sampling of things to do near the campground. Overall, the campground is a great“jumping off” destination and has lots of things to do for all ages. Although I prefer tent camping and a little more privacy when I camp, it is ideal for RVers.
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.
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!