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Camped here with a large group spread over two campsites. We pitched tents right by the water which was awesome. It was quiet, but there wasn't much separation between campsites and often found other campers just people-watching the entire trip.
With Gatlinburg nearby, and the overall size of the campgrounds, it felt very touristy and not like a typical camping trip. While we had fun, we probably would not return for these two reasons.
Elkmont is a 40 minute drive from Clingman's Dome, which was, as one of my friends put it "the greatest experience i've had camping, ever". Great trails to be found all over the place, too.
No cell service available, which was also great, if you care about that.
I love this place, no matter if we are tent camping or trying to fit our camper into the spots. Yes the spots are a bit tight but it is great place to camp. They updated the campground store and now have a huge selection of items. If you ever get a chance to go for the night hike don't pass it up. The stars are amazing out in the fields at night. One thing to do is make sure you keep your campsite clear as wildlife is all over the place. Yes bears will walk through camp.
For a camping spot in the heart of the thicket, this was great! I had a spot right on the river and it was always quiet - even being right next to the hotel. The trolley comes right to the park and there is also walking paths to nearly everything you need if you would rather do that. My kid loved it too because he was able to play without worrying too much. Everyone was friendly and we had a blast.