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- beautiful and scenic
- Near great trails
- lots of wildlife - saw a bear!
- clean and quiet campground
- camp store nearby
- easy enough to get to with an RV
- reserved same day
- campsites are kind of close to each other
- no dogs allowed on trails (I know that’s pretty common for national parks, but it’s still something we look for)
Non generator site. Beautiful
My wife and I went for our 5th anniversary. The campground is great and within a mile or 2 of a lot of trail heads in the Smokies. It was beautiful in October, but if you go in peak season I would recommend staying in the national park due to the insane amounts of traffic getting into Gatlinburg.
Pretty clean bathrooms. Easy to find sites. PLENTY of rangers. Heads up: if you have a cooler or water jug it needs to be in your car while you’re sleeping or away from the CG. Nothing food or prep related can be left unattended. I have a large Pelican bear resistant cooler that lives on my hitch rack. It’s locked to my car frame, ratcheted down to both sides of the rack and locked shut. Upon telling the ranger it did not fit in my car, he inspected it, said “mm it seems rugged enough” and let us be. Would stay again for sure.
The campground itself is nice. Great location off of newfound gap road, with tent sites along a rushing creek. Large sites, although not very private. Flush toilets and running water, but no showers. The office staff was friendly. A few trails start from the campground with plenty more a quick drive away.
My arrival left a bad taste in my mouth. Long story short, my reserved site had equipment set up when I arrived after hours (8pm) and a call to the ranger gave me three options: move that person’s tent, take someone else’s reserved spot (campground was full) or leave and go to another campground. I was told there was no ranger or camp host to assist. I grabbed a reserved spot and luckily no one showed up. The next morning, I asked the office if I could just keep my new spot, rather than set up everything again and was told that I could not. However, the office told me that the person on my spot should not be there, but they did nothing to move him. I had to wait until he left on his own so I could move my stuff, wasting a lot of the morning.
This was my fifth trip to the Smokies this year, and it is obvious that the most visited national park is also the most understaffed. Very little ranger presence and consequently plenty of disregard for the rules, especially after 5pm.