Located eight miles from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, Elkmont Campground is the largest and busiest campground in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. At an elevation of 2,150 feet, the area enjoys a moderate climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers.
The Little River runs through the campground offering visitors the option to camp waterfront. Campers can enjoy high-quality backcountry fishing in the cool waters of the Little River and countless other streams and rivers that snake through the mountains.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hiker's paradise, with over 800 miles of maintained trails ranging from short, leg-stretchers to strenuous treks, with a number of those trails easily accessible from Elkmont Campground. The nearby and popular Laurel Falls Trail leads to a spectacular 80-ft. waterfall.
Hiking and fishing are not the only reasons for visiting the Smokies: Picnicking, wildlife viewing and auto touring are popular activities.
With around 1,500 bears living in the park, it's not uncommon for visitors to spot one. From the big animals like bears, deer, and elk, down to microscopic organisms, the Smokies are the most biologically-diverse area in the world's temperate zone. The park is a sanctuary for a magnificent array of animal and plant life, all of which is protected for future generations to enjoy.
The park also holds one of the best collections of log buildings in the eastern United States. Over 90 historic structures, including houses, barns, outbuildings, churches, schools and grist mills have been preserved or rehabilitated in the park.
Elkmont Campground has 200 tent / RV campsites with paved driveways, gravel tent pads, fire rings, and picnic tables. Although most sites will accommodate tents or RVs, extreme slope or length of driveway make certain sites more suitable for tents than RVs. Please check the descriptions and measurements of individual sites.
In addition to these tent / RV sites, Elkmont has 20 walk-in sites for tents. Campers on these beautiful wooded sites will have a short walk from their parking area to their tent pad.
Nine of Elkmont's campsites are wheelchair accessible ADA sites. These sites have wide concrete driveways, raised fire rings, and wheelchair accessible picnic tables. All of these sites are located near accessible restrooms. Three of the sites provide 5 amp electrical service for medical equipment.
Restrooms at Elkmont Campground have flush toilets, cold running water, and utility sinks. Potable water is available at spigots near each restroom; use of hoses is not allowed. Elkmont Campground does not have electric, water, or sewer hook-ups. RV campers are encouraged to use the dump station across from Sugarlands Visitor Center, as there is no dump station in the campground.
Elkmont is strictly an overnight campground; there are no day-use facilities. The nearest picnic area is Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area, west of Elkmont on Little River Road.
Due to its central location and variety of amenities, Elkmont Campground tends to be heavily used during the summer vacation months and in October. Sites along Little River are in particularly high demand. Even when Elkmont is full, campsites are often available at Cosby Campground, located at the northeast corner of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Generations of campers have returned to Elkmont year after year, drawn by the sounds of the river, the tranquility of the forest, and the variety of recreational activities in the Elkmont area. Little River and Jakes Creek run through the campground, offering easy access for fishing or cool summertime splashing. Trailheads for Little River Trail, Jakes Creek Trail, and Elkmont Nature Trail are located adjacent to the campground. Historic remnants of Little River Lumber Company's logging camp and old buildings from the Elkmont resort community offer campers a glimpse of life at Elkmont nearly a century ago.
Gatlinburg, one of the Smokies' most famous tourist towns, is located about nine miles from Elkmont and offers organized rafting trips, museums, restaurants, galleries, an aquarium, skiing and more.
ADA Access: N
Elkmont Campground has over 200 campsites with paved driveways, gravel tent pads, fire rings, and picnic tables. Due to its central location and variety of amenities, Elkmont Campground tends to be very busy in the summer and into the fall. Restrooms at Elkmont Campground have flush toilets, cold running water, and utility sinks. Potable water is available at spigots near each restroom.
A variety of hiking is available in the park. Outside of the park in nearby Gatlinburg, you can find rafting trips, museums, restaurants, and more!
Positioned closest to Gatlinburg, Elkmont Campground is one of the easiest campgrounds to navigate in when it comes to wider roads and more widespread campsites. I had seen someone else review this site and loved what they said so much I had to myself go and make it one of my overnights, and oh was I happy I did!
The Smoky Mountains are to big to really navigate all from one camp area. Roads are narrow and windy and on busy days you hardly can accomplish even a couple things of interest on your list. You find yourself having to backtrack each night if you commit to a stay in a single location. So for my midway point this campground made it a great stop to be central to the big visitor center and numerous hiking stops.
My site had a nice tent pad next to my picnic table and grill area. It was not the biggest of the sites at the location but plenty large enough for me, and not far from the restroom, which is a personal preference ( I don't like to wander around in the dark for long distances because of animals).
This site didn't have any of the bells and whistles, so without those it takes a lot to make something my favorite. What pushed me over the top with it? The cleanliness and the staff. Despite being one of the busiest campgrounds it was also very well maintained. Everything was in great condition from my table to the site itself, no stray weeds or anything.
Cell service wasn't great for me here, but then again in all the Smoky Mountains I cruised around with pretty much 1 bar or less. That would normally raise a little concern because I like to for safety drop a pin so people know where I am, but with the presence of park rangers I felt safe. They patrol all evening.
Sites are booked in advance through recreation.gov so make sure you book, during nice weather this place is very busy, even during the week.
Remember to lock your food in your car, this is bear country and they do not encourage you to entice the bears into camp!!
Good size spots for renting. The bathrooms are stocked with toilet paper only. The picnic spots are stocked better. The campground is beautiful and close to Gatlinburg while being peaceful and serene. The creek bubbling next to our site was enjoyable and while driving the park we saw a few bears!
Nice campground on the other side of the park from Cosby near the ghost town. Well maintained facilities
This is a nice campground. Everyone was friendly and helpful. We liked that there was a creek running along the side. Bathrooms were clean and in good repair. Being in the smokeys there is so much to see around this campground. They sell firewood and many of those last minute items often forgotten at home.
This is my number one place to go camping in the smokies. Every campsite is shaded by a canopy of trees that covers the entire campground. I love getting a place by the water, those are hard to come by. But even if you are not by the water you can still hear the water.
We go to Elkmont during firefly season. One of the only places you can see the synchronizing fireflies- they all go dark together for a spell then one of the lights up and they all go off. Sometimes it is so bright you can make out the individual logs and shrubs in the glen. The campground is perfectly nice, most sites are pretty close together. River swimming right there too :)
I loved coming here! We came in the middle of fall with all of the leaves in full bloom! The winding mountain roads, rivers and picture perfect views made this trip my all time favorite. The campground was nestled in the middle of the forest right off of a crystal clear river. This was a a great spot for pictures and for fishing small mouth bass right off your site. There were plenty of deer, turkey and even a black bear off there n the distance. Beware of leaving any food, even dog food out for the night, bears are not shy! This campground also offered primitive and electric sites for tent campers as well as rv sites. You do want to make reservations ahead of time, you can do this through reserve America or the website itself. We enjoyed our hikes during the day and relaxing by the fire at night. if you want to go to town Gatlinburg and pigeon forge are very close. You also can take a beautiful scenic drive through the Cherokee National Forest where there are Elk grazing in the open fields.
we had a great trip and a great birthday
Very clean, surrounded by beautiful sights like the river. The staff was so helpful and full of advice on where to hike and where to visit.