Standard (tent/RV)
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Cosby Campground

Tucked in the mountains under a canopy of cool shade, this campground creates a peaceful and secluded environment for visitors, offering the best that the Great Smoky Mountains National park has to offer.

More than 100 campsites are available at Cosby TN Campgrounds on a first-come, first-served basis and 26 campsites are available for advanced reservations. All campsites accommodate tents and, even when all reservation sites are booked, tent campers are likely to find a great site anytime except Memorial Day, July Fourth and Labor Day weekends. RV sites are less common and reservations are recommended on busy weekends. Call (423) 487-2683 to check availability. This campground is usually quieter and without the hustle and bustle of the busier campgrounds. Come and give this campground a try!

Natural Features:

World-renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian culture, Great Smoky Mountains is Americas most visited national park.

At 2,460 feet, Cosby Campground provides a moderate climate, characterized by mild winters and hot, humid summers.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park preserves a rich cultural history of Southern Appalachia. From the prehistoric Paleo Indians to the early 19th century European settlers, the park strives to protect the historic structures, landscapes and artifacts that tell the stories of the people who once called these mountains home.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hikers 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 Cosby Campground, including the Appalachian Trail, just three miles away via the Lower Gap Trail.

Hiking is not the only reason for visiting the Smokies: Fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing and auto touring are popular activities.

Campers can enjoy high-quality backcountry fishing in the cool waters of the countless streams and rivers that snake through the mountains, with trout available in abundance.

Wildlife viewing is a popular pastime, and with around 1,500 bears living in the park, its not uncommon for visitors to spot one. 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.


Cosby Campground provides campers with a secluded environment for traditional camping. Though some RV sites are available, Cosby is mostly a tent campground, with plenty of shade and tent pads at each site, along with fire rings, grills and tables, perfect for family meals and late night smores.

The site offers modern amenities like flush toilets and drinking water. Although 26 sites are reservable, an additional 131 sites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Nearby Attractions:

Cosby, Tennessee, located about five miles from the campground, offers convenience stores and fuel.

Gatlinburg, a one of the Smokies famous tourist towns, is located about 20 miles from the site, offering visitors tours, organized rafting trips, museums, restaurants, galleries, an aquarium, skiing and more.


Historic & Cultural Site: Historic Sites



Horseback Riding

Visitor Center: Ranger Station

Wildlife Viewing

Day Use Area: Amphitheater

National Park Service
Drive In
Walk In
Hike In
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
No Firewood Available
No Market
Pets Allowed
No Phone Service
Picnic Table
Sanitary Dump
No Sewer Hookups
No Showers
Trash Available
No Water Hookups
No WiFi
Cosby Campground is located in Tennessee
35.7533 N
-83.2086 W
Get Directions
From Cosby, TN, proceed south on TN 32 about 1.5 miles south of the junction with US 321. Turn right at Cosby sign. Campground is another 2 miles.
45 Reviews of Cosby Campground
Wooded Wonderland

We had an great time. Several hiking trail heads start in the campground. The AT is also just a short walk from the campgrounds. Beautiful trees and wildlife! We met a bear. Would be 5 stars except for how far it is from Gatlinburg and the main areas of the National Park

Wooded Wonderland

We had an great time. Several hiking trail heads start in the campground. The AT is also just a short walk from the campgrounds. Beautiful trees and wildlife! We met a bear. Would be 5 stars except for how far it is from Gatlinburg and the main areas of the National Park

Simple Pleasures

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.

Quiet side of the Smokies

This is our favorite campground in the Smokies, we go here often.  FYI there are NO showers at campgrounds in the GSMNP.  There aren't any groceries stores near by so have what you need before.  There are a few small stores near the entrance.  There are way fewer tourist on the east side of GSMNP.  Chataloochee Valley is nice day trip to see all the Elk and historical buildings also really nice hiking.

Nice campground

Nice and peaceful as this campground is very private. In a beautiful spot on the she of the smoky mountains. Bring extra water and bug spray!

Tenting in the Smoky’s

Cosby was a great campground. Sites did not seem too close with all the trees around. B loop is better than A loop but requires a reservation for most sites. Most sites have steps up or down to the site along the backside of B loop.

Simple and secluded

Some campgrounds in gatlinburg feel a little too crowded, not Cosby. I loved this site plenty of room, nice and quiet;  the only negative was the bathroom were dark which made me a little nervous at night but I am a little paranoid. Other than the bathroom not having electricity it was a great experience. I will say we stayed there at the end of 2017 so they may have update the bathrooms since then.

Less crowded campground; stay while exploring this part of the Smokies

I was too early in the season to stay at Cosby (it doesn't open until id/late April), but I was exploring this area of the park and spent some time wandering through the campground. I wished i'd been there a few weeks later to enjoy this area. A beautiful river runs along the road into the campground and there is a picnic area and amphitheater for Ranger programs in season. Of all the no-frills campgrounds in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this one falls on the more basic end of the spectrum and the low cost reflects it.

Unlike the more popular campgrounds where sites are practically on top of each other, Cosby’s sites are generally farther from each other, offering a little more privacy. Most of the sites are better suited to tent campers, though a few of them are designated RV sites offering a back-in parking pad. The parking at the sites is parallel to the road and then the picnic table, fire ring and tent pad are either above or below the parking area, sometimes a dozen stairs or more. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but you’re in bear country, so all food needs to be secured in your car when not in use. You won’t want to haul your cooler up and down a few times each day, etc. A few of the sites are small, with limited space around the picnic table and/or fire ring. The B loop seems steeper than the A loop. It also contains 3 group camp sites. As with other campgrounds in the park, bathrooms provide flush toilets and sinks with a dishwashing sink outside. No showers. Buy heat treated firewood outside the park or you can gather firewood in the park. No camp store here.

Several trails leave from the campground, including the popular Hen Wallow Falls trail. A beautiful river runs alongside the road into the picnic area and campground. The Roaring Fork Auto Road isn’t too far away, with hikes to more waterfalls and Mt. LeConte; Greenbrier is another starting point for hikes, including Ramsey Falls. There’s rafting available during the summer just outside the park. It’s about 25 minutes to Gatlinburg in the spring, probably longer during peak season . I wouldn’t make it my home base for a week-long visit to the Smokies, but it’s worth a night or two here to explore this side of the park, away from all the crowds. It’s at least 90 minutes from here to Cades Cove and that’s a spring, low crowd estimate; I can’t image how long it would take during peak season. 

100 of the 140 sites are online reservation only; if you have an RV you'll probably want reservations to be sure you get a spot that is optimized for an RV. No cell service.

Great Setting For Larger Groups

When traveling to the Smoky Mountains there are so many options for camping. Depending on your preference, group size or location you can find sites scattered throughout the park which suit your needs. As a solo traveler, a lot of times I miss out on the awesome amenities offered by the various group camps around the country, however I decided while enjoying my time in the Smoky Mountains to check out a few of them just to see what I was missing.

Cosby Group Camp is about 5 miles from the town of Cosby. Despite being in the park, unlike many which are located inside its bounds this means you are closer to amenities like modern stores and plenty of supplies. The roads here are wide and sites are spacious and the sites are secluded in a beautiful shaded array tall trees.

The bathrooms here are much nicer than some of the campgrounds in the area and offer flushing toilets and drinking water, although I didn't notice any showers when I was visiting.

The camp is made of 3 main sites, so it by no means is the largest group camp in the park, so if you are looking I would suggest trying to make your reservations early. Each site has tent pads and firings with grills. Picnic tables are scattered throughout the site and plenty of parking is available for guests so you could probably have a pretty sizable group in each of the sites.

I'd say this site would be great for a group of friends traveling together or a family out on a vacation together. And I think the overall best part of the site was that it only was $30 for each site, which is crazy considering some of the solo sites I had looked at in the area were that much with the same amenities.


  • Stop off in Crosby if you need food or other supplies, the closest next town would be Gatlinburg which has tons of entertainment.

  • Book in advance, don't try to arrive and book on same day, that apparently is rare.

  • Keep in mind this campground is not open year round so if you are traveling check online first before trying to stay to make sure it is open. Dates are flexible for opening based on weather in the area.

Cosby Campground is the bomb!

Cosby Campground is amazing! Most sites are walk up, so you don’t need a reservation, and there are probably 100+ sites, so even during the busiest of times you can find a good site. Each site has plenty of space too, so you’re not on top of the site next to you. No showers, but several restrooms in the campground. The trailhead for Mt. Cammerer via Low Gap leaves from here also, and that was a great hike, the first 3+miles are rough and steep, but once you hit the AT it gets easier. Highly recommend Cosby Campground!!!