With camping just a moderate day hike away from Mount Rogers, the highest point in Virginia, this campground is a hiker's paradise.
There is little to no cell signal here, so coming to Grayson Highlands is one of the few state parks in Virginia where you can truly go "off the grid" during the length of your stay--and you won't miss technology, because there is so much to do at this park. From the aforementioned Mount Rogers--an 8.5 mile out-and-back, to the 1.5 mile but difficult Cabin Trail that takes you to a waterfall, to the wild ponies who will approach hikers along the Rhododendron Trail, any fitness level will find hiking they can enjoy. When we stayed the outer bands of Hurricane Michael brought so much fog and rain that we were not able to see any of the ponies, but we did hear one a couple of times, very near Massie's Gap!
As for camping there are two frontcountry campgrounds. All sites have picnic tables and fire rings, and bathrooms with electricity and flush toilets*
Chestnut Hollow Campground:
-There are 23 sites here with water and electric hook-ups May-October, and this loop is available as primitive camping March, April, and November. *During this time bathrooms are pit toilets only
-Horse-friendly; there are stables located adjacent to this loop
-These sites are very small; if you are in a tent I recommend no larger than a 4 person.
-Not a lot of privacy between sites, especially near the back of the loop. Most sites are right agains the road and have little space to move around; I would not recommend this loop if you have small children who are going to want space to run and play
Hickory Ridge Campground
-This is the larger of the loops at GHSP; there are 64 campsites ranging from standard tent sites without water or electric, to full service sites with water and electric hookups.
-Tent sites 1-18 are the furthest from hookup sites and will therefore be the quietest; they are mostly small sites and very close to the road. Sites 10, 12, 13, and 14 are set back furthest from the road. There is a path behind sites 2-14 leading to the bathhouse behind site 14. Site 13 is easily the most private--and arguably the only truly private--tent site in this campground, with the driveway going behind a cluster of trees that shields the site from the road. We stayed in site 12 which easily fit our 6 person tent.
-Sites 31 and 32 are on a meadow the campsite loops around; they have no privacy and little shade, but ample room for kids to run around, and there is a set of swings near these sites. They are however right on the road so it may be easier to just walk to the swings and keep littles in a site without as much traffic. There is water right across from both of these sites.
-Even-numbered hookup sites 60-70 are also right on the meadow with very little shade
-All other sites are heavily shaded, although you'll be close to your neighbors
The camp store near the Hickory Ridge Loop sells ice, firewood, and just about anything you may possibly have forgotten to pack--firestarters, first aid supplies, marshmallows, and has as a gift shop with blankets, outerwear, and kitschy souvenirs.
Normally I would take off a star for lack of privacy of tent sites, however there is so much hiking here that your campsite can really be more of a basecamp than a place you want to sit and hang out all day long!
This is a beautiful and secluded park in the heart of Appalachia. Beautiful all year round but definitely best for camping in the spring and summer months. Be sure to bring a jacket as the winds can get quite strong
Gorgeous 360 views, rock climbing, hiking, and ponies! This place is gorgeous especially during the fall season. There is so much to do! I wish I could’ve stayed longer. I spent 3 nights backpacking through the park and I can’t wait to go back!
Beautiful campground. Rv sites are narrow. NO cell phone or WiFi for hours. Great hiking trails. Wild ponies were amazing. A great place to relax and unwind
whete has this campground been all my life? We are renters live the be next to the dyrt, this campground provides it all. Secluded camp sites, nice bathrooms and showers, which will needed for all the hiking that is available in the park. We enjoyed mild to strenuous hikes, wild blue berries plus the Appalachian trail passes thru the park. Weather was amazing 70s during the day, 50s at night.
We camped at the group site, which was a bit difficult to get into. Had to park up a hill and walk down a steep washed out path.
But the location was amazing and it's a hikers paradise.
Love camping here. Beautiful and quiet, you can go for hours without seeing another soul. More of a wilderness experience though, for sure. Not many bathrooms. 😉
We love using this campground as our basecamp. We enjoy hiking with the wild ponies, so we camp at the campground and then day hike up with the kids. You can hike to see wild ponies and hike to blueberry bushes! The campground is clean, offering lots of space for kids to run and play. We enjoy camping on the big field so we have a clearing to see stars at night. They offer camper hookups and tent camping - composting toilets with sinks are available as well.
Grayson Highlands is a must-do for all campers, hikers, and adventurers. Hit the trails to see some wild ponies and scenic balds. Weather is unpredictable, so pack a raincoat and warm clothes just in case.
very nice bathroom facilities, the women’s shower was clean and actually hot! also two big sinks for laundry/ dishes. Campsite had a nice table, metal hook, and fire ring. 4 stars only because the campsites are a little pricey for out of state, and very close together. wild ponies at this park, first sighting only a 5 minute walk from our campsite!