no reservation required. There is always room to stay. We were motorcycle camping the blue ridge parkway and camped here for the night. There was a place to eat and drink not far down the road at Laurel Springs.
Love to escape to Mount Mitchell in the summer. Highest temperature recorded was 81. I've always built a nice fire during any summer night. Never go without planning for a very cold night (or day for that matter). Nice hiking trails to explore and onsite restaurant. Make sure you make a reservation before coming. it always books up in advance.