20 minutes from downtown Asheville, we got to enjoy the city a little bit while also camping. Campground and staff were great but campsites are extremely close together (we stayed at hard times loop), some of the RV sites at Big John Loop seem to have a bit more privacy, however those are completely paved and not suitable for tents. We have Verizon and usually get service everywhere even spotty locations but our phones hardly worked there and definitely no internet. We got lucky (due to the cold I think), the site next to us was empty until our last day. The showers kinda suck, it’s a few seconds of timed release, if you’re trying to get clean and wash your hair having to keep pushing a button every 30 seconds that the water goes out is pretty annoying, specially when it’s so cold. And the lack of pressure and position of the shower makes you have to almost lean on the wall.
Sites with full hookups, bathrooms and showers are a little run down and often have bugs (spiders, moths, etc) which is to be expected, you’re in nature. There’s a laundry room, machines are just a dollar (takes quarters) but you’ll need to run the dryer twice, there’s a big sink in the laundry room but all sinks says “do not wash dishes” so if you’re tent Camping like me, you’ll wanna bring a collapsible sink to use on your site. The west rim is considerably nicer than the east, more trees to allow privacy between the sites, The east rim is really open and feels more like a nicer parking lot for RV’s. The hosts and visitor center sell firewood bundles for 6 bucks but I’ve had trouble with them being damp and not catching on fire twice. There’s a Walmart a half hour down the mountain so I’d suggest stopping there before going up for firewood. The highlight of the place are the trails, different waterfalls, lagoons and rivers running along the way and a over 600 step staircase. The overlook is jaw dropping. I’ve had an amazing time every visit.