Tent Camping in the Smoky Mountains

Rear view of people sitting outside tent on mountain

If you’re in the mood for some hiking and camping, consider a trip to the Smoky Mountains. Located in the state’s western corner, the area is dotted with scenic vistas and rugged terrain. You can stay in a tent in a rustic campground or rent a cabin and enjoy the scenery. While tent camping in the mountains may not be as luxurious as the nearby mountains, you’ll still have plenty of options.

Cataloochee Campground

If you’re looking for a peaceful campsite near a scenic waterfall, look no further than the Cataloochee Campground in the Smoky Mountains. This campground is situated in a remote area of the park near Elkmont and Cades Cove. Cataloochee Creek runs behind the campground and is a cool place to cool off during the summer. You can hike nearby trails and spend time enjoying the scenic setting.

While the campground does not offer a campstore, it is located near Maggie Valley, which is the nearest town. During the warmer months, you can swim in the fast-flowing stream or enjoy the swimming pool. You should bring your own firewood or plan on burning wood from the ground. Be prepared to camp without electricity or RV hookups, and the cell service is spotty.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has several campgrounds and has the largest selection of sites. Deep Creek offers summer tubing, and Cataloochee is known for its scenic valley and elk. For those who require medical equipment, you can find electrical service hookups at both the Elkmont and Smokemont campgrounds. If you’re looking for more privacy, consider booking one of the privately owned campgrounds.

If you’re in a group, Cataloochee’s group campgrounds are a great option. They have large pull-in sites and 3 large tent camping sites with room for groups of seven to 25 people. The only drawback of group camping is the lack of electricity and running water. Nonetheless, the campground has facilities for tent pads, grills, picnic tables, and a restroom with flush toilets and cold water. In addition, the campground has a camp host during the season.

The Cosby Group Campground is another great option. It offers a peaceful, quiet environment with many trees. RVs are welcome in frontcountry campgrounds, but there are restrictions. Firewood must be treated with heat-treated chemicals. You’ll find over 200 tent sites in this campground, along with picnic tables and fire rings. There are also nine wheelchair-accessible sites for campers with limited mobility.

Cosby Campground

For a more basic, forest-style campground, try Smoky mountain tent camping at Cosby in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There, you’ll find basic sites that have grills and a fire pit. And, if you prefer the privacy of your own site, you can always bring your tent and set up camp in the forest. Smoky mountain tent camping at Cosby is the perfect place to enjoy the mountains while camping under the stars.

Aside from a nature trail, this campground also has a picnic pavilion and amphitheater. The campground is located about 20 miles away from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and is primarily used by tent campers. This campground is not overly crowded and is quieter than other Smoky mountain campgrounds. In addition to its amenities, Cosby Campground is also close to many other area attractions.

Aside from being surrounded by huge trees, Cosby Campground has modern amenities. There are 157 sites in the campground, including a group site for up to 20 people. You can also park your RV here, as it has enough space for a large vehicle. Cosby Campground has a dump station, flush toilets, and drinking water. If you plan to bring your dog, it’s a good idea to ask if Cosby Campground has pet-friendly facilities.

A few things to consider before setting up camp at Cosby Campground. First of all, it’s important to note that the campground has a slope and that bringing equipment up the slope and down can be difficult. Luckily, there are 16′ x 16′ tent pads available for you to use. You can also use two tents on the same pad. If you’re traveling with a family or group, you’ll have to make sure to book a campsite in advance.

In addition to a peaceful location, Cosby Campground is accessible to RVs of up to 31 feet. The campground is open from May through October. You can choose from among three group camping areas at Cosby Campground. During your stay, you can use the amenities available at Cosby, or plan a multi-site trip with your friends and family. The campground also accepts RVs up to 25 feet, making it the perfect destination for families and groups.

Balsam Mountain

If you’re looking for a great Smoky Mountain camping experience, consider staying at the Balsam Mountains Campground. Situated at 5,310 feet above sea level, this campground offers a rustic, yet cozy atmosphere. The restrooms are equipped with flush toilets, drinking water, and electricity, but there are no hookups and no showers. It’s best to bring a flashlight and prepare for a bit of roughing it.

You’ll have access to cold running water and flushing toilets at Balsam Mountain Campground, but you can’t take advantage of the restrooms’ electric service. The campground also provides a dish washing station, which is handy for tent campers. In addition to the restrooms, Balsam Mountain Campground has bear-proof storage bins for your valuables and gear. You may want to avoid this campground if you’re allergic to bear feces.

While you can’t make reservations for campgrounds in the Smoky Mountains, there are some private ones that don’t charge a fee. Deep Creek offers summer tubing, Cataloochee is a picturesque valley populated by elk, and Balsam Mountain is a mile-high mountain that’s less-crowded. There’s plenty of room for everyone, but if you want some peace and quiet, try a privately-owned campground in Balsam Mountain.

When is the best time to visit the Smoky Mountains? It depends on your expectations. In general, July and August are the busiest months, but you can also find some great hiking in winter. The cooler months also offer low traffic and a chance to interact with wildlife. However, July is the rainiest month, so visit the waterfalls during this month. If you’re planning to stay for several days, try to visit during these months.


While staying at Elkmont Smoky Mountain Tent Camping, you should bring the essentials for a comfortable camping experience. While most sites are shady, you should bring a headlamp or flashlight for the evening hours. Most new lights come with a red light setting, which saves your night vision and is less intrusive for your neighbors. You should also bring bug spray and citrella candles if you plan to camp at night.

The campground is also well-equipped with amenities. It offers flush toilets, hot and cold running water, and 5-amp electrical outlets for medical devices. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire grate. There is a ranger station on site to provide assistance with camping equipment and supplies. A store is located near the ranger station, and it carries a wide selection of groceries, camping gear, and even a few bottles of water for your dog.

The campground has 165 RV campsites, some of which are generator-free. While generator-free sites are specifically designated for tent campers, they are still open to RVs. All sites hold up to six people and two vehicles. They are close to one another, but the river keeps them relatively quiet. In addition to being close to one another, most sites are walkable. The campground has a dump station and vending packings.

The campground offers restroom facilities per loop. All bathrooms are equipped with potable water and flushing toilets. There is no soap available, but toilet paper is usually adequate. The restrooms also feature dishwashing stations, and a basic sink outside the restrooms. The campground also has a kiosk with trail maps and weekly events. There are also showers. Whether you’re looking for solitude or a fun experience, you can’t go wrong at Elkmont Smoky Mountain Tent Camping.

The campground is located eight miles from Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The area has many scenic attractions, and is also close to hiking trails and trout streams. If you’re looking for a campground near Gatlinburg, Elkmont is the place for you. You’ll also find limited supplies and a dump station. And the rates are discounted during off-season. The park offers many activities and attractions, and the campground is well-suited for families and groups.

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