The Best Sites for Great Smoky Mountains Camping to Enjoy Some of the East Coast's Oldest Forests

The Best Sites for Great Smoky Mountains Camping to Enjoy Some of the East Coast's Oldest Forests

Spanning the border of North Carolina and Tennessee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known around the world for its plethora of ecological diversity, Southern Appalachian culture, and for being arguably the most visited national park in the United States. 

Visiting these lands invokes both adventure and serenity. The Great Smoky Mountains are one-of-a-kind; there’s no other place like them on the planet. Therefore, we thought we’d do our readers a favor by compiling  a list of popular camping in and around the park. Prospective visitors are always glad to know that there’s an abundance of sites for Great Smoky Mountains camping

Adventure Bound Campground Gatlinburg

Van parked beside tent at campsite near the Great Smoky Mountains.

This is a family owned campground in the Smokies of Tennessee. It’s known for its cozy cabins, though it also hosts tent and RV sites. Adventure Bound includes everything you’d expect at a resort-like campground: drinking water, sewer hookups, electrical hookups, sanitary dumps, and the acceptance of dogs. They also have pools, waterslides, campfires, special events, as well as plenty of fishing and hiking opportunities 

Visit this Great Smoky Mountains camping if you want to lodge comfortably near the park. It’s nothing short of both comfortable and adventurous. 

Cataloochee Campground

Cataloochee campground is a tent-only campground located within Smoky Mountain National Park. Being a relatively remote portion of the park, many wish to camp in the Cataloochee Valley alongside the elk and clean mountain streams. 

Campers arrive here for more of a traditional, wild-feeling camping experience—but with the convenience of much appreciated amenities. These include toilets (that flush) and drinking water. Campers also enjoy quick access to nearby hiking trails and fishable streams. Note that there are no showers in camp.

Glamping Knox

Platform canvas glamping tent beside fire pit and camping chairs.

Located 17 minutes from downtown Knoxville, this private glamping near Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a luxurious way to get out into nature. The campground hosts provide brand-new canvas tents, all of which contain 2 twin beds, a wood burner, as well as a patio and chairs. Camping like this among the trees is a balanced and much desired method for many. 

Other amenities include access to comfortable bathrooms, shower & internet access, and most importantly - access to 55-acres of wildlife and mountain views!

Greenbrier Campground

Greenbrier campground is located directly outside the National Park. The campground hosts offer 120 full-hookup sites. From river-side, to forested accommodations, there’s plenty to offer for any mood. Also, both tent and RV camping are available. 

Access to Flint Rock is undoubtedly the most popular attraction bringing campers to Greenbrier. Flint Rock is one of the greatest swimming holes in all of the Smokies. Campers at Greenbrier enjoy private beaches, fishing, and swimming at nearby banks. 

As for the campground - it contains all the amenities you’d expect for hosting RV and tent campers: full hook-ups, WiFi, bathrooms, water, fire rings, and picnic tables.

Cades Cove Campground

Campsite in wooded area with hammock hanging near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

This Great Smoky Mountains camping is located within the park near Abrams Creek and the 11-mile Cades Cove loop—both perfect for observing wildlife. The area is surrounded by mountains and provides some of the best opportunities for seeing animals. Critter sightings often include black bears, coyotes, groundhogs, turkeys, raccoons, and skunks.

Cades Cove, like Cataloochee, provides a primitive camping feel with modern conveniences such as bathrooms and drinking water. Other amenities include picnic tables, fire pits, and access to a general store.