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Dispersed Camping Great Smoky Mountains

How To Get There

Smokemont Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains

Most visitors reach Great Smoky Mountains from Knoxville orAsheville.

Knoxville is around one hour to the north while Asheville is just under two hours to the east.

The McGhee-Tyson Airport near Knoxville and the Asheville Regional Airport are the largest airports near the park.

Remember to check road conditions in the park before youvisit during the winter as some roads close due to snow.

Here`s more information on directions to Great SmokyMountains National Park.

The The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Camping Sunburst Roadside Campsites

Elevation: 3127

Management: Forest Service

There are 1-5 campsites at this location. You may stay 14 nights at Sunburst Roadside Campsites.

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Ten miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway and nestled between Shining Rock and Middle Prong Wilderness within Pisgah National Forest. Two designated free campsites along the road near Sunburst Campground. Camping is only allowed in designated sites in this area. No facilities. If you need facilities, you can pay $15 and stay at nearby Sunburst Campground.

Back Country Camping In The Smokies

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park requires that you obtain backcountry permits for overnight camping in the park. Reservation fees are $4 per person, per night, with a maximum charge of $20 per person. Permits are good for 7 nights. The park requires that you stay at designated campsites and shelters while camping in the backcountry. Plan your trip & determine which sites you wish to camp at. If your itinerary includes a reserved site or any shelter, you must call the Backcountry Reservation Office at 436-1297 to make reservations. They are open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. daily. You may make reservations up to one month in advance of the first day of your trip. Be prepared to give your complete trip plan when calling. Keep the permit with you and drop the top copy in the registration box. If you do not plan to camp at a shelter or reserved campsite, then you only need to complete a permit. The maximum stay at a campsite is three consecutive nights, with no more than one night at any individual shelter. The use of tents at shelters is prohibited and the maximum group size is 8 persons. The park does not allow pets on backcountry trails. Please call the reservations office to cancel any nights or spaces that become available. For more information call the Backcountry Information Office at 436-1297. The information office is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until noon.

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Big Creek Campground is located in a remote portion of GreatSmokyMountains National Park. The beautiful flowing waters of Big Creek parallel the campground offering the visitor a pleasant soundscape and peaceful beauty.

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Elkmont Campground On The Parks North Side

Best dispersed camping in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Fall asleep to the gurgling sounds of Little River at the Elkmont Campground where the riverside campsites are extremely popular.

Just eight miles from Gatlinburg, Tenn., Elkmont is an extremely popular campground because of its size its the parks largest with 220 sites proximity to Gatlinburg and its access to three trailheads and fantastic fishing, relaxing and wading in the Little River. It also offers interpretative programs and has a general store.

Because of the varied length and slopes of campsite driveways, some sites are better for tents than RVs. Get out and assess the site before you try to park your RV. Sites can accommodate motor homes up to 35 feet and trailers up to 32 feet. Theres no dump station here. The campground has restrooms with running water and flush toilets. Each individual campsite has a fire grate and picnic table. There are no showers or electrical or water hookups in the park.

For those who truly want to get away from it all, Elkmont has 20 walk-in sites for tents only. It also offers nine wheelchair accessible sites and three have 5 amp hook-ups for medical equipment.

Dont miss out on this campground. Advance reservations are required from early March through the end of November. Make your reservation at

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In the heart of the GreatSmokyMountains is a place where you can relax and enjoy the simple life. Located just outside of Gatlinburg in Hartford ,TN and is short drive to Pigeon Forge and the National Park. 20 campsites are available as well as 6 riverside cabins. … Covering 12 acres, this SmokyMountaincampground offers fishing, tubing. Nearest Campgrounds: by straight line GPS/air. Abrams Creek CampgroundGreatSmokyMountains National Park – 1.90 mi / 3.06 km. Whispering River Resort – 9.26 mi / 14.89 km. Cades Cove CampgroundGreatSmokyMountains National Park – 9.34 mi / 15.03 km. Tuckaleechee Campground – 9.49 mi / 15.27 km. Little River Campground – 9.53 mi / 15.33 km.

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There Are Amenities Included

Even though tent camping is the most primitive form of camping, that doesnt mean that you have to go completely without modern amenities. Youll be tucked back in the woods for the private feel youve been craving, but when you need a little touch of civilization, our Smoky Mountain campground has charcoal grills for enjoying a cookout with your friends and family, a bathhouse close by so that youre never too far from a toilet or a shower and we even have laundry facilities in case you need some clean clothes for your ride home!

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Best North Carolina Rv Campsites And Resorts

If you want a beautiful and beachy vacation experience, the best North Carolina RV campsites and resorts have got you covered. I have compiled a list of eleven awesome RV camping spots in the state. Whoever you camp with, now everyone can enjoy a little slice of Carolina heaven.

The RV campsites and resorts on this list will not only blow your mind, but will make you itchy for a great American road trip.

Camping Near You Find A Free Campsite

5 VW Buses, 3 Days – Great Smoky Mountains Adventure | Westfalia Camping

Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.

Our community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. makes it easy. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.

This is a platform for sharing campgrounds and camp sites you have discovered. We are community driven, and while we will be adding many free camping spots, we hope that you will add some of your favorite camping places as well. By sharing camping information freely, we can all spend less time researching campgrounds, spend less money, and more time camping. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we’ll all have more places to go camping.

Please come back and let us know what you find!

We are not actively seeking Wal-Marts, truckstops or other parking lots and will not be adding very many of these. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. However, if a member of the community finds one of these locations to be useful for overnight RV parking and creates an entry, we may approve the listing.

Please come back and let us know what you find!

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Campsite No 32grapeyard Ridge Trail

The Grapeyard Ridge Trail is a great example of the many hidden-treasure sorts of trails in the Great Smokies. Linking the Greenbrier area in the east with the marvelous Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail in the west, this up-and-down, 7.6-mile footpath in the parks north-central zone is usually a surefire guarantee of solitude. It also shows off a slew of historic sites, including backcountry cemeteries and the well-known steam-engine wreck in Injun Creek. Backcountry campsite No. 32 provides a quiet overnighter spot about midway down the trail.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park In The Winter

Winter in Great Smoky Mountains National Park runs from mid-November through February. As you gain elevation in the park, extreme weather becomes more likely. The lower elevations, however, typically experience relatively moderate winters.

At lower elevations, more than half of all winter days experience daytime temperatures in the 50s and lows at, or just below, freezing. The lower elevations only receive snowfalls in excess of one inch a handful of times each year.

Most of the higher elevations in the park are blanketed in snow for much of January and February. Its not uncommon for up to two feet of snow to fall in a single storm at high elevations and temperatures as low as -20 have been recorded on the parks high peaks.

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Kolob Reservoir Dispersed Camping

Summary BLM lakeside camping, roughly 20 minutes further up the road from Lava Point.

Pros Beautiful area with TONS of privacy. Youll find beautiful aspen tree groves surrounding the far end of the lake, making this area exceptionally beautiful during a lush, green spring or early summer season. No reservations are ever needed, and theres literally no limit to where you can set up a tent, so its a great backup option for a beautiful, open campsite if your other options fall through.

Cons No bathrooms or facilities whatsoever. Being quite a bit higher in elevation than the Zion valley floor, nights will be noticeably colder. Its also nearly a 45 min. drive each way from Hwy 9, adding quite a bit of extra time if youre trying to access Zion National Park early the next day. You wont find a single gas station along the way, so fill up in town before you make the trek.

Directions Continued from our last example, if you continue following Kolob Terrace Rd. all the way up , youll eventually run into Kolob Reservoir, where you can camp anywhere theres a dirt pull-out.


Guide To Camping In Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Best dispersed camping in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Midnight under a star-filled Smoky Mountain sky, surrounded by darkness, the flickering of fireflies and the glow of a campfire. The mountain wind drifting gently through the trees. The laughter of family and friends filling in the silence. The peacefulness of dreaming the night away in a place where native Americans and pioneers once wandered. The tranquility of sleeping in the wild and waking only to the sun breaking through as the wild birds sing to celebrate the day. Those moments are the moments that we will remember forever, those moments when we return home. Home to the mountains, where we belong.

In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ll find multiple options for an overnight experience in the park. There’s certainly an experience waiting for every unique individual. Below you’ll find information and links to adventures. Find the perfect fit for you and spend a night or two at home this summer.

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Great Smoky Mountains Free Campsites

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park are located between the border of Tennessee and North Carolina. The Great Smoky Mountains is the most visited National Park in the United States. The park receives more than 10 million visitors every year. Known as the smokies for always being foggy.

The national park boasts a wide array of boondocking sites. Generally, everyone loves a break from their normal life, may it be school or work. The The Great Smoky Mountains is the place you need to visit during your holiday.

There are many reasons why you should visit this place. The The Great Smoky Mountains boasts cascading waterfalls, wildlife, and views stretching out hundreds of acres. Established in 1934, The The Great Smoky Mountains boondocking sites are the ideal getaway for hiking camping and experiencing exquisite mountain ranges. This is one of the best places to visit with your family or friends, there are ample things to see and do.

Specific Camping Gear You`ll Need

Camping in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is much moreenjoyable when you bring the right camping gear.

Make sure to use our family and car camping checklist to make sure you bring all the right equipment, including a sleeping bag, camping tent, and camping lantern.

In addition to all of this standard camping gear, make sure to pack weather appropriate clothing thats well-suited to the time of year you plan to camp in the Great Smoky Mountains. And, if hiking is on the agenda, a pair of broken-in, high-quality hiking boots is a must.

Fortunately, year-round weather in the Smokies is mild to moderate. Even in winter, heavy snow usually only occurs at the highest elevations.

However, rain is possible any time of the year, even during the summertime. So, make sure you are familiar with the best tips and tricks for camping in the rain.

Although not necessarily remote compared to other nationalparks, Great Smoky Mountains doesn`t have any RV hookups and has minimaladditional opportunities for charging electronic products.

A portable power source for camping in the Smokies is a great tool for those that want a backup to keep all their important devices charged up at all times on their camping trip.

Proper wildlife safety equipment, along with wildlife safety knowledge, is essential for your Great Smoky Mountains camping trip.

*Our simple family camping checklist will help ensure you don`t forget anyimportant items!

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Get Our Top Tips For Saving Money On A Campervan Trip:

One of the great things about renting an Escape campervan is the ability to go anywhere. There are tons of opportunities for free camping out west, with large tracts of undeveloped national forest and Bureau of Land Management lands that you can just drive onto and set up a peaceful, secluded, and FREE camp. Dispersed camping on the east coast is less abundant, but still exists!

The Eastern United States is full of beautiful and rugged places, with many opportunities for free camping if you know where to look. Free camping may not be quite as spontaneous and easy to find on the east coast, but with a little research and advance planning, youll find plenty of places to set up camp. I highly recommend using the website and Allstays as a guide. And of course, always check with local rangers to determine the accessibility and availability of sites. They are a wealth of knowledge about their areas its their job!

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Great Smoky Mountains Chimney Top Trail

Great Smoky Mountains – Cades Cove campground – dry camping – Boondocking

Chimney Tops Trail is a 3.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from March until November.

The Chimney top trail is located at the Newfound gap road. The trail begins from the chimney top trailhead which is approximately 7 miles from the Sugarland visitors center that is located near Gatlinburg. The trail offers beautiful panoramic views and cascading streams.

Length: 3.6 miRoute Type: Out and Back

Hiking, Forest, River, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Rocky, Scramble, No dogs

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Moraine Park Campground On The East Side

For striking views of Longs Peak, the parks highest, settle in for the evening at Moraine Park Campground. For summer, reservations are highly recommended. You can make reservations up to six months in advance online at or by calling 877-444-6777. In the winter, no reservations are accepted its a first-come, first-served basis.

Nestled in a ponderosa pine forest two-and-a-half miles south of Beaver Meadows Entrance Station, this beautiful campground offers 244 sites in the summer and 77 in winter, but you never feel like a sardine packed tightly between tents.

The site costs $26 per night when the water is on, and $18 when it is off, so youll find a mix of flush and vault toilets, depending on water availability. RVs up to 40 feet in length are welcome here, and generators are allowed from 7:30 a.m.-10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., except in Loop D where generators are prohibited.

Amenities include a free shuttle that connects the campground to Bear Lake and Estes Park, which is especially great to RVers who want to leave their vehicles behind. Moraine Park Discovery Center is in walking distance as are connections to Moraine Park area trails. If you have your own solar shower bag, you can connect to the shower bag stall in the campground to clean off after a day of outdoor adventure.

Are The Smoky Mountains Worth Visiting

The Smoky Mountains are worth visiting more than once. Theyre beautiful year-round, and because theyre so expansive, you can keep going back to see something new. The national park also provides an education on the region, wildlife, plants, geography, and history. You can learn and experience a lot on a visit. Theres no shortage of adventure and entertainment, from Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge and throughout the national park.

We hope you visit the Smoky Mountains soon. Be sure to tag us in some of your photos. We would love to hear about your experience!

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