Nature lovers who are looking to make their trip to Gatlinburg more memorable should go rustic and stay at a Gatlinburg campground.
Spend the Night under the Stars
When you visit Gatlinburg, you’ll find that there are a number of choices when it comes to lodging. You could stay at a hotel in downtown Gatlinburg, in a spacious cabin or at a cozy bed and breakfast. Nature lovers who are looking to make their trip to Gatlinburg more memorable should go rustic and stay at a Gatlinburg campground.
There are plenty of campgrounds in Gatlinburg, from the mountains to beside a scenic stream. Those looking for something simple can choose a primitive campground while others may enjoy something with more amenities. Whatever you choose, you’ll certainly enjoying breathing in the crisp mountain air in the mornings and ending your evening by a crackling campfire.
Campgrounds at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
When you visit Gatlinburg, chances are you’re going to visit the famous Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Along with a number of thrilling outdoor activities and unmatched views of east Tennessee, the park is also a great place to stay if you’re interested in camping during your visit. Great Smoky Mountains National Park has four different types of campsites, each catered to a different type of camper.
Backcountry campsites are designated for backpackers. Staying here will require you to hike several miles to the park’s backcountry. A permit and advance registration are required for those camping at the backcountry sites.
Campsites in the frontcountry are best for families and travelers who want to stay near their car. There are 10 frontcountry campsite locations in the park that have flushing toilets and cold running water. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire grate and can accommodate a range of RV sizes. There are, however, no electric or sewer hookups for the RVs. Campground access fees range but there are a number of budget-friendly options within the frontcountry.
Group campgrounds are located in frontcountry campsites. These include the same benefits and convenient location as frontcountry campsites but are catered for groups of eight people or more. You and your family or group of friends will have plenty of room to make memories at these campgrounds. Group campgrounds only accommodate tents.
Horse camps are smaller campgrounds that have hitch racks for horses and primitive camping facilities. There are five of these campsites, all accessible by vehicle, offering access to the park’s backcountry trails.
Dogs are welcome to the campgrounds at Great Smoky Mountains National Park but must remain on a leash at all time.
Click here to read about pet-friendly cabins in Gatlinburg.
Be sure to check the National Park Service’s website for rules and regulations regarding camping at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Best Campgrounds in Gatlinburg
Campgrounds in Gatlinburg can offer scenic vistas, access to hiking trails or proximity to the restaurants, shops and attractions in downtown Gatlinburg. Here are some of the best campgrounds in Gatlinburg.
Adventure Bound Camping Resort
Perfect for family fun, Adventure Bound Camping Resort in Gatlinburg is a secluded mountain campsite with resort-style benefits. There are a number of camping styles to choose from whether you want to book a comfortable cabin or pitch a tent. There’s even hook ups for RVs. Take the kids to the Fun Zone, let them splash in the pool, race down the Alpine Water Slide or play games with other children. There are even events throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons that the whole family will enjoy.
Camp LeConte Luxury Outdoor Resort
Camp in luxury at the LeConte Luxury Outdoor Resort. Just a few miles outside downtown Gatlinburg, you can enjoy the convenience of the area’s best shops, restaurants and attractions when you aren’t “glamping.” Choose from a European-style safari tent or rough it on the primitive tent site. There are also full RV hook ups and luxury tree houses. Whatever you decide, you’ll have access to all of the Camp LeConte amenities, including a general store, laundry facilities, playground, library, heated pool and more. This pet-friendly campground is also along the Gatlinburg Trolley route.
The largest campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Elkmont Campground provides the perfect overnight retreat on the water. The Little River and Jakes Creek run through the campground, providing easy access for fishing or a cooling dip in the summer. You’ll also have direct access to a number of park trails and historic landmarks. There are 200 tent campsites, as well as paved drive ways for RVs, all located in the park’s frontcountry.
Resting on the banks of the Little Pigeon River, Greenbrier Campground is a secluded getaway. Pitch a tent or take advantage of the RV campsites and rental cabins at this pet-friendly campground. While you will be half a mile from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, stay right at the campground for some outdoor fun for the whole family. Swim, fish or tube along the Little Pigeon River, or play volleyball, badminton, corn hole and more on site. The campground’s amenities also include charcoal and propane grills, a luxury bathhouse, camp store, game room, laundry facility, playground and more.
Best RV Campgrounds in Gatlinburg
Camping in an RV is one of the best ways to enjoy the comfort of your own space and the amenities of a home on wheels. The RV parks in Gatlinburg have everything you need to enjoy all the benefits of your RV.
Smoky Bear Campground & RV Park
Just 13 miles outside of downtown Gatlinburg, located in the northeast section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Smoky Bear Campground is a full hook-up campsite. Resting on flat, level ground, choose from either a back-in site or a concrete pull-through site. Amenities include a bathhouse, laundry, free Wi-Fi, cable, picnic tables, fire rings and access to the clubhouse and on-site store. This pet-friendly and family-friendly campground also features a heated pool, playground and library with books and DVDs.
Twin Creek RV Resort
Open seasonally, the Twin Creek RV Resort offers more high-end amenities than the average Gatlinburg RV park. With proximity to downtown Gatlinburg, this park provides comfort and convenience on the boarder of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. All RV sites, and the roads leading to them, are paved and full hook-up sites. RV travelers staying at the Twin Creek Resort can also enjoy the pools and playground, as well as the on-site car rental, grocery store and boutique shop.