Frontcountry Camping

Elkmont Campground
Elkmont Campground

Warren Bielenberg


Camping is permitted in designated campsites only, NOT in pullouts or parking lots. Camping is popular year round and the park has a variety of options to enjoy camping throughout the year.

Each campground has restrooms with cold 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. Shower facilities are available in the communities surrounding the national park. Please inquire about the nearest facilities when you check-in at the campground. For medical purposes only Cades Cove, Elkmont and Smokemont offer sites with 5 amp electric hookups.

All campsites are drive-up and allow a maximum of two vehicles. At RV sites only one RV or trailer is allowed. Any RV including motorhomes, cabover campers and camper vans, or any trailer including 5th wheels, pop-up campers, and cargo or boat trailers are vehicles and count toward the limit. Each campground has overflow parking for excess vehicles. Each campsite allows a maximum of six people and two tents; plan accordingly. Hammocks are allowed but are limited to the footprint of the campsite. Check out time is 11:00 a.m.

Pets are allowed on a leash no longer than six feet. Hiking in the park with pets are allowed only on the roads, Oconaluftee River Trail and Gatlinburg Trail.

The park-wide camping limit is 14 nights, per visit not exceed 60 days in a year. These limits apply to all park campgrounds. Quiet hours are from 10:00 PM-6:00 AM. Generator quiet hours are from 8:00 PM-8:00 AM.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park maintains developed frontcountry campgrounds at 10 locations in the park:

Abrams Creek
Balsam Mountain
• Big Creek
Cades Cove
Cataloochee
• Cosby
• Deep Creek
• Elkmont
• Look Rock
• Smokemont

Front Country Reservations: Reservations for the Frontcountry, group and horse campgrounds can be made by either calling 877-444-6777 or visiting www.recreation.gov. Making advance reservations are recommended if you would like to guarantee a camping spot.

Additional information about camping reservations, including reservation time frames.

Read Campground Rules and Regulations for information concerning food storage, generator use, quiet hours, and other campground regulations. You can download a park map to find the locations of these campgrounds in the park.

 

 
bug photo
Invasive insects hitchhiking into the park on firewood.

Lisa Horstman



Firewood Regulations: Only heat-treated firewood that is bundled and certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or a state department of agriculture may be brought into the park. Campers may also collect dead and down wood found in the park for campfires.

Certified heat-treated firewood is packaged and clearly marked with a state or federal seal. Heat-treated wood is available from a growing list of private businesses in communities around the park. Concessioners at Cades Cove, Smokemont, and Elkmont will provide heat-treated wood for sale during their operating season March-October.

Visit http://firewoodscout.org for a map of local stores and businesses that sell certified firewood. Additional information about this regulation.

 

Campground

Map

Number
of Sites

Fee

Elevation

2019
Open/Close
Dates

Maximum RV Length

Abrams Creek
Reserve Now

Map

16

$17.50

1,125'

4/26 - 10/20
Reservations Required

12'

Balsam Mountain
Reserve Now

Map

46

$17.50

5,310'

5/17-10/06
Reservations Required

30'

Big Creek
Reserve Now

Map

12

$17.50

1,700'

4/19-10/27
Reservations Required

No RVs

Cades Cove

Reserve Now

Map

159

$25

1,807'

Year Round

One dump station open
year-round

Trailers-35'

Motor Homes-40"

Cataloochee

Reserve Now

See entrance road advisory below.

Map

27

$25

2,610'

4/19 - 10/27

Reservations Required

31'

Cosby
Reserve Now

Map

157

$17.50

2,459'

4/19- 10/27

25'

Deep Creek

Map

92

$21

1,800'

4/19- 10/27
First Come First Serve

26'

Elkmont
Reserve Now

Map

220

$25-$27

2,150'

Year Round

Dump station at Sugarlands Visitor Center
open year-round

Trailers-32'

Motor Homes-35'

Look Rock

Map

68

2,600'

Closed

No size limit

Smokemont
Reserve Now

Map

142

$25

2,198'

Year Round

Dump station open year-round

Trailers-35'

Motor Homes-40"


Cataloochee Entrance Road Advisory: The entrance road to Cataloochee Valley is a winding, gravel road that has some steep drop offs with no guard rails. Horse trailer traffic may be encountered on the road. Because the road is narrow, it may be necessary to stop or back up to allow other vehicles to pass.


 

Groceries, Camping Supplies, Food, and Firewood
A limited selection of groceries, camping supplies, visitor convenience items, and food and beverage service are available in the park. Please see listing for additional information.
Bundles of certified heat-treated firewood are available for sale in the communities surrounding the national park. Firewood may not be brought into the park unless it bears the USDA-APHIS-PPQ or state certification that it has been heat-treated. See Firewood FAQs page for additional information. The following campgrounds have on-site firewood sales:

  • Cades Cove (at Cades Cove Campground Store)
  • Elkmont
  • Smokemont (at Smokemont Riding Stables)

Late Arrival Procedures
Park campgrounds are not gated. You may check in after hours, pursuant to the instructions that follow. However, please be considerate of your neighbors while setting up camp by keeping noise and light to a minimum. Quiet hours are from 10:00 PM-6:00 AM. Generator quiet hours are from 8:00 PM-8:00 AM.
At Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Elkmont and Smokemont: If you have advance reservations and arrive after the campground office closes, please proceed to your assigned site. If you have forgotten your assigned site, check the Late Arrival List posted on the bulletin board for your name and site number. Return to the campground office the next morning to check in. If you fail to check in your site may be reassigned and your reservation may be canceled.
If you do not have advance reservations, check the Late Arrival List. If there are campsites available for campers who do not have a reservation, those available sites will be posted on the list. Set up ONLY on one of the sites listed as available. All other sites are assigned to campers with reservations. Return to the campground office the next morning to check in.
At other campgrounds: Locate a vacant site and register immediately at the campground office or bulletin board. Registration involves filling out a registration envelope and depositing the camping fee in the nearby safe.

Dump Stations for RVs
Dump stations with potable water are located at Cades Cove, Cosby, Deep Creek, Look Rock, and Smokemont campgrounds. In addition, there is a dump station located across the road from the Sugarlands Visitor Center, approximately six miles from Elkmont Campground.
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Discount Passes

The America the Beautiful - National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is an annual pass that covers entrance fees at sites managed by the National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management. This pass does not provide discounts for camping fees.
If you are 62 or older or receive disability benefits, you may be eligible for the senior or access pass. Great Smoky Mountains National Park visitor centers no longer sell senior passes. Please check at Smokemont, Elkmont, or Cades Cove campground. Get more information about Senior or Access passes at the USGS website. These two passes do provide discounts on camping fees.

Last updated: December 2, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

Phone:

(865) 436-1200

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