Do’s and Don’ts of RV Camping in the Smoky Mountains

If you’d rather camp out in your RV than stay in a hotel or pitch a tent, the Smoky Mountains has a place for you. Camp in the National Park’s frontcountry campgrounds where you can easily access hiking trails and fishing spots, or choose one of the area’s well-loved RV campgrounds that cater specifically to the RV camper’s needs. Either way, you’ll find yourself nestled in scenic coves and along glittering streams, right on the edge of the wilderness you’ve come for.
Get tips for RV Camping in the Smoky Mountains


Visit Great Smoky Jellystone RV Resort

A much-loved local resort campground, Jellystone is the perfect destination for families in search of some quality time RV camping in the Smoky Mountains. Right on the edge of the National Park near Cosby, the resort offers cabin rentals, tent sites, and RV camping. There is instant access to one of the most beautiful and intriguing trails in the Park—the Maddron Bald/Albright Grove trail, famous for its enormous trees. Guests may enjoy bathhouses with hot showers, a massage bed, playground, basketball court, game room, salt water pool, ice cream shop, grocery store, Internet access, a mini golf course, and more. Once you’re settled in, you won’t want to leave.

Camping at Cove Mountain RV Resort is a great option for families staying in the Smoky Mountains
Photo courtesy of Cove Mountain RV Resort

Visit Cove Mountain RV Resort

Located in Wears Valley, close to both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, Cove Mountain RV Resort invites you to kick back and take in the natural beauty of the area. Watch for deer, read by the pond, or take the kids to the resort’s swimming pool when the weather is good. The resort offers full hookup sites as well as cabin rentals. Extra large sites feature Wifi access, water, cable TV, and 30/50 amp electricity.

Camp in the National Park:


Here in one of the less-visited nooks of the National Park, you’ll be nestled in the woods beneath the majesty of Mount Cammerer. Expect quiet nights and excellent wildlife watching here. If you’re a hiker, you can leave the RV for a trek up to Cammerer’s fire tower, where the views of the Tennessee and North Carolina ranges are stunning, or you can take a leisurely stroll to Hen Wallow Falls on the easier Gabes Mountain Trail, just beyond the campground.


Elkmont is one of the most popular campgrounds in the Park with its access to the scenic Little River, historical landmarks, and more easy access to beautiful trails. Here you can stroll down the Little River Trail where glittering cascades abound, or wander the lush Cucumber Gap Trail and enjoy serene forest.

See beautiful Abrams Falls while RV camping in the Smoky Mountains
Abrams Falls

Abrams Creek

Located on the peaceful western end of the Park, Abrams Creek is truly away from it all. Listen to the burbling waters and drink in the stars, and watch for deer in the early mornings. All of the Park’s frontcountry campgrounds have running water, restroom facilities, fire grates, and picnic tables.


Wait to make reservations

Spots fill up fast at these popular locations, particularly in the National Park, where space is more limited. Weekend travelers in particular will want to reserve sites online, when possible, as early as they can. Arriving early will also help ensure that you get the spot you want, particularly if you are looking for isolation or a specific setup.

Forget to check size and electricity regulations

Different sites have different size limitations as well as electricity options. Make sure there is a space to accommodate your setup before you plan your trip around a park or campground. Remember that parks and campgrounds have individual policies regarding stay limits, too.

Camp in the National Park during major holidays

As fun as it might be to spend a holiday trekking around in the National Park, you can expect large crowds and overpopulated campgrounds during these times. Privacy will be at a premium, particularly in Cades Cove and Elkmont, so if you’re looking for some peace and quiet, you will want to choose an RV park over a National Park campground during these times.

Forget to familiarize yourself with the area before you choose a park

The Smokies are wonderfully riddled with trails, waterfalls, swimming holes, vistas, and wildlife-watching areas, but you’ll miss out on a lot if you don’t have a map and a sense of the area before you park for the weekend. Campground hosts and park rangers will answer questions, but you can get more out of your time if you know in advance what you’d like to see and do during your stay.

Check out these great wildflower hikes while you’re RV camping in the Smoky Mountains!
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