Great Smoky Mountains National Park Camping Campgrounds and RV parks

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Camping Campgrounds and RV parks

Hello my name is Mark Koep I am with Today we are going to talk about Great Smoky National Park and ideas on where you should go camping in your RV or tent. First-place I’ll start is
actually not at but at the National Park Service and pull up
their park map the reason I am going to do this is Great Smoky Mountain National Park is an
enormous park but the reason I pull up there map because I want to show you that to drive to it is there are really only a few main access points into the park. Now the park itself
is bounded by I-40 on the East and this US129 on the West. Then on the north and the south are your two main access points. In the North you have Gatlinburg Townsend and Pigeon Forge on the south side you have Cherokee Bryson City. Other then the small parks that we’ll talk about in a little bit that’s it the main part of Great Smoky National
Park this interior areas on both the western and eastern side of the park are accessible
only by foot so the main parts of the park are accessible for hikers only
otherwise you’re limited to these main access points. and when I say limited its not limited in a bad way its just for planning purposes it’s just you need to
be aware of that So now we’ll go over to and take a look at what there is
to do and see and where to stay inside Smoky Mountain National Park we’ll start
out with Gatlinburg Tennessee Big thing with Gatlinburg Tennessee is that it is the northern access point into the park The big thing with Gatlinburg is that there’s
not a lot of RV parks and campgrounds inside the town. The closest one is Twin
Creek RV Resort and I’ll pop that one up real fast and is located right here the advantage to this location is a free trolley that takes into downtown Gatlinburg Downtown Gatlinburg is cool to see
they’ve got a lot of little shops little restaurants all along on a walkway
very walking accessible town and it’s a fun tourist destination as you can see this Twin Creek has the trolley stop there they have a pool for in-season, playgrounds
big huge sites for RVs and small sites for tents and smaller trailers over all
a well kept Park really nice highly recommended. One thing I will point out is
they are not an advertiser if anybody is an advertiser I will mention it when I
promote them in that case they’re not just want to point them out. Outside of that
one there’s another park right up here this Camp LeConte which is a newer RV
Park. I point that out because it is new and it is nice They’ve got everything kind of setup right
pull throughs cabins and tent sites nice looking campground not too far outside it’s actually in
Pigeon Forge… I mean in Gatlinburg right near the high school so for the community it is not
too far away it is just a little ways off of downtown Gatlinburg otherwise your closest National Park
Campground to the entrance here is Elkmont Campground which is accessible for both RVs and tents zoom in here for a satellite view and
you get an idea of the overall shape of in fact the map view is better because it can give you a better view of it Elkmont Campground is really treed very large trees that does limit access to some RVs a lot of tents but kind of limited for
RVs just because of maneuvering in the park they are long sites if you get
into it any size RV will fit. It is a little limited just getting in there. The other limiting factor
for this park campground is the road leading into it is a winding narrow road so there is a lot of tight turns and such and that tends to limit people when they’re
driving on the road we’ll take a quick street view of the road and you can see what I
mean you see it has a mowed shoulder but the road itself is very narrow… perfect we have a pickup truck right behind us. You notice his mirrors are the width of the road. Essentially about a ten-foot road base
so it’s a bit narrow and as you go down here… down the road a little bit you
can see this turn right here it’s nothing crazy you know but it’s
nonetheless a little bit of a limiting factor if you are nervous about driving. So that is Gatlinburg north of there is Pigeon Forge you see this bulk of
icons here if we actually search Pigeon Forge you’d see that even more pop-up I
want to say off the top of my head there are 35 campgrounds and RV parks in
Pigeon Forge that may be a bit low but there’s just a ton… I mean look at that… that’s Pigeon Forge/ Gatlinburg there’s a
bunch here right at the end of Pigeon Forge fromit’s a two lane actually part
of the National Park. Notice the green areas that takes you right up into the
park up to gatlinburg and into the park there are some other ones out on this
321 One I’ll mention is this Kings Holly The reason I mention that one is it is
right next door to the city park if you have kids you’re on a budget this is
reasonably price park right next to the city park. So you can… there is a fence
here you can hop but there is a short walk to walk right up here and cut over and go into the park they have a playground up two play grounds out by the road here you got this
big area here iand there are trails that go around it So you can do a nice little jog and head back to the nice little campground right there. There’s a whole bunch of nice ones in the area
just wanted to point that one out if you have family and your on a budget. The next
place to look at will be Townsend Townsend Tennessee this is a true
small-town feel over in Townsend there’s a nice KOA actually really nice
KOA located here in Townsend they have really large sites They are also right
next to the access point here to this Townsend entrance access point into the park great thing about Townsend is it gives
you access to this Laurel Creek Road right here takes you over to Cades Cove. Cades Cove Campground is a very popular campground inside the park reservations highly recommended. Reason
why it’s so popular is this Cades Cove Loop Road. It is a very scenic drive it loops
through the valley here there’s a number of stops along the way with historic
interpretation centers and so forth its a one-way loop road and what makes it
notably special especially if you’re cyclist is that on certain mornings the
road is closed to vehicle traffic you can ride this road it is one way and do a loop even if it’s open to traffic if you’re a reasonably fast rider the speed limit is
low, people aren’t hauling along the road you can easily ride it without too much
worry and then you can stay right there at Cades Cove We do have video of the park you can check it out on the website but you can see this is a large rig you can kind of see how tight it is but it’s a really accessible park let’s see if I have an angle of it in these photos. see all the roads are very straight all
these roads are in fact if we go back over here you notice the straight lines
it’s very easy to get into. You drive in this road hop in and they’re just one
ways this is very accessible for any size rig you just drive down the road and back into the site plenty of space any size rig can fit into Cades Cove very easily The
sites are pretty close together not too bad Um Interesting Smoky Mountain National Park tends to pack them in there pretty tight in the different campgrounds so that’s Cades Cove accessible from
Townsend that’s the closest access point to it you can also access it from Gatlinburg
just a longer drive along this road that goes by Elkmont. Now we will jump over to
Cherokee. Cherokee is accessible via this US441 that goes through the
park Clingman’s Dome is at the very peak of it and then you drop down a long
descent into Cherokee below. Cherokee is on the Cherokee Indian Reservation so
there’s heritage and there is heritage museums and the such if you wanna learn
about the culture it’s a great destination to go there is a town here
there’s a casino in Cherokee a nice casino restaurants food and fuel and all
that stuff RV parks all around the location
The problem with Cherokke is if you start staying at these further out RV parks it’s a
bit of a drive to get to here so its something to keep in mind. There are
destination campgrounds up along this Big Cove Road. Um it is deceiving because you see the parks at it looks like they are next to Cherokee but
the reality is you have to drive all the way back down this road and then back up it’s not “all” this way but there is traffic on it especially during a popular times KOA and Jellystone where is Jellystone it is a bit further out it’s not popping up in my
search results here over on the next page those two your destination parks up in
there really family-friendly a lot going The Cherokee Smoky Mountain KOA is
very popular spot there’s a Jellystone again another very popular spot and then
on this side you also have Smokemont Campground Smokemont is a National Park
Service campground accessible to tents and smaller RVs So we have the Smokemont Campground on the East side along US 441 this is a gradual climb up to the top of the ridge not
quite as steep as the northwestern side The other National Park Campground
accessible to Cherokee is Deep Creek this is best suited to smaller RVs truck
campers and tent campers. Deep Creek is very popular for folks that are more
local they use it for tubing. You can take a tube out on the water the river you hike up trail hop in your tube and float back down. Very nice campground green… it’s a lower elevation so if its
warm it’ll be warm here but you are camping in the trees so there’s lots of
shade. Again we have video on that just outside of that entrance there are a
couple other camping options along the road here that also rent out tubes inner tubes and go out onto the water
and so this a popular spot here this Deep Creek there are a number of campgrounds we have more pictures and video to see what they look like and actually pick them out that’s another good spot to camp. Now we’ve covered Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Townsend and
Cherokee where else can I go camping in this area? A quieter region to go is up along the
Cosby Tennessee area this is in the northeastern part of the park it’s a little bit more remote now you’ll
notice this is 321 coming along Gatlinburg to Cosby, Cosby is right
there’s the actual city there’s kind of it’s more of a community than a city
So there’s houses and a few shops along here. Nothing big it’s really kind of a remote area of the park. There is a number of RV parks and campgrounds along this 321. There is a private park right here at the entrance and then you have the Cosby
Campground. Cosby Campground is seasonally open best suit to tents and small RVs and then you
have this highway 32 a very windy road you’ll notice looking at the satellite you notice how the roads are all windy that’s because they follow the bottoms of the
valley floor so you’re basically navigating along a flat area with the
mountains peaking up above you. This 32 comes over here to Big Creek Campground
again a tent campground truckcampers at best very very small rigs. Once you’re
here if you wanna do a little bit of off roading you can hit this 1397 as marked
on this Google Map Mount Sterling Road if I zoom in that is over here outside
of Big Creek. You notice this road right here youll be following that that’s a gravel road and it
heads over Cataloochee. Cataloochee you need to make reservations before going
there to camp they require reservations in
advance. they require them in advance the reason being is there’s no cell or
Internet service in that valley and because of that, I searched Maggie
Valley, because of that they require
reservations in advance so that the camphost knows who’s coming and they can kinda
limit traffic from coming in uninvited The Catalochee Campground is a nice little campground located in the trees next to the river it is a scenic spot it’s a bit tight um meaning you’re
right on top of your neighbors so it’s probably a little bit more comfortable
if you are in a small RV instead of tent camping but nonetheless its a pretty
location in a remote area Tip here is that whatever you’re
driving there is going to get dirty the gravel roads are very very dusty even if
you idle along them everything you own on the outside is going to get dusty so your RV your trailer anything you have strapped to the back of the car or pickup truck cover it up
so that you don’t arrive and have it all dirty. Catalochee is a very pretty campground and it’s definitely worth the trip and that gives you a taste of the interior of the park cause
it’s really located far from anywhere else. On the other side over here by this I’ll search Topoco North Carolina probably pronouncing that
wrong . This is the southern side of the park less traffic less crowded less people kind of hop over to hit Abrams Creek and there is Cades Cove again. That is Smokey Mountain National Park not a lot to it from the surface there is a ton of campgrounds around it inside of
it the National Park Campgrounds tend to be pretty crowded and a little tight they are best suited to smaller rigs other than for example Cades Cove which is pretty accessible to big
rig as long as you can get back there your best bets if you’re looking for a
family trip Pigeon Forge is your area if you’re looking to get away from it all
some of the areas round Cherokee around Catalochee Cosby kind of the corners… you can almost think of it as the four corners. You go to Townsend down here by this dam area Cosby and the Maggie Valley those would be kind of your rural areas The main areas will be Cherokee, Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge. If you have any questions hit our site up a we have all
these campgrounds mapped out for you… you can plan it out find and contact them and see video pictures of the park’s and really plan your trip If you have any questions feel free to email us and remember to subscribe to YouTube as we put more of these videos out there as we
complete the webinars. I’m Mark Koep with Thank you for your time good bye.

5 thoughts on “Great Smoky Mountains National Park Camping Campgrounds and RV parks

  1. We planned on going at the end of this month. With you knowing the area so well, would you know which of these would have been closest to the fires?

  2. Looking for a national park that I can bring my RV and stay for a week. Does this place offer enough activities to do for a week?

  3. Awesome info man, I really like the channel! Maybe a bit of an offbeat question, but would you have any tips/advice for a couple looking for a lesser-known, intimate waterfall inside the park?

  4. I am planning to visit this place next month Sep first week. I have few questions
    1. Is this place good for sep month ?
    2.Which place is good for Tent stay for couple. don't want to walk much after parking car?. looking for place where I can park car near to tent . I will be driving from OHIO.

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