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The Ultimate Guide to Winter Camping in the Smoky Mountains

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The Smokies are beautiful all year round, but there is something magical about the mountains in the wintertime! Once snow begins to fall and coat the peaks of the Smokies, it looks like something right out of a postcard. This is also a great time of year to enjoy some camping! While it may be cold, you’ll never forget the experience! Here is your ultimate guide to winter camping in the Smoky Mountains:

Camp Sites

Lots of campsites stay open throughout the year so you can enjoy staying in the winter wonderland that is the Smokies during this time of year! Whether you’re tent camping or bringing your RV along for the trip, there is a place for you!

1. Cades Cove

road in cades cove during winterWith unbeatable views, tons of historical buildings and a variety of wildlife, it’s no wonder Cades Cove hosts over 2 million visitors every year. Many of these visitors will stay for a while and set up camp at the Cades Cove Campground. This campground has restrooms and drinking water but does not come with a shower. There is a nearby camp store in case you find yourself in need of supplies. The Cades Cove Campground allows for both tent and RV camping, but you should plan to bring most of your own gear, including a tent and sleeping bags.

2. Greenbrier Campground

Located in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, Greenbrier Campground is the perfect place to spend your winter getaway! In addition to being pet-friendly, this campground comes with tons of awesome amenities you don’t want to pass up. Check out the on-site camp store, luxury bath houses, playgrounds, laundry facility and more!

For RV campers, there are pull-through and back-in sites available, as well as 120 full hookup sites that include water, sewer, electric, cable and wifi. Each site is equipped with 50 amp, 30 amp and 110 electrical hookups. For tent camping, there are spots available right on the river that come with water and electric service. These sites are close to all the amenities you may need while “roughing it”.

3. Backcountry Campsites

winter campingIf you’re looking for some one-of-a-kind, authentic camping in the Smoky Mountains, you need to camp in the backcountry. Within the national park’s 800 miles of trails, there are more than 100 backcountry campsites and shelters to choose from. Those who typically camp in the backcountry are spending their days hiking through the mountains. If you’re planning to spend time exploring and hiking during your winter vacation, these sites are the place for you. You still need to make reservations to camp on these sites, so make sure to contact the backcountry office at the Sugarlands Visitor Center before heading out on your adventure!

Winter Camping Safety Tips

It’s important to stay safe no matter what time of the year you’re camping in the Smoky Mountains. In the winter, you need to ensure you’re preparing for the temperatures in order to avoid the risk of hypothermia. The combination of rain, cold and wind can make camping and hiking conditions tricky, so make sure to bring rain gear and wear layers that can keep you warm even if you do get wet.

snowy creekWeather in the Smokies can change suddenly, so always be checking the forecast and try to speak with a park ranger at any of the visitors centers before heading out on your hike. The ranger will be able to give you a better idea of what weather to expect while you’re out.

Now that you know a little more about winter camping in the Smoky Mountains, you can begin planning your next trip! If you’re looking to save a bit on your next trip to the Smokies, browse through all of our coupons and savings. We look forward to seeing you!