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Life Is Better by the Campfire: The Best Campgrounds in the Great Smoky Mountains

Camping season is here! Slip into your hiking boots, pack the car with your gear, and head to the Smokies! Whether you’re gearing up for an overnight trip or a week-long excursion, you’ll want to choose the campground close to hiking and biking trails, near top area attractions, and meets all your outdoor adventure needs. And don’t forget– you can bring your 4-legged family member along since most campgrounds are pet-friendly! We want to share a few of the best campgrounds in the Great Smoky Mountains, so keep reading to explore options for tent camping, RV sites, and spots for glamping.

Campgrounds in Sevierville TN 

Smoky Hollow Outdoor Resort: luxury glamping opportunities for a unique lodging experience in the Smokies. They offer glamping tipis, tree houses, yurts, Conestoga Wagons, and the Honeybear Hideout Cabin. These accommodations include the comforts of home, such as heat and air conditioning, King-size beds, and more, while also enjoying the rustic nature of an outdoor retreat. 

Glamp Dunn’s Creek: perhaps the most luxurious glamping option in the Smokies! The large domes vary in size, some being over 1,000 square feet. They come fully furnished and stocked with the necessities, and the outdoor space includes a grill, fire pit, and hot tub. 

Campgrounds in Pigeon Forge TN

under canvas glampingUnder Canvas Glamping: another fantastic place for glamping in the Smokies! These safari-style canvas tents provide ultimate comfort with modern furnishings, with options for tent suits with a private bathroom, smaller tents with bathhouse access, a deluxe stargazer tent, and even a separate tent just for the kids! They also provide cafe-style dining options, plus on-the-go items and nightly s’mores around the firepit. 

Campgrounds in Gatlinburg TN

Smoky Bear Campground: close to both Greenbrier and Cosby, with full-service RV sites, tent camping, and cabin rentals. A clubhouse with a full kitchen is great for reunions and gatherings, and you can also access an onsite store, an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, a playground, and more. 

Birds Creek Campground: a peaceful creekside tent and RV campground that also has short-term and extended stay rates. They have a free laundry facility as well as WiFi throughout the campground. You can also rent their charming Hummingbird vacation cabin rental, with a separate bathroom, living room, bedroom, and kitchen spaces. You can fish in the creek, cook s’mores by the firepit, and stargaze on those clear mountain evenings!

Other Campgrounds in the Great Smoky Mountains

In addition to backcountry sites within the national park (which require a special permit), there are several frontcountry campgrounds in the park boundaries. These sites are primitive but are a great option if you want to spend your days hiking the endless trails in the national park and just want a place to pitch your tent at night! Here are a few of the Smoky Mountain frontcountry campground sites: 

Elkmont Campground: open seasonally (typically March – October/November). It’s closest to Sugarlands Visitor Center and has a small seasonal camp store, flush toilets, and drinking water. Tent and RV sites do not have hookups, and there aren’t shower facilities either.

best campgrounds in the great smoky mountainsCosby Campground: also open seasonally. Campsites for tents and RVs are available, as well as flushing toilets and drinking water; however, no hookups or showers and no camp store.

Cades Cove Campground: open year-round (unless weather interferes). The camp store carries all the necessities, and there is fresh drinking water and restrooms but no showers. 

As you can see, you can choose from a wide selection of campgrounds in the Great Smoky Mountains, from primitive sites within the national park to luxurious sites with all the best amenities. Check out more Smoky Mountain campgrounds and start planning your camping adventure!