Fees and Reservations


The best part about the Great Smoky Mountains is that entrance into the park is absolutely free! In fact, this is one of the only national parks in the country that does not charge an entrance fee.

While there are no charges for simply visiting the park, some activities like camping and pavilion rentals do have a fee associated with them. Camping ranges from $14-$23 per night.


For anyone that intends on spending the night in the park, it’s important to make reservations.

Backcountry Camping

In order to backcountry camp in the Great Smoky Mountains all visitors need an advanced reservation and permit. Before scheduling a backcountry trip, you should review the park’s permits and reservations rules and regulations.

For any questions regarding planning a backpacking trip, contact the Backcountry Information Office directly at (865) 436-1297. The Backcountry office is open every day from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST. On top of helping you with your reservations, the Backcountry Information Office can also give you helpful tips regarding your visit.

Frontcountry Camping

There are 10 different campgrounds throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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

The campsites at Elkmont, Cades Cove, Smokemont, Cosby, and Cataloochee can be reserved by phone at (877) 444-6777 or by going online. Please note that the Cataloochee campsite requires reservations in advance. The other campgrounds are first come, first serve.

Late Arrivals

None of the surrounding park campgrounds are gated. For anyone that does check in late, please be respectful of other visitors and the park’s quiet hours that are from 10:00 p.m. – 6:00 a.m.

For visitors who need to check in after hours, please continue on to your designated camp site if the office is closed upon your arrival. If you do not remember your designated camp site, simply check the Late Arrival List located on the bulletin board for your specific information. Failing to check in could result in losing your camping spot.

For anyone that does not have advance reservations, you can check the bulletin board for available camp sites. Please only set up your camp on one of those exact locations.

Discount Passes

A yearly pass, the America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass is good for specific sites that are handled by the National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, USDA Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. This pass does not cover camping fee discounts. Anyone over the age of 62 or receives disability benefits is eligible for an Access or Senior pass.

The Spence Cabin and Appalachian Clubhouse

Either of these facilities can be rented for family reunions, business meeting, wedding receptions and many other events.