The Great Smoky Mountains backcountry is ideal for all backpackers that would like to hike to their camping destination.
Home to more than 800 miles of hiking trails, the Great Smoky Mountains backcountry provides some beautiful scenic views of the surrounding mountain tops, waterfalls, historic architecture, gorgeous streams and stunning forestry. For easy access to all of these amazing areas, download the park’s trail map to find different trail locations, campsites and shelters.
For anyone that would rather camp by your vehicle, in a developed campground that offers running water, restrooms, picnic tables, and fire grates and flushing toilets, the frontcountry is an ideal camping destination.
Enjoy one of the park’s 10 frontcountry camping destinations at Deep Creek, Abrams Creek, Smokemont, Big Creek, Balsam Mountain, Cosby, Elkmont, Cades Cove, and Look Rock.
Each one of these camp sites provides restrooms that offer cold running water and bathrooms with plumbing. The Great Smoky National Park does not provide showers, water hookups or electrical hookups. There are showers available in the surrounding communities.
The campgrounds at Cosby, Elkmont, Cataloochee, Cades Cove and Smokemont can be reserved by phone or by going online. The campground at Cataloochee requires advance reservations while all other camp sites are first come, first serve.
There are 7 different camping locations throughout the park that permit group camping. The group sites are only open during specific times of the year and can only host people with tents. Campers, RVs and other wheeled vehicles are not allowed in these areas. The smallest amount of campers can only be 7 people and the stay cannot be longer than 14 days. The check out time on the day of your departure is 12:00 p.m. In order to stay at a group campsite you will need to make a reservation. Below is a list of the available group sites and their specific information.
- Big Creek – Open from April 11th to October 31st. The maximum amount of people is 25 and the cost is $44 per night. For reservation, call (423) 487-2683.
- Cades Cove – Open from March 14th to October 31st. There are various camping locations at Cades Cove that range from 20 to 30 maximum people. The cost per night ranges from $35 to $65.
- Cataloochee – Open from March 14th to October 31st. There are 3 different sites available with a maximum capacity of 25 people. Cataloochee is $35 per night. Reservations can be made at (828) 497-1930.
- Smokemont – With 3 different site locations, Smokemont is open from May 15th to October 31st. The maximum capacity is 20 people at a rate of $35 per night.
- Cosby – Open from April 11th to October 31st, Cosby has 3 different locations. The maximum capacity is 20 people at $26 per night.
- Deep Creek – Open from April 11th to October 31st, Deep Creek has 3 different locations. The maximum capacity is 20 people at $35 per night.