I made him get up and put all of our bags and everything in the car in case the bears came looking for minty freshness! The other super important thing to decide is which campground you want to stay in. Park campgrounds are not gated. No fees are accepted onsite at these locations. We camped at Elkmont at the end of September and have camped at (ta && ta.queueForLoad ? on I-81. You have successfully signed up for the monthly newsletter. We were supposed to spend two nights at this campground. Roaring Fork Smoky Mountains Tour by Open-Air Jeep, Gatlinburg's Best Moonshine Distillery Tour and Tastings, The Smoky Mountains Sightseeing Flex Pass: Save Big on 30+ Attractions and Tours. Should we put water in it rather than milk?? Oh, one other thing, it will definitely be cold! We absolutely respect your privacy and do not share email addresses. Also, Elkmont is more centrally located in the park and closer to different hiking trails, etc. The first time we camped at Cades Cove I woke up in the middle of the night and remembered that I had read that bears can even smell toothpaste and get interested. You definitely have to take precautions to keep all your food and cooking stuff locked up in your (ta && ta.queueForLoad ? We have two small kids who love mini-golf, & the drive from CC really got old. Not sure which one is right for you? Located just around the corner from the Cades Cove Campground, it is a perfect spot for base camp for a weekend of camping with the fam. Quiet hours are from 10:00 PM-6:00 AM. There were some RVs and trailers at the park, but none nearby. You do have to respect the bears as a danger but they are a risk that you can definitely manage. For more information, visit the Cades Cove Riding Stables website. The trees are sparse, & traffic starts piling in at 6:00 am. Depends on how comfortable you are with towing on a grade. Trust me, we're prepared. ta.queueForLoad : function(f, g){document.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', f);})(function(){ta.trackEventOnPage('postLinkInline', 'impression', 'postLinks-9393604', '');}, 'log_autolink_impression');car. than in Elkmont, really, and you may have more folks around in C.C. Happy camping. Related: What are the most popular tours in Gatlinburg? Heat-treated wood is available from a growing list of private businesses in communities around the park. Unlike many national parks, the only lodging option within the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is to camp in one of their campgrounds. Which Campground to Choose in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park? It is the highest mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park reaching an elevation of 6,643 feet. Impress your family with new vacation ideas and creative travel insight gleaned from our quarterly mashup. For safety/bears?? Concessioners at Cades Cove, Smokemont, and Elkmont will provide heat-treated wood for sale during their operating season (typically March through November at Smokemont and Elkmont and through December at Cades Cove). As for the bears... we didn't see any in CC, but they are out & about this time of year foraging for food in preparation for hibernation. We really liked this one as well, but I suspect a lot of that had to do with the fact that there was no one around us. Smokemont Riding Stables offers a variety of guided horseback rides in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee, NC. Lodging recommendations, where to eat, favorite hikes, fun activities, and more! Re: Hmm Elkmont, Smokemont, or Cades Cove?? Hey, maybe it would be an awesome weaning time!! It sits adjacent to the 11-mile, one-way loop road around Cades Cove which offers spectacular views, historic buildings, and wildlife-viewing opportunities. Although there aren’t any electric or water hookups within the park, there are dump stations open year-round at Cade’s Cove, Elkmont and Smokemont. And have a great time! However, directions to either Cades Cove, and Elkmont could be wrong if you are following your GPS. I know, but my kids like to camp. Here’s the breakdown: Elkmont’s campsites seem a bit more private and the setting more remote with lots of trees and rhododendron. Food in the tent is exstreamly serious! From here, it is 4.2 miles total to the Appalachian Trail, just northeast of Charlies Bunion and Icewater Spring Shelter.Not far from the Bradley Fork junction is a trail called Cabin Flats Trail, which veers off to the right for 0.6 miles, leading to Campsite #49. Kygirl - it's worth it for us too. Y'all are going to freeze!). An ice cream vending machine (my kids think it’s magical), Reserve way ahead of time to get a river site, No showers, but Cades Cove doesn't have showers either. More open-- not as much developed understory, Tucked away from other points of interest in the park. Cades Cove Loop Road is a popular year-round destination. If it were me, I'd love to camp in the (ta && ta.queueForLoad ? Our little one still takes a bottle at night. Copyright © 2020 Simply Awesome Trips. Cades Cove is beautiful & has always been one of my #1 favorite places in my 20+ yrs of visits, but I feel that the campground is not as picturesque as Elkmont. That is the only thing making me a little leery. I would choose Elkmont for an overall great camping experience while visiting the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Smokemont Riding Stables. Cades Cove Campground Smokemont Campground. Waterfalls near Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, Baymont by Wyndham Gatlinburg on the River, Holiday Inn Club Vacations Smoky Mountain Resort, Park Vista - DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel - Gatlinburg, Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park. Besides Smokemont, Cataloochie near Maggie Valley, North Carolina is in … More centrally located--closer to Newfound Gap if you’re interested in hikes like Alum Cave, Charlie’s Bunion, the Chimneys, Andrews Bald, etc. I am really looking forward to a week in some cool weather, but I'm sure I'll be glad to get home to my 70s again when it's over. Smokemont Campground. We know about the lack of electricity and showers. They told us that if they drove past our site and there was unattended food out, we would be kicked out! Driving into Smokemont Campground, you may find it hard to imagine that it’s ever been anything but a recreational playground. We were camping in a travel trailor, so the tent area may be more woodsy (OMG!! Cades Cove is definitely the busier one, but facilities and proximity to neighboring campsites are the same all around the park. You are no more likely to come across a bear in C.C. Smokemont is just to isolated for my taste. Park campgrounds are not gated. When you check in, the rangers will tell you that they're very strict about food in the campsites. this time of year. But camping numbers rose — July 2020 saw a 7% increase in campers over July 2019. I know you can't be too careful but you also can't let worrying ruin the enjoyment of your trip. Like Cades Cove, Clingmans Dome is in the Tennessee section of the park. next December, so we pinch our pennies! Also for the record, there are sinks with running water in the bathroom, but no hot water. That being said, it attracts lots of cars and visitors to this area of the park. Cades Cove Loop Road will be closed for bicycle use only Wednesday and Saturday mornings until 10 a.m. from May 8 through Sept. 25. All Rights Reserved. LOCATION. This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. You may check in after hours.However, please be considerate of your neighbors while setting up camp by keeping noise and light to a minimum. As for your heaters, I'm not sure how they work, but as a previous poster said, there is no electricity at the campsites. I don't mean that you shouldn't respect them as wild animals but it's not like they're aggressive hunters or anything either. In July 2020, Cades Cove had 40,914 visitors. Thank you! I know you can prepare for that and you'll be fine but just a warning. The best thing about Cades Cove Campground is not the campground itself but its amazing proximity to one of the most beautiful (and visited) areas of the park, which is both a positive and a negative. The national park maintains 10 front-country campgrounds: Abrams Creek Balsam Mountain, Big Creek, Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Cosby, Deep Creek, Elkmont, Look Rock, and Smokemont. Now, to my knowledge, no one has been "threatened" by a bear in the campground for a few years now, but it can happen. Should we head to Elkmont as opposed to CC?? One of those campgrounds is Smokemont. In the same month in 2019, a total of 28,834 visited the scenic loop. Campgrounds: Cades Cove and Smokemont campgrounds are open year round. We're broke with a baby coming in May, this is our only vacation option. Due to road damage and hazard trees, Parson Branch Road will remain closed in 2019. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. What are some FREE or budget friendly activities in the area? There are sites available for tents as well as RVs, and there's even a nearby grassy area great for games and activities or just lying in the sun. From Smokemont to Newfound Gap you gain around 4,000 feet and then lose it again by Sugarlands visitors center. Little river runs right through it creating a nice background noise when you fall asleep at night to Dome! 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Electricity and showers packaged and clearly marked with a visit to the upcoming award of a concession...