Camping in the Smoky Mountains

Back Country Camping in the Smokies

Back Country HikingThe Great Smoky Mountains National Park requires that you obtain backcountry permits for overnight camping in the park. Reservation fees are $4 per person, per night, with a maximum charge of $20 per person. Permits are good for 7 nights. The park requires that you stay at designated campsites and shelters while camping in the backcountry. Plan your trip & determine which sites you wish to camp at. If your itinerary includes a reserved site or any shelter, you must call the Backcountry Reservation Office at (865) 436-1297 to make reservations. They are open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. daily. You may make reservations up to one month in advance of the first day of your trip. Be prepared to give your complete trip plan when calling. Keep the permit with you and drop the top copy in the registration box. If you do not plan to camp at a shelter or reserved campsite, then you only need to complete a permit. The maximum stay at a campsite is three consecutive nights, with no more than one night at any individual shelter. The use of tents at shelters is prohibited and the maximum group size is 8 persons. The park does not allow pets on backcountry trails. Please call the reservations office to cancel any nights or spaces that become available. For more information call the Backcountry Information Office at (865) 436-1297. The information office is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until noon.

Front Country Camping in the Smokies

Campgrounds Great Smoky Mountains

park-campingCamping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park can take visitors back to a primitive time, while still offering the amenities that modern life necessitates. There is a total of ten campgrounds in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. All of these major camping areas offer cold running water, flush toilets, fire grills and tables. There are no showers, electrical or water hook-ups available in the park. Most of the sites are closed from the beginning of November until early Spring. Check the chart below for operation schedules. Fees for camping range from $17.50 – $27.00 per night. Spaces at Cades Cove, Elkmont, Cosby, Cataloochee and Smokemont may be reserved online at or by phone through the National Park Reservation Service at 1-877-444-6777. You can make reservations up to five months in advance. The remaining campgrounds are first-come, first-served only. Enjoy your outdoor experience in the Smokies and please remember – leave nothing behind but your footprints.

View Our Park Map for Locations

Campgrounds Great Smoky Mountains:

Map Loc. Campgrounds Tentative

Open/Close Dates

Sites Elevation Fee
C-1 Abrams Creek 4/29 – 10/30 16 1,125 ft. $17.50
C-2 Balsam Mountain 5/13 – 10/11 43 5,310 ft. $17.50
C-3 Big Creek 4/15 – 10/30 12 1,700 ft. $17.50
C-4 Cades Cove Year Round 159 1,807 ft. $25
C-5 Cataloochee 4/15 – 10/30 27 2,610 ft. $25
C-6 Cosby 4/15 – 10/30 157 2,459 ft. $17.50
C-7 Deep Creek 4/15 – 10/30 92 1,800 ft. $25
C-8 Elkmont 3/11 – 11/27 220 2,150 ft. $25 – $27
C-9 Look Rock Closed 68 2,600 ft. $14
C-0 Smokemont Year Round 142 2,198 ft. $25

Page Summary: Backcountry Camping rules in the Great Smoky Mountains and a list of Campgrounds in the Great Smoky Mountains. Camping in the Great Smoky Mountains.