11 Smoky Mountain Campgrounds You’ll Love in 2019

By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.

Smoky Mountain campgrounds are becoming more crowded every year. In fact, The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the busiest park in the nation. Last year more than 11,000,000 people visited it!

We’re here to help you easily find the best Smoky Mountain campgrounds that meet your needs. From free to expensive, this list has everyone covered.

Also, each site has a specific “Smoky Mountain Campgrounds Vibe” score. This score is rated 1-10 and is based on price, location, amenities and previous reviews.

Let’s do this!

Elkmont Campground

GPS: 35.6598, -83.585

PRICE: around $20 per night

Ideal For: Tent, Van & RV – those who want to be in the heart of the park.

Pros: This campground is located inside the National Park and has multiple trails connected to it. Even though its a huge campground, the sites are spaced out nicely and many have creek front access. The campground is kept very clean.

Cons: No cell connectivity. If you need cell service for work or emergency, this site might not be for you. Also, if you have a huge RV, you may not fit within the 35ft max length.

Smoky Mountain Campgrounds Vibe: 9.1/10 This campground represents Smoky Mountain vibes very well. Trail access and beautiful scenery is as good as it gets.

Smokemont Campground

GPS: 35.5553, -83.3112

PRICE: around $20 per night

Ideal For: Van camping, RV camping & Tenting

Pros: This is another awesome site inside the National Park. Its a very peaceful campground with stream access and hiking trails. If you want to be where all the outdoor-activity action is, this campground is for you.

Cons: No hook ups for RVs, no showers in the bathroom and no cellular connectivity. You might not want to spend your entire vacation here, but a few nights could be fun.

Smoky Mountain Campgrounds Vibe: 8.5/10 Despite the lack of modern amenities, this campground has tons of good vibes.

Dumplin Valley Farm

GPS: 35.9922, -83.5829

PRICE: around $35 per night

Ideal For: RV & Truck Campers – This is a great spot after a long drive into town.

Pros: This private campground is beautiful. It have a view of the Smoky Mountains and lush grassy sites with room to spread out. Dumplin Valley can be a great basecamp for your National Park adventures. It has strong cell connectivity, too!

Cons: You’ll be a good drive from the heart of the National Park.

Smoky Mountain Campgrounds Vibe: 7.4/10 This campground gets a high score because its scenic and unique qualities. It looses points due to its location.

Santeetlah Lake

GPS35.3663, -83.8551

PRICE: Free!

Ideal For: Tent Campers & Van Campers

Pros: The price is pretty awesome! Also, the sites are located right on the water front. Hiking access is available from the sites.

Cons: While the sites are on the water – you can’t access them directly by car. Vehicles have to park on the side of the road. No RVs recommended here.

Smoky Mountain Campgrounds Vibe: 8.6/10 Free & beautiful with access to water & hiking. Perfect for tenting in the Smoky Mountains

Little Arrow Outdoor Resort

GPS: 35.6707, -83.7159

PRICE: around $80 per night

Ideal For: Luxury campers of all kinds. This resort can accommodate most RVs.

Pros: Little Arrow has completed a round of renovations that drastically improved the bath house and public spaces. Sites are spaced apart nicely and, to top it off, they host food trucks on the weekends.

Cons: It’ll cost a pretty penny.

Smoky Mountain Campgrounds Vibe: 6.7/10 The site gets huge points for style and class. But, the prices makes it hard to justify if you’re planning a rustic camping trip.

Greenbrier Campground

GPS: 35.7267, -83.475

PRICE: around $50 per night

Ideal For: Family Campers wanting close access to Gatlinburg

Pros: The bath houses are pristine, the wifi actually works great and the staff is friendly. If your Smoky Mountain camping trip leans more on the tourist side of vacationing, Greenbrier Campground should be the right fit.

Cons: This campground won’t have those off-grid camping vibes.

Smoky Mountain Campgrounds Vibe: 7.3/10 Gatlinburg is fun! And, if you want to hike and shop give this campground a try.

Indian Creek Campground

GPS: 35.5499, -83.2303

PRICE: around $35-$55 per night

Ideal For: Campers who want to explore the less touristy side of the Smoky Mountains.

Pros: The site has a river running by it – good for fishing. It also has nearby access to so many hiking and biking trails. This is a private campground with a lot of “national park” vibes.

Cons: Facilities are a bit dated and camp store is a little overpriced.

Smoky Mountain Campgrounds Vibe: 8.2/10 Beat the crowds and enjoy a little peace and quiet!

Tsali Campground

GPS: 35.4073, -83.587

PRICE: around $20 per night

Ideal For: This is a campground for the camping purist. It has the quintessential Forest Service vibe with a touch of nostalgia.

Pros: So many outdoor activities! Bike trails, hiking trails, water activities and good-old family bonding are easy to do at Tsali campground.

Cons: There are no hook ups at the campsites and all spots are first come first served.

Smoky Mountain Campgrounds Vibe: 9.9/10 It doesn’t have the amenities of a private campground, but it does have all the feels!

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Anchor Down RV Resort

GPS: 35.9718, -83.5188

PRICE: around $75 per night

Ideal For: RV Travelers looking for luxury.

Pros: This resort is amazing. The sites are level, have full hook ups and are well groomed. The amenities include a pool with waterslide, tennis courts, rec area, beach area, dog park and fishing trail.

Cons: It’s not inside the National Park.

Smoky Mountain Campgrounds Vibe: 7.2/10 This park delivers a high-end experience and keeps you in the Smoky Mountain spirit.

Cades Cove Campground

GPS: 35.6027, -83.7766

PRICE: around $10-$20 per night

Ideal For: Cade Cove is another campground for the camping-purist. If you want to see wild life up close and personal, it’s for you!

Pros: This affordable campground will get you connected to nature. You may even see a few bears! Tubing, hiking and biking are a few of the popular activities.

Cons: Might be hard to get your big RV here. Also, cell reception is spotty at best.

Smoky Mountain Campgrounds Vibe: 8.4/10 Get connected with nature and don’t spend a fortune doing it!

Imagination Mountain Camp Resort

GPS: 35.7717, -83.2679

PRICE: Around $60 per night

Ideal For: Families! This park is great for the whole family and caters to kids! The offer RV sites, tent sites and cabins.

Pros: Lots of activities on site. They offer nightly movies, a game room, an ice cream parlor and even a mini-golf corse. There are also less populated hiking trails nearby.

Cons: You’ll have to drive a little ways to get to the National Park.

Smoky Mountain Campgrounds Vibe: 8.9/10 Getting the whole family to easily explore the Smoky Mountains is a challenge, Imagination Mountain makes it a breeze!

Learn More About Free Camping

If you want to see our 20 Favorite Free Campsites across America, read the list here.

Don’t be afraid to give free camping – AKA boondocking – a try. Here’s our beginners guide to get you started.

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