Maybe you’re camping to fulfill nostalgic childhood memories of cooking s’mores around the campfire. Or, you’re an experienced camper just looking for a new spot that will offer you a fun weekend trip guaranteed. Either way, camping in Cades Cove will exceed your expectations. With tons of campsites, not to mention an amazing view almost anywhere you go, we promise that you’ll love setting up camp here.
To help you make the most of the trip, we have even assembled a guide to camping in Cades Cove. Read on to see how to camp in the mountains here like a professional.
Where to Stay
Cades Cove Campground:
The Cades Cove Campground is by far the most popular campsite in the area. You can make a reservation for one of the 159 sites anytime of the year and you can look forward to flushable toilets, drinking water, bike rentals, and even a few electric hook-ups. Plus, you’ll be near the entrance to Abram Falls. You’ll just have to make sure your tent or RV is 35 ft. or under to fit in the campsite.
Deep Creek Campground:
The Deep Creek area is loved for its waterfalls and streams. But it’s first-come, first-served so arrive early to grab one of the spots for $17 a night. You’ll be able to sleep right near the waterfalls and even enjoy two of the park’s mountain bike trails.
For those looking for a more secluded campground, choose to stay at Cataloochee. At $20 per night, you can choose to stay at one of 27 camp sites and you’ll be near several prime fishing spots. The camp is open from March to late October but reservations are required.
Another popular campground is the Elkmont Campground. The area has 220 sites and is close to Gatlinburg as well as three nearby hiking trails that you can go on with your friends or family.
How to Make the Most of Your Trip
Go for a bike ride
For a simple activity that will help you get away from the campsite for a few hours, rent a bike and tour the Cades Cove Loop Road. You can even have the road to yourself until 10:00 a.m. every Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday from May to late September.
Take a horse ride
Several of the campsites in Cades Cove are near riding stables so that you can easily park your car and go for a ride. If horseback riding isn’t your thing, you can also go for a carriage ride or even a hayride with your family or friends.
Take a tour of the historic site
In total, there are 90 historic structures to see in the area. We personally suggest paying a visit to the John Oliver Cabin, the Beech Grove School, Caldwell Barn, and the Jim Bales Corncrib for a taste of what Cades Coves used to be like.
The beauty of camping in Cades Coves is that there’s a ton to do. So even if you didn’t find what you’re looking for in this guide, you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied once you arrive. For more information, see what else is nearby here.