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An Insider’s Guide to Camping in the Smokies


You can find many stunning views while exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Not all Smoky Mountain camping is created equal. In America’s most frequented park, what may seem as straightforward as pitching a tent can be…a little complicated. Backcountry permits, shelter reservations, and front country (drive-in) sites booked months in advance may end up complicating your overnighter. And even after you’ve jumped through all the necessary hoops, you may discover the part of the park you’re in isn’t what you expected or wanted. We’ve had enough mosquito infested backcountry endeavors, crowded campsites, and unsavory run-ins with park rangers to speak with some authority on the do’s and don’ts of camping in the Smokies. So whether you’re tackling the tallest points in the park, kayaking down raging rivers, or trying to cover as many miles as possible through these stunning, smoking hills, we’ll put you in the middle of your favorite action by day with stargazing by night.
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