General Question

xBRIANx's avatar

In the Great Smoky Mtns National Park, which campground is better: Cades Cove or Elkmont?

Asked by xBRIANx (242 points ) January 3rd, 2014

I will be traveling from NC in late March… 4 adults and 4 children. Pros/Cons of both campgrounds, please. Hopefully neither will be too crowded. We’ve stayed in some of the NC side campgrounds before, just never the TN side.

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5 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

After reading Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods” about his and his companion’s hike of (some of) the Appalachian Trail, none of the campgrounds in the National Park sound too appealing to me. But I have no first hand advice to offer.

bkcunningham's avatar

You should check the park’s schedule and verify when the campgrounds open and make a reservation. I don’t think Elkmont opens until late April. I like Cades Cove although both are nice. http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/groupcamps.htm

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Elkmont by far, many campsites are adjacent to the river and more private. It’s open by mid-March so you’re good there. Cades Cove is a bit touristy and frankly kinda blah. You can always get in Cades Cove though and it’s year round. There were a couple of very nice lesser known sites that the sequester closed. I’m hoping they eventually open them back up.

xBRIANx's avatar

@bkcunningham, the link you provided was for large group camping. Elkmont opens March 8.

xBRIANx's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me thanks for your input. We were already leaning towards Elkmont since it was closer. We also thought we could hit up Cades Cove for just a day trip to rides bikes or go horseback riding.

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