Name: Elkmont Campground
Nearest Gateway City: Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Individual Camp Sites: 220
Fee: $25 to $27 per night
Dates Open: March 9 – November 25, 2018
Group Campsites: 4 (15 – 30 persons)
Fee: $30 to $60
Dates Open: May – October 31, 2018
Maximum RV Length: Trailers – 32’ and Motor Homes – 35’
Directions to Elkmont Campground
From Sugarlands Visitor Center: Drive 4.8 miles on Fighting Creek Gap Road. Elkmont Road will be on your left. Turn onto Elkmont Road and drive 1.5 miles to Elkmont Campground.
Elkmont Campground Description
Elkmont Campground is the largest and busiest in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This campground has 220 campsites and visitors use them all.
Elkmont Historical District is one of the most popular destinations in the park. When the logging industry left and the resort community forced out, quite a few historical buildings remained.
Today, visitors love to explore around the old cabins, the Appalachian Club, and Spencer Cabin. The latter two are available to rent on a daily basis.
The National Park Service built Elkmont Campground right next to the old Appalachian Club.
The area is rife with historical structures, hiking trails, beautiful trees, wildflowers, the Little River, and wildlife.
Everything one looks for in a Smoky Mountain camping vacation can be found at Elkmont.
DOWNLOAD: Elkmont Campground Site Map
Whether you are camping in a tent or a recreational vehicle, Elkmont is a great place to do it.
Black Bears at Elkmont Campground
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a black bear habitat. More than 1,600 black bears now live in this impressive park. They have been known to wander into Elkmont Campground.
One of the most memorable experiences of many campers is seeing a black bear. Black bears forage early in the morning and late afternoons, when the weather is not so hot. So if you are out and about, be alert.
You need to know what to do if, and when, you see a black bear. For more information about Black Bears, please peruse our articles about them.
RELATED: Black Bears
Activities at Elkmont Campground
Hiking is a popular pastime for visitors to Elkmont. Jakes Creek and Little River Trails are both fantastic hikes.
RELATED: 38 Popular Day Hikes
Fishing for trout in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a once in a lifetime experience for many anglers. Rainbow trout, brown trout, and brook trout, are in abundance.
Be sure to get a fishing license, fines are steep if you don’t have one. Either a Tennessee or North Carolina license works anywhere in the park.
Two hundred of the campsites at Elkmont have paved driveways, a picnic table, a fire ring with a cooking grate, and a gravel tent pad.
These campsites accommodate tent or RV camping equally well. An additional 20 campsites are “walk-in” sites where campers will need to park their vehicle and walk to the campsite.
Nine of the campsites at Elkmont are wheelchair accessible. The picnic table is accessible and the fire ring is elevated for easy access. In addition, these campsites are located near accessible restrooms.
Remember that campers may use “approved firewood only” when building a fire. We suggest looking at the campground regulations before planning your fires.
RELATED: Campground Regulations
The campground does not provide electricity, showers, or water hookups. Check with the campground host to find out where the closest shower facility is located. You will likely need to drive to Gatlinburg or Townsend.
You will be pleased to know that Elkmont does have restrooms with flushing toilets, YEA! Potable cold running water is accessible through a spigot outside the restrooms.
IMPORTANT: Only three campsites have electrical outlets. These sites are for people with medical conditions requiring medical devices (i.e. CPAP machines). We suggest reserving one of these campsites when possible. Don’t wait until the last minute as these sites go fast.
A maximum of six people may use individual sites. If your group has seven or more people, you must reserve a group campsite or get two or more individual sites.
Elkmont Group Campsites are perfect for large family gatherings or any group with seven or more people.
There are four group campsites at Elkmont. One of the campgrounds accommodates up to fifteen people ($30). Two of the campgrounds accommodate up to twenty people ($40). Lastly, one of the campgrounds accommodates up to thirty people ($60).
You must have a reservation to use a group campsite. The good news is that you can make the reservation up to one year in advance.
Reservations and Registration
During certain periods of the year, you need a reservation to stay at Elkmont. At other times, you may walk-up and register without having a reservation.
Since the reservation period changes every year, we suggest that you check with Recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777 for specific dates.
When you arrive at Elkmont Campground with a reservation, or as a walk-up, you need to register.
Stop at the campground kiosk, register, and pay your fee. A host will be there to assist you. If you arrive after hours, fill out the envelope provided and drop your fee into the safety box.
The host will come by your campsite the following day to check on you and to make sure everything is correct.
IMPORTANT: Prices are subject to change. Additional fees, taxes, or discounts may be applied.
Nearby Points of Interest
We suggest reading our short history of Elkmont before arriving. The Appalachian Club and Spence Cabin, along with many other buildings are close enough to explore. Remember: do not enter any of the buildings; it is illegal.
Metcalf Bottoms Trail is a short drive away, but it is another of the trails rich in history. The Walker Sisters’ cabin is on the trail as is the old schoolhouse. The Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area is at the trailhead, so pack a lunch and make a day of it.