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Camping at Elkmont Campground

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Overview of Elkmont Campground

Elkmont Campground is one of the largest and most popular campgrounds in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, located in Tennessee. It offers a traditional outdoor camping experience with the beautiful backdrop of the Smokies. Nestled alongside the Little River, Elkmont Campground is well-known for its historic buildings and proximity to hiking trails.

Campground Details

  • Location: Elkmont Campground is approximately 8 miles from Gatlinburg, TN, along the Little River Road.
  • Season: The campground is typically open from early spring through late fall.
  • Sites: There are around 200 tent and RV campsites available for campers. These include standard nonelectric sites with amenities such as fire rings and picnic tables.
  • Capacity: Each site can accommodate up to six people and two vehicles.
  • RVs: RV sites can handle equipment up to 35 feet in length. There are no hookups for water, sewer, or electric at the sites.
  • Reservations: Campsites can be reserved in advance through the National Park Reservation System, and some sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Facilities and Amenities

  • Restrooms: Flush toilets and running water are provided.
  • Showers: There are no shower facilities in the campground itself, but there are shower facilities available in the nearby communities.
  • Utility Sinks: There are utility sinks available to wash dishes.
  • Food Storage: Bear-proof food storage lockers are provided at each campsite to protect food from wildlife.
  • Accessibility: Some campsites and restrooms are designed to be accessible for those with disabilities.

Recreational Activities

  • Hiking: Elkmont offers access to numerous trails, such as the Little River Trail and the trail to the summit of Mount LeConte.
  • Fishing: Anglers can enjoy fishing in the Little River, which is known for its trout population.
  • Wildlife Watching: The area is home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, deer, and numerous bird species.
  • Historical Exploration: The nearby Elkmont Historic District allows visitors to explore early 20th-century vacation cottages.
  • Synchronous Fireflies: Elkmont is famous for its synchronous fireflies event that typically occurs during a two-week period in late May to early June.

Important Rules and Regulations

  • Wildlife: Feeding wildlife is dangerous and illegal. Store food and dispose of waste properly.
  • Firewood: To prevent the spread of invasive insects, the park recommends using heat-treated wood sold in the park or gathering dead and down wood.
  • Quiet Hours: Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 am. Generator use is restricted to certain hours.
  • Pets: Pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash at all times and cannot be left unattended. There are restrictions on where pets can be taken on trails.

Reservations and Fees

  • Booking Window: Reservations can generally be made up to six months in advance.
  • Fees: There are nightly fees for camping, which can be found on the official National Park Service website or at the time of booking. Fees vary based on the type of site.
  • Group Sites: There are also a few group sites available for larger parties, which require a different reservation process.

Access and Contact Information

For the most up-to-date information and reservations, visitors should consult the National Park Service's official website or contact the park directly. It is always advisable to check current conditions, any alerts or closures, and specific campground rules before planning a visit to Elkmont Campground.

Location of Elkmont Campground
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