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Old 11-26-2010, 09:36 PM   #1
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Great Smoky Mtn. July / Aug 2011

Last year we were planning a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains for the summer of 2010. But with ongoing construction projects being finished up, we opted for Shenandoah NP for Aug. of this year. So now I'm planning a 2 week trip to the Smoky's for either July or Aug of 2011.

Right now I'm looking to do 5 nights at Cades Cove in the Northwestern side of the park, then, 2-3 nights at a private campground to recharge our trailer batteries, then move around to the southern side of the Smoky's to Smokemont for another 4 -5 nights.

I'm look for site recommendations for Cades Cove and recommendations for the 2-3 night stay at a private campground outside the park.

As far as Cades Cove it appears section "B" has larger sites. Since it will be the summer time and most likely very warm and no electric service. I'm looking for a full shade site and a nice size. My fear is having a site that is close by that they are running a generator all day. On the reservation site for Cades Cove they have a few pictures of the campsites. But only the first few sites listed have pictures.

I have only a 24' trailer, so I can get into just about any site. A level site is great, but one that is a hair downhill can work (door to trailer is near the front of the trailer).

Thanx for any help or pictures. either post or PM me.....
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:10 PM   #2
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I would strongly suggest Twin Creeks in Gatlinburg for your private campground stay. They are rated the number one campground in TN. We stayed there for three weeks in May and again for a month in October/November. Friendly, free cable, free wifi, clean restrooms....one of our favorite campgrounds...as if you couldn't tell.
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:57 PM   #3
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Cades Cove Campground

I'm not sure about Cades Cove, but in Elkmont they have certain sections that are for campers with generators, that way they're all together. As I recall, Cades Cove is pretty shaded, just stay away from the first couple of rows near the store. It gets pretty busy in that area.

For what it's worth, we prefer Elkmont over Cades Cove. It has a nice stream running through the campground and you can ride the tram into Gatlinburg for $1.00 and not have to worry about parking. We then drive the Little River Road down to Cades Cove for the trip around the wildlife loop road.
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:49 PM   #4
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Yes, I printed off Cades Cove, Smokemont, Elkmont and Cosby campground maps. I know Cades Cove was completely re-paving in the spring. It also had all or most of its washrooms updated. Do you have any site pictures or site #'s at Elkmont?
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Old 11-28-2010, 10:50 AM   #5
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Elkmont Sites

I don't know of any bad sites in Elkmont. The most desireable ones are those that back up to the creek (Little River). If you have children, they love the creek (not deep, but lots of trout) and can tube. I think if you go to the National Park Service reservation web site (Xanterra ???) they have a map layout of the campground. I don't remember the numbers of any specific sites. Creek/river sites fill up fast, so if that's what you want, don't delay.
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:25 PM   #6
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I also would recommend Elkmont. We found that for the things we wanted to do (Ranger Programs, hikes, driving tours, visiting Gatlinburg without having to drive to it, horseback riding) that Elkmont was well situated. Roaring Fork Motor Trail is very near Elkmont and is well worth driving. We would drive to Sugarlands Visitor center and bike the trail to Gatlinburg (we had a trailer for our little one we used so it is a pretty wide trail).

Also, as with most National Park campgrounds there are lots of Ranger programs at all three campgrounds mentioned in this thread. We especially enjoyed finding salamanders and other small creatures on a Ranger walk on the Chimney Tops trail.

We have not stayed at Cades Cove, but we have enjoyed horseback riding at the nearby stables and driving the auto tour loop road. We have also been lucky enough to get caught in Bear sighting traffic jams on the road to and from Cades Cove, got pictures of a couple.

It is on our list of places to stay the next time we visit the Smokies.

BTW, according to the Plan Your Visit guide horseback riding is also available at Smokemont and Sugarlands.

It does look like you have to use the "C" loop to avoid generator use. One of the rules on the map I have from Elkmont says generator use must be reasonable, no more than 1 hour long periods during generator hours, this may be the same at Cades Cove.

Have fun on your trip!
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:25 PM   #7
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OK you guys are changing my plans....Elkmont makes more sense as far as location to Sugarland, Roaring Fork, Gatlinburg....

Quote:
If you have children, they love the creek (not deep, but lots of trout) and can tube.
Yes, by son and me like river tubing.....river rafting river swimming lake swimming

We figure 5 nights on the north side of the Smoky's, and 4-5 more on the south side at Smokemont.

I'll have to check to see if there is any construction projects are planned for that area. That was one reason I was leaning towards Cades Cove because everything was re-paved and buildings updated the last 12 months.

Xanterra.com does not handle the Smoky's reservations.

www.recreation.gov takes the reservations for the Smoky's....
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:39 AM   #8
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We stayed at smokemont the last time we were in the SMNP and its an unbelieveable campground for quiet and privacey, sites are far apart and has a small creek running through it as well, although it is a little far from the action but thats what we want, I hade planed on staying in cades-cove sometime but haven got it done in the 18 times we have visited SMNP in the 25 yr of marrage, we like it there I think the generator thing would be a factor for me, as i am a quiet freak. as far as the temp in the summer anywhere in the mountains is 15-20* cooler than in town, and at night i think you would need a blanket.

Dar & Barb
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:37 AM   #9
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Yes, I was kind of wondering about the temp....This past Aug. we stayed in Shenandoah at Big Medows campground on top of the skyline drive. The campground was at about 3100 feet. In the valley it was 95 to 103 degrees all week, we were maybe in the low 80's and cool enough at night for a light jacket.
My plans have kind of changed to 5 nights at Elkmont instead of Cades Cove, then a few days a private place outside the park to re-charge the battery, then move to the southside for 4-5 nights at Smokemont.

Elkmont is at 2,150 feet and Smokemont is 2,200 feet.

Reserving a site is going to be tricky. Elkmont fills up very fast....
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