Regarded one of the country’s top hiking destinations and arguably one of the most beautiful camping spots in the United States, there’s a reason why the Great Smoky Mountains attract millions of visitors year after year.
It’s the perfect camping spot for just about anyone in your family. Have an outdoor type that can’t get enough being outside? Want to enjoy some peace and quiet in the midst of the wilderness? The Smokies have got you covered.
If you’re on the verge of planning a trip to camp or travel via RV, here are five points to keep in the back of your mind.
Secure Your Site
First thing’s first: figuring out where exactly you’re going to set up camp.
As noted, the Smokies are one of the most popular travel destinations in the world and therefore competition can be fierce for a campsite or spots at an RV campground. Booking far in advance is obviously a good idea, as is staying just outside the actual national park camping or in a nearby city such as Knoxville.
Whether you decide to rent an RV in Knoxville or stay off the beat and path, don’t sleep on your campground reservations. Doing so will save you stress and perhaps even keep more money in your pocket.
Look Out for Wildlife
This tip is somewhat of a two-way street.
For starters, there are endless opportunities for wildlife viewing in the Smokies. During the early mornings, you can spot elk right off the side of the road and will oftentimes find hordes of them in close proximity to the roads of Smokemont if you decide to stay there.
But on a more serious note, be mindful of safety when it comes to bears which are likewise aplenty. If you clean up after yourself and keep your campsite spotless, you probably won’t have to give it a second thought.
Experience Clingman’s Dome
Representing the highest point of the Smokies, you won’t get a much better view than Clingman’s Dome. A half-mile trek can lead you to the observation tower, sitting over 6,600 feet which allows you to take in over 100 potential miles of visibility. In short, an amazing photo op and a fun journey to get some exercise.
Check Out the Appalachian Trail
Rich with history and over 2,000 miles, taking at least a few steps on the Appalachian Trail is a must do for those who visit the Smokies. Being able to say you hit the trail at all is a milestone and offers you some bragging rights to your friends back home.
But while hiking the Appalachian Trail for an extended period can be a life-changing experience, make sure that you stay safe by minding conditions and avoiding solo travel, if possible.
On that note, safety should be a top priority of anyone doing extended amounts of hiking or just visiting the Smokies whatsoever. For example, be wary of icy roads if you’re traveling via RV and don’t underestimate just how cold it can get (even during the summer months). Layer up, bring plenty of water and as always, mind your surroundings.
Offering something for everyone and breathtaking sights to create memories that’ll last a lifetime, the Smokies are perfect for just about any traveler. By keeping these tips in mind, you can guarantee that you have everything you need for a perfect trip.