Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina -Your Definitive Travel Guide

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

When heading on an RV road trip around the U.S., there are so many places to explore that it can become overwhelming. A place that could crop up on your radar time and time again is the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Whether you’ve been in the past or you’ve always wanted to go, there’s never been a better time to go. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located in both Tennessee and North Carolina, and in this post, we’re honing in on what to do on the North Carolina side. Here are some top tips and why it’s such a great place to take an RV rental when you get ready to cruise America.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park was first chartered by the United States Congress in 1934 and was officially dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940. It made records as the first national park in the U.S. that had both land and other costs paid in part with federal funds. The park spans 522,419 acres and is one of the largest protected areas in the eastern United States, making it one of the most desirable places to visit when you want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life on an RVing road trip. 

The Smokies, as the mountains in this range are affectionately known, are loved for their jagged tree peaks, mountain coves, and clouds of morning fog, from which they get their name. There is an abundance of wildlife creatures and stunning landscapes to be seen here, making it ideal if you love to be at one with nature. 

When you’re looking for a great RV vacation, whether with your family, friends, or other half, there’s nothing quite like the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina to tick all the boxes. Here we’ve put together some top tips to help ensure you have the best trip possible.

Where to Stay During Your RV Trip

Fontana Lake

Nestled in North Carolina, the Fontana Village campground has a host of great spots for you to park your RV on your next camping trip. A stunning lake that’s shadowed by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Fontana Lake is a famous spot for swimming, fishing, and boating, with a host of activities to do as a family. When hooking up your RV, you don’t just get a camping spot; you also get a range of amenities to enjoy. Head to spaces such as the Fontana Village Resort, where you can access a swimming pool, tennis courts, disc golf, and an array of restaurants — ideal if you don’t fancy cooking.

Smokemont Campground

When looking to stay on the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Smokemont Campground is a perfect choice. It is well located, close to both the Bradley Fork River and Oconaluftee River, meaning there is plenty to do on your RV road trip. In terms of hiking, there are over 142 sites to explore as well as spots to enjoy sports such as soccer and volleyball. Or you can just relax in the open air. 

Cosby Campground

Cosby Campground is another fantastic option when looking for somewhere to stay in your RV in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina. A range of secluded spots makes it the perfect choice to be at one with nature, fish in the lakes, and just spend time with your loved ones. One thing to note about this campsite is that spots fill up very quickly, so be sure to book as far in advance as you can. The campground can accommodate RVs that measure up to 40 feet and also has fire grates and picnic tables at each site.

Don’t Miss These Top Destinations In The Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina is packed with things to do and see. Here are just a few recommendations to ensure your RV trip is a success.

Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome is a mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains and is one of the most stunning viewpoints you will come across. Whether you stay in the nearby vicinity, organize a hiking tour or drive closer to discover this beautiful slice of nature, you will be blown away by its beauty. Be sure to visit the Clingmans Dome Observation Tower, which is considered one of the GSMNP official hiking trails; however, there are also many other walks available should you wish to push yourself a bit further.

Laurel Falls Trail

The Laurel Falls Trail is one of the most famous trails in the park and ascends the Cove Mountain and Laurel Falls — one of the most famous to be found in the area. Once you reach the summit, you can experience breathtaking views that will make the journey to the top all that more worthwhile.

The Mountain Farm Museum and Mingus Mill

If you’re looking for something a bit different to do, be sure to visit the Mingus Mill and Mountain Farm Museum. The late 19th-century mountain farm is open daily and features a collection of historic log buildings, such as a working blacksmith, log farmhouse, and apple house, giving insight into how people would have lived a century ago. You can also observe historical agriculture and gardening practices as well as see a range of wildlife.

Enjoy Some of the Most Scenic Drives You'll Ever Experience

When you go RVing in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, why not make the most of your vehicle and head on some scenic drives? Some of the best places to drive include the six-mile Lakeway Drive with incredible views of Fontana Lake. You can also drive the Cherohala Skyway, Blue Ridge Parkway, Newfound Gap Road, and Little River Road. All of these offer the chance to see amazing scenery and really immerse yourself in nature. Why not bring lunch with you so you can stop and enjoy the tranquility around you? Plan your routes ahead of time to ensure you see everything you want.

P.S. Why Not Rent an RV for a Road Trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park NC?

If you’re heading on a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there are so many reasons an RV will be the perfect choice for your trip:

  • You can be much more flexible with your itinerary. 
  • You aren’t restricted with the luggage you can take.
  • You have the freedom to cook more of your own meals.
  • There is more space than when you camp traditionally.
  • You can enjoy a host of modern conveniences without worrying about running out of power.
  • An RV is much more comfortable than camping in a tent.

These are just a few reasons that opting for an RV for a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is such a great choice. There are so many things to do in this beautiful destination that you’re guaranteed to have a great time. No matter which campground you choose, you will benefit from the various amenities and fantastic vantage points that many of these spots offer. 

What are you waiting for? When looking to cruise America on a road trip, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina is a fantastic choice. You will be able to immerse yourself in some of the most beautiful scenery, see a host of wildlife and spend uninterrupted time with your family in the great outdoors. Simply find an RV rental through RVnGO, and you’re all set for a trip you’ll never forget, with everything you could need right at your fingertips.