Camping atop Black Balsam Knob in Pisgah National Forest
NC Mountain Camping in State Parks and National Forests
Here are some Asheville camping areas and campgrounds in state parks or national forests:
Blue Ridge Parkway: The Parkway has three camping areas in the Asheville area. Camping is $16 for all campgrounds. Camping is permitted only in designated campsites. (See Parkway dates of operation.) NOTE: Firewood from the states of Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Quebec, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin should not be brought onto Parkway lands to prevent spread of destructive insects.
Linville Falls at Milepost 316 on the Linville River has access to the trail system into Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, including hiking trails to Linville Falls. Reservations can be made for portions of this campground on-line at RECREATION.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Open in early April through October.
Crabtree Falls Campground at Milepost 340 is home to the Crabtree Falls Trail. Open mid May through October. Closed in 2013.
Mt. Pisgah at Milepost 408 is the highest Parkway campground at almost 5,000 feet elevation. Hike to the top of Mt. Pisgah. Reservations can be made for portions of this campground on-line at RECREATION.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Open mid May through October.
Lake Powhatan Campground: Located at the Lake Powhatan Recreation Area of Bent Creek, this Pisgah National Forest campground is just outside the city of Asheville and offers privacy and wooded camp sites. It's open April through October and has flush toilets, hot showers and swimming area. You can ride your bike right out of the campground onto the Bent Creek area trails! See our Lake Powhatan Guide.
North Mills River Campground: Located just outside of Asheville, NC in the Pisgah National Forest. North Mills River is a rustic with Mills River running through the campground. Nearby to the WNC Arboretum and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Open April 1 to October 31 with flush toilets. Right on the river, within riding distance of many great trails in Mills River area and within a few minutes' drive of all the Mills River Area's trails.
Davidson River Campground: Located in Western North Carolina in the Pisgah National Forest, just 4 miles east of the town of Brevard and about 22 miles from Asheville. Davidson River Campground is located on the Davidson River along HWY 276. Nearby to Sliding Rock, Looking Glass Falls, and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Modern Restrooms and showers available. Attractions include regular Interpretive Programs from Memorial Day through Labor Day, with limited programs through October 31. Campground is open year-round and Apple Tree Loop is available for reservations from Jan 1 - Dec 31
Black Mountain Campground: Sits in the shadow of Mt. Mitchell with 43 camping sites, none with hookups. All campsites have tables, fire rings with cooking grills and lantern posts. Nearby are flush toilets, drinking water, trash cans and showers. Home to Setrock Creek Falls. It's open mid April through October. Call 828-682-6146 for more info.
Mount Mitchell: The nine-site family campground is open throughout the year. Only tent camping is allowed. Each site is equipped with a grill and picnic table. Modern restrooms for use during warm seasons are located nearby. Showers and hot water are not provided. In the winter, campers have access to pit toilets, and no running water is available. Campers may leave vehicles in the park overnight to backpack into the Pisgah National Forest. Visitors who leave their vehicles in the park must register on the forms provided at the trailheads near the parking area or at the park office. Mount Mitchell offers a choice of trails from which to enjoy the nearby alpine woodlands. Online reservations are available for campsites at Mt. Mitchell and other North Carolina State Parks.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park: On the North Carolina side of the Great Smokies, go to Cataloochee (home of the elk) or the quiet Balsam Mountain area (closed in 2013).
National Forests: Camping is permitted anywhere within the Pisgah National National Forest boundaries except within 500' of a roadway or otherwise designated area. Nantahala National Forest also offers plenty of camping options. Download a PDF list of campgrounds in these national forests.
Riverside Camping: New is the French Broad River Paddle Trail with primitive campsites along the river.
Leave No Trace: Protect the outdoors while camping!
Download PDF 16-page Guide to the National Forests in North Carolina
Laughing Heart Hostel, Hot Springs
Located adjacent to the Appalachian Trail, the private rooms and a bunk room afford through hikers and section hikers on the AT a clean, comfortable and affordable place to take a zero day or two. The Hostel is part of the Laughing Heart Lodge which sits on eight acres near downtown Hot Springs.
Rates: From $15 bunk room, $40 private room double occupancy
Click here to visit their Web site.
Asheville Private Campgrounds & RV Parks
French Broad Campground: A riverside RV and tent campground of 13 acres, less than 12 minutes north of downtown Asheville, on 2,000 feet of river frontage.
Wilsons RV Park: Located on the French Broad River in West Asheville, near Carrier Park and along the greenway. A short drive to Biltmore and downtown.
Campfire Lodgings: Located on Goldview Knob, just ten minutes north of
Asheville, with over 100 acres of woods and numerous trails
Asheville East KOA: 55 wooded acres in east Asheville, just minutes from Black Mountain, with two fishing lakes, trout stream, swimming pool, mini-golf and paddle boats.
Asheville West KOA: Tent sites are beautifully wooded, and "big rig" friendly 50 and 30 amp pull-through sites are large, level, and have cable TV and wi-fi.
Taps RV Park: Located 1/2 mile from I-40 in east Asheville. Each RV site has a concrete pad and patio with privacy fence. Large level pull-thrus accommodate the largest made RVs. Sites available along Swannanoa River.
When camping, be sure to store their food securely to prevent black bear interactions. See our Bear Safety Tips.