Asheville Camping in NC Mountains

Camping near Asheville, NC Mountains

Looking for a great camping spot near Asheville? With all of the national park and forest land surrounding the city, there are limitless choices in our North Carolina mountains. Here's a sampling at parks and national forests:

Blue Ridge Parkway: The Parkway has four camping areas in the Asheville area, open April or May through October. Camping is $16 for all campgrounds. Camping is permitted only in designated campsites. NOTE: Firewood from other states should not be brought onto Parkway lands to prevent spread of destructive insects. Reservations available at or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

  • 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. Open in early April through October.
  • Crabtree Falls Campground at Milepost 340 is home to the Crabtree Falls Trail. Open mid May through October.
  • Mt. Pisgah at Milepost 408 is the highest Parkway campground at almost 5,000 feet elevation. Hike to the top of Mt. Pisgah. Open mid May through October.
  • Julian Price Park at Milepost 297 has the largest campground on the Parkway. Read more.
  • For backpacking, check out the Black Balsam Knob area.

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.

Lake James State Park: 20 backpack campsites are located along or near the lake shoreline, less than 300 yards walk from the parking lot. Each campsite provides a firepit, picnic table and tent space. Approximately every five sites is a water faucet, and a washhouse with hot showers is near the parking lot. Campsites are available from March 1 through November 30. They also have 30 boat-in campsites.

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. See reservation info.

Rocky Bluff Campground offers solitude in a wooded setting in Pisgah National Forest about three miles south of Hot Springs. The 1.2-mile Spring Creek Nature Trail circles the campground and meanders beside the creek, an excellent trout stream. There are 15 campsites. Each site has a parking spur, picnic table, tent pad and fire grate. Open late May through early September.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: On the North Carolina side of the Great Smokies, camp at Cataloochee (home of the elk), Smokemont, Deep Creek or the quiet Balsam Mountain area. Each campground has restrooms with cold running water and flush toilets. Each individual campsite has a fire grate and picnic table. There are no showers or electrical or water hookups. Read more about outdoors in the Smokies. Reservations are recommended at Smokemont from May 15-October 31 (other dates are first come, first serve). Advance reservations are required at Cataloochee Campground throughout the entire season. Deep Creek is first come, first serve. Camping fees range from $14 to $23 per site per night. Book sites online at or by calling 877-444-6777.

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. More info: PDF of Official Pisgah Forest Camping Guide | PDF of Official Nantahala Forest Camping Guide

Riverside Camping: New is the French Broad River Paddle Trail with primitive campsites along the river.

Outfitters & Hostels

Diamond Brand Outdoors
Diamond Brand Outdoors & Frugal Backpacker
Before you head outdoors for hiking, paddling or camping, get gear and expert advice at two Diamond Brand stores (one is downtown) and the Frugal Backpacker Outlet in Asheville. Whether you are an outdoors novice or advance adventurer, they are the top outfitter in town.
NOC Basecamp Hostel
Spend the night where the Appalachian Trail hikers stay, at Nantahala Outdoor Center's main campus. This budget-friendly hostel-style lodging along the Nantahala River is the ultimate home base for outdoor enthusiasts with whitewater rafting, zip lining, mountain biking, paddling and more at your doorstep. The shared community building... read more
Camping near Lake Lure
Rutherford County Campgrounds
See the Top 9 places to camp in the Lake Lure, Chimney Rock and Forest City areas in the foothills, including RV and motorcoach resorts. Find a big variety of amenities with many things to do in the Hickory Nut Gorge.

Leave No Trace: Protect the outdoors while camping! 

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. 

Bear Safety: When camping, be sure to store their food securely to prevent black bear interactions. See our Bear Safety Tips.

Grab your canoe or kayak! The French Broad River Paddle Trail opened in 2012 to connect more than 140 miles of the French Broad River from near Rosman, NC to Douglas Lake, TN.. The Trail serves to... read more
Madison County is located just 20 minutes north of Asheville. With the scenic French Broad River running through this rural county, there are countless ways to enjoy the Blue Ridge Mountains and its... read more
More than 850 miles of hiking trails traverse the Great Smoky Mountains. They range from easy to difficult and provide half hour walks to week-long backpacking trips. Below are our favorites. Also,... read more
Bicycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway is a wonderful way to experience the beautiful scenery along the way, with no stop lights or stop signs to slow you down.... read more
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