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Where to camp in the mountains near Asheville? You have many choices, and here are our top places. First of all, you will need to decide if you are looking for backpacking with remote camping or a campground with hot showers and parking! With all of the national parks and forest land surrounding the city, there are limitless places to camp and explore our North Carolina mountains in your RV.

Do your homework first, especially if you are new to camping. Bear activity (especially around established campsites) is increasing, so read our bear safety tips

Camping at Max Patch

One of our favorite backpack camping spots is Black Balsam Knob (pic at very top of page). It's a Pisgah National Forest bald with grassy knolls and even established fire rings. Also, just a short hike from the car! Just watch the weather forecast - these are not places to be in a thunderstorm or high winds. 

glamping near asheville

If you're new to camping or want to hit the "easy" button for an outdoor experience, check out our Glamping Guide

Outfitters & Hostels

Pisgah Glamping, Asheville

This glamorous camping is located inside Lake Powhatan Campground in Pisgah National Forest, just 10 miles from downtown Asheville and Biltmore. Each fully set up campsite includes a large weatherproof tent with standing room and a queen size bed, cot, picnic table and fire ring. 12 glampsites, bed linens, towels, wood, ice, coffee maker, electric hook ups, nearby bathhouse, hiking &… read more

Outdoor Gear Made in the NC Mountains

Find outdoor gear companies that manufacture and operate here in the Blue Ridge Mountains!  These companies support the local economy by providing jobs and by sponsoring outdoor industry events,… read more

Find outdoor gear companies that manufacture and operate here in the Blue Ridge Mountains!  These companies support the local economy by providing jobs and by sponsoring outdoor industry events, competitions, and professional outdoor athletes in the NC Mountains. 

Basecamp at NOC

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… read more

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 contains the kitchen, dining hall, charcoal grill and…

Rutherford County Campgrounds

See the Top 10 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 campground amenities with many… read more

See the Top 10 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 campground amenities with many things to do in the Hickory Nut Gorge.

Bryson City Great Smoky Campgrounds

Find campgrounds for tents, camper and RVs near several entrances to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Cherokee, Fontana Lake and Bryson City areas. 

Find campgrounds for tents, camper and RVs near several entrances to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Cherokee, Fontana Lake and Bryson City areas. 

Urban Escape Vehicles

This locally-owned camper van rental business offers the perfect base camp for all your Western NC adventures! The van comes with everything you’ll need for cooking and camping, with plenty of… read more

This locally-owned camper van rental business offers the perfect base camp for all your Western NC adventures! The van comes with everything you’ll need for cooking and camping, with plenty of room for all your outdoor recreation gear. Enjoy all that Asheville and the surrounding areas have to offer, or hit the highway for an epic road trip. 150 miles/day included in rental fee. Camper van…

Camping in National and State Parks and Forests Near Asheville

Blue Ridge Parkway
The Parkway has four camping areas in the Asheville area, open April or May through October. Camping is $20/night for all campgrounds, first-come, first-serve. Advance reservations are accepted at all campgrounds except Crabtree Falls. Camping along the Parkway is permitted only in designated campgrounds. NOTE: Firewood must be heat-treated (sold at local stores).

  • Linville Falls Campground at Milepost 316 on the Linville River has access to the trail system into the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, including hiking trails to Linville Falls. 50 tent sites, 20 RV, and 2 wheelchair accessible. Flush toilets and drinking water. Open in early April through October. Reserve online or call 1-877-444-6777.
  • Crabtree Falls Campground at Milepost 340 is home to the Crabtree Falls Trail. 70 tent sites, 22 RV, and 4 wheelchair accessible. Open mid-May through October. First-come, first-serve.
  • Mt. Pisgah Campground at Milepost 408 is the highest Parkway campground at almost 5,000 ft. elevation. 64 tent sites, 62 RV, and 3 wheelchair accessible. Flush toilets, drinking water, showers, and store. Hike to the top of Mt. Pisgah. Open mid-May through October. Reserve online or call 1-877-444-6777.
  • Julian Price Park at Milepost 297 (near Blowing Rock) has the largest campground on the Parkway. Reserve online or call 1-877-444-6777.
  • For backpacking, check out the Black Balsam Knob area adjacent to the Parkway in Pisgah National Forest.

North Carolina State Parks
Camp at these state parks near Asheville:

  • Lake James State Park: A variety of camping options: 20 walk-in campsites (short walk of up to 300 yards) are located along the shoreline at the Catawba River area - with a fire pit, picnic table, and room for a six-person tent, plus washhouse and hot showers. 33 drive-in sites at the Paddy's Creek area have parking for two vehicles, fire pits, and a washhouse. Boat-in camping on the Long Arm Peninsula with 30 campsites with fire pit, table, and space for a six-person tent - reservations required. Canoes and kayaks for rent. Cost is $10-$23/night. Located 50 miles east of Asheville. Get details and make online reservations.
  • South Mountains State Park: Family campground has 18 campsites with picnic tables and fire circles. Bathhouse with hot showers. Make reservations or stop at the park office upon arrival. They also have 20 backpack camping sites in six remote areas of the park. Each camping area has a pit toilet. The equestrian camping area has 15 campsites, a 33-stall barn, and a washhouse with hot showers and flush toilets. Open year-round. Located about 70 miles east of Asheville. Get details and make online reservations.

Pisgah National Forest
This 500,000-acre protected forest surrounds the Asheville area and includes many of the most popular spots in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Stay in a campground, pick a roadside campsite, or backpack to a mountaintop. Read below for options (from $22/night):

  • Lake Powhatan Campground: Located at the Lake Powhatan Recreation Area of Bent Creek, it is just outside the city of Asheville and offers privacy and wooded campsites. Open April through October and has flush toilets, hot showers, and a swimming area. Ride your mountain bike right out of the campground onto the Bent Creek area trails! See our Lake Powhatan Guide for more info. Reserve online or call 1-877-444-6777.
  • North Mills River Campground: Located just outside of Asheville. Riverside and rustic. Nearby to the NC Arboretum and Blue Ridge Parkway. Open year-round. Many hiking and mountain bike trails. Reserve online or call 1-877-444-6777.
  • Davidson River Campground: Located just 4 miles from the town of Brevard and about 22 miles from Asheville. A very popular spot, located on the Davidson River along US Highway 276. Near Sliding Rock and Looking Glass Falls. Restrooms and showers. Tubing spot. Interpretive programs in summer. Open year-round. Reserve online or call 1-877-444-6777.
  • 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 from mid-April through October.  Reserve online or call 1-877-444-6777.
  • Carolina Hemlocks Campground: Located near Mt. Mitchell along the South Toe River near NC Highway 80. This jewel is not as crowded as many other campgrounds! Enjoy tubing, fishing, and swimming. 31 primitive sites, a bathhouse with hot showers, and trails for biking and hiking. Open April-October. Reserve online or call 1-877-444-6777.
  • 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 with a parking spot, picnic table, tent pad, and fire grate. Open late May through early September. Reserve online or call 1-877-444-6777.
  • Linville Gorge Wilderness Area offers primitive camping in remote, rugged areas for experienced hikers and campers. You must register on weekends in May-October.
  • Roadside Camping: There are many roadside campsites in Pisgah Ranger District that are free to use, first-come, first-serve. They have a tent pad, fire ring, and parking space. Read details and map for roadside camping.
  • Remote Camping: Dispersed / primitive camping for backpackers is permitted anywhere within the Pisgah National National Forest boundaries except within 1,000 ft. of a roadway, parking area, or trail.

Nantahala National Forest
Find smaller campgrounds in Nantahala National Forest. You can also backpack to remote areas or find a roadside campsite. To explore the most remote areas (fewer people), head 90 miles west of Asheville to Graham County. Campgrounds are open April-October. $15-$20/night.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
On the North Carolina side of the Great Smokies, find many camping options. Go to our Great Smoky Mountains Camping Guide for details.

  • Backcountry: Requires backpacking several miles to a site. A permit and advance reservation are required for all backcountry camping in the park. 
  • Frontcountry: Camping near your car (or RV) in a developed campground with restrooms with cold running water and flush toilets. No showers or electrical / water hookups. Each individual campsite has a fire grate and picnic table. 
  • Group Campground: Large campsites suitable for groups of eight people or more. Located in frontcountry campgrounds at Cataloochee, Deep Creek, and Smokemont.
  • Horse Camp: Small campgrounds, accessible by vehicle, that offer hitch racks for horses and primitive camping facilities. Cataloochee, Round Bottom & Tow String near Cherokee.

Lake Junaluska Camping: Located in Lake Junaluska, this family-oriented campground near beautiful Lake Junaluska offers RV and tent camping sites. Enjoy complimentary access to the Conference Center swimming pool, shuffleboard, tennis, playground, and walking trail. (Open May 5-Oct 31) See their website for booking. 

Riverside Camping: French Broad River Paddle Trail with primitive boat-in campsites along the river.

Camp for Dogs: 4 Paws Kingdom Campground near Rutherfordton is the first and only dog-dedicated campground (campers & RVs) with a fenced-in swimming pond, multiple off-leash play areas, agility park, creek, doggie bathhouse with grooming station, and more. If you don't have an RV or camper, rent one or a cabin. No tent camping. Many fun weekend special events. Adults only - 18 years or older. Read more about 4 Paws.

 

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 ft. of riverfrontage. 
  • 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, a trout stream, a 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 WiFi. 
  • Taps RV Park: Located 1/2 mile from I-40 in east Asheville. Each RV site has a concrete pad and patio with a privacy fence. Large-level pull-throughs accommodate the largest RVs. Sites available along Swannanoa River. 

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

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