Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Stop 8:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park 

The Appalachian Trail contains so many bucket list destinations, but we’ll end this journey at the most popular park in the United States – Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The main route through the park’s 522,419 acres is Newfound Gap Road, which runs northwest from Cherokee to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. The road takes a meandering path through old hardwood forests with flowering poplars, dogwoods, and azaleas, with evergreen pines and firs at its highest points.

As beautiful as the park is, don’t expect to find any plush, first-class accommodations. If you do wish to spend a night or two in the park, the historic LeConte Lodge is the only option, and there are no phones, no TVs, little privacy, and no indoor plumbing. To cap it off, the lodge is only accessible by a 6.5-mile hike up Mt. LeConte, making it the highest guest lodge in the eastern United States. Now if that doesn’t make an overnight stay as memorable as possible, we’re not sure what would.

For camping there are several options, such as Smokemont Campground and Elkmont Campground. But for RV camping that provides for the larger rigs and hookups, you may want to stay in the Pigeon Forge area or along Route 321, which runs along the northern side of the park. There you’ll find locations such as Smoky Mountain Premier RV Resort and the Smoky Bear Campground and RV Park.

More views from Stop 8

Thor Industries provides this information for your entertainment and inspiration. Things may have changed since we posted this. Thor Industries is not affiliated, endorsed by, or paid by any of the places, brands, merchants, attractions, and organizations mentioned in this post. You should check ahead of your trip to confirm availability, hours of operation, pricing, and the like. Safe travels!

What kind of amenities do you need? What kind of exploring do you like? If you can tell us simple things like that, we can match you with the right kind of RV for you and your family to check off all the places on your bucket list.

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