Cherokee, North Carolina, is a popular family vacation spot with some great options for camping. Whether you enjoy tent or recreational vehicle (RV) camping, you're sure to find a perfect home base for your visit. The campgrounds in and near Cherokee, N.C., fill quickly, especially during summer and around holidays, so be sure to plan ahead. Reserve the campsite of your choice as soon as you decide when you'll be traveling to the area.
Cherokee/Great Smokies KOA Campground
The Cherokee/Great Smokies KOA Holiday campground is located just outside the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It has 350 RV campsites, including some appropriate for big rigs, plus additional tent sites and camping cabins. Many sites overlook the Raven Fork River or are close to an on-site trout fishing pond.
The campground has a lot of amenities, including indoor and outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs, a jumping pillow, a playground, a well-stocked camp store, a clean bathhouse, a game room, and a fenced dog run. They also offer shuttle service to local attractions.
- RV sites range from $40 to $90 per night depending on size, power type, and whether sewer hookup is included.
- The average cost for tent sites is $26 per night.
Happy Holiday Campground
With more than 375 campsites, the 40-acre Happy Holiday Campground is a great place for tent and RV camping alike (even big rigs). They also offer cabins (some with handicap accessible ramps) and a bunkhouse. Campers can fish in the on-site stocked lake and enjoy tasty treats from the campground's snack bar.
The campground has a swimming pool, playground, and game room. Additional amenities include bathhouses, golf cart rentals, a laundry room, a meeting/banquet facility, and Wi-Fi. The campground even hosts music festivals a few times each year.
- RV sites range from $46 to $70 per night.
- Designated tent sites range from $38 to $46 per night.
- Primitive tent camping costs $25 per night.
With over 235 campsites and a selection of rental cabins, Jellystone Cherokee is an amenity-packed, family-oriented campground that can accommodate recreational vehicles of all sizes as well as tent camping. It's located on the Raven Fork River, so campers can enjoy on-site trout fishing and tubing. Amenities include a heated pool, arcade, playground, basketball court, craft center, multiple bathhouses, Wi-Fi, and a camp store. They even offer outdoor movies during the summer.
- Full-hookup RV sites range from $60 to $90 per night based on size, power type, and location.
- Primitive tent sites are $55 nightly, while improved sites vary from $60 to $90.
- For both types of camping, riverfront sites are the most pricy.
Indian Creek Campground
If you'd rather stay in a smaller campground than the large options listed above, Indian Creek Campground is a good option to consider. With 74 campsites, this campground can accommodate tents and RVs that use 30-amp power. Cabin rentals are also available. The campground does not have a swimming pool, but it's situated on Bunches Creek and has fast-running mountain streams on site. Amenities include on-site trout fishing, a playground, horseshoes, a clean bathhouse, a camp store, Wi-Fi, and laundry facilities.
- Full hookup RV sites are $45 per night.
- Sites with water and electricity only range from $36 to $39, depending on whether they are creekside.
- Primitive tent sites are $29 per night.
If you are looking for a truly outdoorsy experience, Smokemont Campground is a great option to consider. This is the only Cherokee campground that is actually in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Smokemont has tent and RV campsites, featuring fire rings, and grills.
The campground has more than 142 sites organized in loops, one of which is solely for RVs. The maximum RV size is 40 feet, which can be accommodated only in the RV-specific loop. Smaller RVs and tents can be used throughout the campground. The campground also has flush toilets, potable water, and sinks. There are no showers, hookups, or Wi-Fi, but the mountain scenery and hiking trails are incredible. There is a campground store.
- Camping costs $25 per night
- Visit Recreation.gov to reserve a campsite.
Mile High Campground
For a primitive camping experience that's not inside the National Park, Mile High Campground is a great option to consider. This privately owned campground is a perfect spot to enjoy getting truly back to nature in your tent or small RV (up to 30 feet). They also have a few cabins that guests can rent.
The campground does not have electricity, Wi-Fi, or RV hookups, but it does have on-site bathrooms and hot shower facilities. There is also a camp store where you can purchase firewood and basic supplies. Generator use is limited to no more than two hours per day, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. only.
- Campsites are $25 per night for two adults and kids under 16
- There is an additional $10 per night charge for each additional adult (16+)
Additional Camping Options Near Cherokee
If the campgrounds in Cherokee are already booked when you start planning your trip, expand your search to one of the nearby communities. For example, Flaming Arrow Campground and Fort Wilderness RV Park and Campground are located in the town of Whittier, which is just a mile outside of Cherokee.
There are also several campgrounds in the nearby town of Bryson City, including Ela Campground and Deep Creek Tube Center & Campground. You may even want to cast a wider net. After all, there are plenty of wonderful campgrounds throughout North Carolina.