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“kids allowed to rule camp” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Balsam Mountain Campground

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Balsam Mountain Campground
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107 Park Headquarters Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN 37738   |  
Hotel amenities
Annapolis, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“kids allowed to rule camp”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

Camp host has asked to have this one child to stay out of our camp site,I was told by female host this is a park kids can do what they want.This child threw rocks at our dog,would stand at edge of campsite and stomp his feet to make the dog bark!The child was allowed to draw all over the road with caulk,looked like some type graffiti you would see on NY train! Park host followed us to near by area that a12 point bull elk,the host told my 70 year old mother she could walk right up to him with in 10 feet to get a picture.WE did not, we used telephoto lens,worked great!Host and kid made for a bad trip!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Little Rock, Arkansas
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2012 via mobile

This campground is in a beautiful setting..it is off the beaten path, but so worth it. We were there Aug 1 & 2 2012. We had been in the park for a week, staying at Smokemont and Cades Cove campgrounds, and Balsam Mtn was a wonderful place to spend the end of our trip. The campground was very quiet, the sounds of the birds and the wind were so relaxing. They had the cleanest bathrooms in the entire park, the staff and volunteers were terrific. I would recommend this campground to anyone seeking peace and relaxation. Five stars!!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
charleston, SC
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2012

The elevation makes this a fantastic spot if you want too enjoy a cool night camping. We camped here in early June with a 30' airstream travel trailer and the night temp was probably in the mid fourties. The trailer camping is not that scenic because you basically just park on the side of the road through this small campground, no pull in or back-in sites here. It is very wooded so you should not expect sweeping vistas. it is remote and quite, great starting point for hikes in the area. The bathrooms very clean and the ranger was super friendly. Only 5 other people were camping when we were there on a Monday night. The tent sites looked good

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2012 via mobile

As we finished the end of journey of a weekend on the blue ridge parkway we decided to spend the night here. Driving in at the end of the day there is a nice spot to enjoy the sunset about 2 miles in on the access road.

If your traveling the access road at twilight keep an eye out for Elk we encountered 2 separate groups over the 8 mile drive on the access road.

We arrived at camp just after dark and had no problems finding a decent site and since the campground was only about 1/4 occupied we had plenty of prepare to ourselves.

For a public nps campground this far removed it was very well kept and well looked after.

$14 for a site here is a steal!

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2011

Balsam Mountain is great! Sites are so well kept and the bathrooms are the cleanest I've ever seen at a campground. I love how this site is set away from other more "touristy" areas of the park. Of course, this means you have to drive a ways to get there. But rest assured you will see the most beautiful overlooks in the park and the most wildlife along the drive. The camp hosts are very friendly and knowledgeable. They will help you with anything you need. Just ask! Hike the 1/2 mile nature trail from the campground to the Heintooga overlook. Talk about a gorgeous view that you can't see by driving! Then the picnic area at the end of Heintooga road is a must see even if you're not hungry. These rock slab picnic tables date back to before the park was a park. You've gotta see it! So much to do around this campground. Some of the sites are more secluded than others but the campground is so quiet you won't need to fret about being close. Love the tent slabs set up to provide level ground for your tent.

Only downfall...no showers in the bathrooms. That would be nice.

Bottom line...A#1 campground!

Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, GA
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

Balsam Mountain campground was beautiful, remote, clean, and just lovely. We stayed 3 nights. The bathrooms were clean (BYO soap), the dishwashing facility was great, and the camp hosts were very nice. Our only regret is that we didn't know about the sunset overlook that is 1/4-1/2 mile from the campground. It's a beautiful spot to camp, and quite cool in the summertime. You should know that it's a good 30+ min drive from Blue Ridge Parkway, so be sure you have all of your supplies before you start up the mountain! (Although Mile High Campground is 10-15 min away and sells firewood.)

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

Pros:

Setting: This campground is a nice campground in a beautiful setting. The drive up to the campground is beautiful. Take advantage of the pull-offs on the way up. The views are incredible.

Wildlife: During our particular trip, the Elk were very active along Heintooga Ridge Rd. We saw elk on multiple occasions. If you've not witnessed this massive animals, they alone are worth the trip up. We also saw multiple birds, including many hummingbirds on the grounds of the campground.

Facilities: The bathrooms, while they do not have showers, are some of the cleanest bathroom facilities you'll find in any campground in the country. The staff clearly take pride in keeping the facilities clean.

The campground hosts were also extremely friendly and knowledgeable.

Nearby: During our trip, we visited some stops on this quieter side of the Smokies, including the newly opened Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

We also hiked the Flat Creek Trail. This is an extremely beautiful hike through the Flat Creek watershed. In July, the rhododendron were blooming and made for a nice hike. An extremely nice, fellow camper offered to drive us to the start of the trail and we left our car at the end. If done as a loop, you must walk more than 3 miles on the road, so this save us time and we didn't miss anything.


Cons:

We found Balsam Mountain Campground in Johnny Molloy's book The Best in Tent Camping: Smoky Mountains and Southern Appalachians. Molloy's books are written for those hoping to find sites away from RVs. The book suggests that RVs won't make the trek up the mountain to this site. We found that wasn't quite true.

In July 2011, the average high temps in the East Tn valley were in the high 90's. On Balsam Mountain, the temps were in the low 80s. Anybody, RVs or not will seek higher ground with that kind of difference. The campground is small, so any RVs cause for a tight squeeze.

We're told that this site does not typically fill up throughout the year. However, the campground was full on Friday night and only had 4 vacant sites on Saturday night.

Overall, I would recommend this campground to any camper looking for a nice campground in a beautiful setting. While a little out of the way, it's beautiful drive.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Balsam Mountain Campground

Address: 107 Park Headquarters Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN 37738
Location: United States > Tennessee > Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Number of rooms: 46
Also Known As:
Balsam Mountain Campground Hotel Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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