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Bear Den Family Campground & Cabins
Certificate of Excellence
Rutherfordton, North Carolina
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Needs improvements...”
Reviewed July 27, 2013

We had a very disappointing, shortened stay at Bear Den. There are several great things about the campground including the well-stocked camp store, good firewood for sale, clean bath house, quiet campground and nice wooded setting right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. But there were fundamental problems with our stay that made us leave after one night. We had rented a Campin' Cabin largely due to the regular rain we've been having and wanted an option to be indoors as needed (normally we tent camp...). The cabin however was almost uninhabitable due to the overwhelming musty, moldy smell. A special trip to buy a fan to pull in outside air helped but one of us was forced to sleep in the car as the air in the cabin made her feel sick.

We tried to make the best of it and spent time on the cabin porch and by the campfire. There was a disappointing lack of privacy at these cabins. I would expect more for $55/night. We made due by the picnic table by putting up a tarp and shower curtain and felt good for a short while. Then we realized the fire pit was useless. It was dug down into the ground about a foot and half and wet on the bottom. We spent 2 hours trying to keep a fire going (with good wood purchased at the camp store) and couldn't due to lack of air floor in the sunken pit.

After putting the fire out with water we brought we filled up our jug from the campsite spigot and got a horrible greeting of the distinct smell and taste of bleach (some folks mistakenly think that adding bleach to well water makes it safer to drink...). So here we were with no usable fire pit, no drinkable water and a moldy cabin! Then it starts raining! We retreated to the covered porch for dinner and appreciated that for a moment but after making it through the night we left.

We might come back to tent camp but we've got to have a couple of basics, a usable fire pit and drinkable water...

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jerry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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69 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sparta, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2013

First, a couple observations regarding the campground as a whole - the lake is VERY small, though it does have lots of dock area around it for sitting and relaxing or fishing. You can fish there without a license, which is a plus. Seems to be plenty of activities to keep kids busy - game rooms and whatnot. Staff were VERY friendly and accommodating. We were assigned a tent site very close to the entrance and wanted to be a little closer to the bath house and they were very good to move us.

The campground is right off the Blue Ridge Parkway and is surrounded by beautiful scenery. Lots of tree cover for shade from the sun abounds at pretty much every tent/pop up site. Every site also has two outlets for electricity and also a spigot for water. Some of them are in pretty bizarre locations so make sure you take a long extension cord if you plan on utilizing that. Plenty of trees around for hanging a hammock or putting up a tarp to help shield the tent from rain.

They have a pretty stocked store there in the office and also offer services to fill propane, sell ice and firewood. You can pretty much get everything you need right there at the campground, rather than having to travel into Spruce Pine.

My ONLY complaint is that one of the golf carts that the staff roll around on sounds like it belongs on a Nascar track and for some odd reason that particular cart was doing all sorts of business around our tent around 11:00 at night. Other than that, it was a great stay. We'd certainly go again.

Room Tip: Go into Spruce Pine and eat at the Dry County Brewing Co.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JAS171
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Black Mountain, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013

Bear Den is a nice campground, very wooded and private. They have a game room, activities for the kids, and a small lake for fishing/swimming. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Sites are reasonably private, although the location of the water & electricity was sometimes in odd places. The bath houses were pretty clean but very hot. Not very good ventilation. The only other drawbacks were the roads coming into the campground were very rough & the sites are not very level. We had a "level" site but still had to bring the passenger side of the motorhome up quite a bit. Other than those two issues, we had a great time just relaxing and wandering around. Tent sites & RV sites available.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank kitchenmagician
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

If you are into rustic campgrounds, this is the place to be. Very family friendly and fun! Older campground that needs a few minor updates to the bath houses, but overall a VERY good camping experience.

Tent/RV sites are far enough apart that there is a great amount of privacy. Great staff and very clean campsites. We were in a tent this trip, but will take our RV next time we go. Fishing and swimming pond available. Creek with fishing nearby too. Can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: Mountain road up to the campground is very steep in certain spots. Make sure your brakes are in good...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank italianmaid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2013

We stayed in their Mountain View Cabin over a weekend while attending a funeral. The cabin was fantastic... Very clean, great view and nice hot tub, always heated so don't have to wait...

What I didn't like:

1) Towels were worse than the rags I use at home many had what appeared to be bleach holes.(The bed linens were nice and in good condition)

2) Although I received a confirmation, I arrived a little later than I wanted, and the registration office was closed. This was a very remote site,, so I was getting very frustrated, however in my attempt to find a phone number I ran across an "information center" that had my package and keys in it...

3) Never did figure out how to get the fireplace to work. Saw the keypad and tried both manual and automatic modes. It was cool the first night. I will say I called them the next day and they said if I had issues, I can call maintenance and someone would come over.

4) They require you to wash and empty the dish washer before leaving. This was fine, but couldn't get the dishwasher to run. No instructions in their welcome book. Finally found a "light swith" located across the kitchen labeled DISHWASHER.

Their welcome book was very good, (Except for answering the above questions).

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Carl_MTPSC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elizabethton, Tennessee
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2012

I have been going to Bear Den to camp for over 30 years and will continue to go every chance I get. This campground is surrounded by the the beautiful mountians of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Campsites are very well maintained and well shaded. Bring flashlights due to the many many trees or you will not be able to see. The bathrooms are kept very clean with hot showers and plenty of space for private dressing but remember this is a rustic place so nothing fancy but all that you need. The kids love the small lake/pond for cat fishing! Cat fishing is the biggest reason my son loves to come here. They have a game room, basketball courts, playgrounds, and a nice camp store in case you forget anything. They sell firewood and you can rent golf carts. Most weekends they have live music and church every Sunday morning. Go visit the apple orchard near by and take the senic hay ride. If you love camping you will love staying here. They also have cabins to rent which I would love to try sometime but havent't had the chance yet. All the staff is very friendly and always have smiles.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank cyclonemom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bear Den Family Campground & Cabins

Property: Bear Den Family Campground & Cabins
Address: 600 Bear Den Mountain Rd, Spruce Pine, NC 28777-8365
Location: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Mountains > Spruce Pine
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Spruce Pine
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 129
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bear Den Family Campground, Campin' Cabins and Rental Villas Open for the Season in Early March. 144 campsites for tents, pop-ups and other types of recreational vehicles adjoining the Blue Ridge Parkway. Water, electricity, fire-rings and picnic tables at each campsite. RV sites with full hook-ups - pull thrus. Bear Den Campin’ Cabins offer basic shelter and electricity for 4 to 6 campers. Modern bath houses; each with hot showers and coin-operated washers and dryers. Sanitary disposal stations. Bear Den Family Campground’s Trading Post has ice, drinks, firewood, souvenirs and just about every camping supply you may need as well as some food items for your camping. Due to our location in the mountains we don't have cable, but we do provide free WiFi for your use. We also have two dump stations for your conveniences. Bear Den Family Campground and cabin guests love our lake for swimming, fishing and canoeing. We have a sandy beach and playground, so the whole family can have a fun get-away in the NC Mountains. Bring your fishing poles because North Carolina fishing license is not needed at our lake. And for the hikers, we have plenty of trails for you to explore so don't forget your hiking sticks. Let the kids bring their bicycles, canoes or paddle boards for your stay with us here at Bear Den...we also have basketball, badminton, volleyball, table tennis, shuffleboard and horse shoe courts, playground and a game room with pool tables, air hockey and arcade games. Never a dull day at Bear Den Campground and everything for your enjoyment right here. *Bear Den's campground and rental cabins are open from the first week in March through November 30 - weather permitting. Early spring and late fall in the NC high mountains are tricky to predict. Select Cabins are available for rental year-round. ... more   less 
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