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“Great Place”
Review of Cosby Campground

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Cosby Campground
Ranked #3 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Cosby
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 7, 2012

A perfect place if you want peace and quiet. Very few people there during the week, with a few more spots taken on weekends. Plenty of campsites to choose from so you can find one that works best for your needs. Bathrooms were spotless. Camp personnel do an excellent job of keeping things clean. We stayed 9 days in one spot so you can tell we loved it. May be too quiet if you have kids with you. Probably took us about 40 minutes to drive back into the National Park, having to drive through Gatlinburg, so be prepared for that, but it gives you plenty of opportunity to buy groceries and do laundry. Cell service is actually available right outside the campground too, at least with my ATT plan. You can get gas, ice, and convenience store items within 10 minutes of the campground. We spent 2 days just resting at the campground and felt like we were the only people there during the day.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Debbie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 - 59 of 70 reviews

Reviewed June 23, 2012

We usually stay at Elkmont bc we love the stream and 10 yo likes having other kids around to ride bikes with but it was full so ranger directed us over here. Its a first come first served non manned check in. You drop cash or check off for your rental site in a box.

Sites are lovely, mostly flat and space between your neighbors and quiet. Lots of trails nearby which we enjoyed, Bathrooms very clean. No hand soap or electricity or showers.

Limited camp store just outside the park where showers are 5$. Only complaint was not so many families so the 10yo didnt have kids to pal with.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank wam3k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2012

Maybe I'm a bit biased, but I don't think you'll find a better primitive campground in the area. Cosby Campground is located inside the National Park. Anyone who thinks the sites are crowded or too close together apparently needs a whole acre field! My parents took me camping here as a child in the 60's and 70's, and I'm very excited to have been able to take my children back to the same sites over the last few years. Although it has been kept up and updated for safety, I'm glad to say it hasn't changed much. The sites are mostly level, VERY spacious with good separation between them for privacy, and generally clean. The rangers patrol several times daily. There is plenty of room for parking near or in your site for easy loading, unloading, and access to food that you must keep in your vehicles. Bears are common, but not a problem if you don't invite them in.
The campground itself offers clean bathrooms (cleaned daily) with cold running water in the sinks: no showers. There is no water or electricity on the sites, but there are water spickets every so many sites so you can carry buckets as needed. There is a dishwashing station at the bathrooms, but once again, it's only cold water. There are also water fountains throughout the campground, and large "bear-proof" dumpsters for your trash. There are great hiking trails starting from various spots inside the campground: some long, and some shorter. There are horse trails down the road just outside the campground. The fishing is good in the stream if you have a license; nice rainbow trout! The stream is also great for wading or climing around on the rocks.
There is a group campsite for large groups that is very nice for church groups, scouts, or whatever. There are also a few sites that are closer together for families or friends who want to camp together. RV's, campers, and tents are all welcomed, and you will find the perfect site for either. There are about 20 or less sites that are available by reservation, but all the rest are first come, first serve: you pick and then pay. And the price is great: just $14 a night. It's the perfect place to enjoy nature and just relax or spend time bonding with family. Excellent fire pits, nice, big concrete picnic tables, and large, level tent pads. There are even a few handicap accessible sites with special amenities!
If you are looking for things to do, take a drive on through Cosby to enjoy the scenery. The drive through Catalooch is long, but can be very nice. Within an hour's drive, you can visit Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, The Chimneys, Ober Gatlinburg, Cades Cove, or Clingman's Dome. There is plenty to do, both for the nature lover and the excitement seeker or shopper. Spend the day playing putt-putt, going to museums, shopping, zip-lining, skiing, ice-skating, riding go-carts, and more, then go back to Cosby Campground and sit around a campfire and relax before turning in. I can't think of a better vacation!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with family
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16  Thank SmokiesCamperGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2012

Other campgrounds were full and packed in super close...we still had empty spaces right next door. Quiet, easily accessible trail heads, short hikes to overlooks, a waterfall, and a nature trail. As with other gsmnp campgrounds, no showers or trailer hookups. Nice facilities though. Well maintained. A toilet started running while we were there and it was fixed faster than would've happened at my house. Definitely wildlife in the area - some of it not too shy to come poking about your tent, particularly as theres a bit of space between sites.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Jamielee45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2011

I camped here over the labor day weekend. The camp groud is very clean and located near water streams. There are plenty of camp spaces and thus its a bit cluttered as compared to other campgrounds I have been to. There are quite a few goood trails starting from this campground and we went to two of them. This is one campground I heard has very high probablity of spotting a bear. On one of the trails while coming back a couple told us that they saw a bear and we should be careful while passing thru the rest of the trail. It was very exciting and a bit scary as well.

Thus you can expect an exciting experience. As for the facilities, restrooms are plenty and clean, camp spaces are nice.

Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
6  Thank Ankit_Mangal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2011

Just got back from a Labor day weekend stay. We got to the park around 6pm and when we stopped at the park visitor center in Gatlinburg we were told best luck in getting a site was Cosby and with traffic about 45 min drive. We were very glad she told us about Cosby. Very beautiful, and quiet, there were several sites still open.
We were surrounded by trees, decent size site, nice level platform, very clean restrooms. People were listening to the Tennessee football game, the only way we knew was when they scored the campground erupted in cheers.
Cosby is very well worth the low cost. You can even avoid Gatlinburg completely when arriving and leaving but if you want to explore the rest of the park you will have to go through Gatlinburg but once in the park very little traffic.

  • Stayed: September 2011
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3  Thank jwpalmer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2011

Just got back from staying at Cosby Campground, and whilst it is one of the better national park campgrounds I've stayed at, it's still far from perfect. The sites themselves are quite well laid out, with a good sized fire ring and grill, ample room for even a large tent, and a rugged picnic table, Each site has 1 parking space, and it's located directly in front of the site, which makes unloading and loading your vehicle extremely easy.

The one major problem with the majority of the sites is the lack of flat space, which limits where you can put a folding chair or table, and when you've got a few people in your group, not having enough space for chairs can become a real pain.

The layout of the camp itself is quite nice, and you're never more than 300ft from a restroom. The restrooms themselves are almost always immaculate, and it would appear they're cleaned every day. There aren't any showers, and the nearest shower facility is about a 4 mile drive, and will cost you about $5 per person.

There's a lot to do around the camp, many of the sites have trail heads not far from them, and no matter what your hiking experience is, there's bound to be a trail for you. Also about 2 miles from the camp, towards the town of Cosby, is a fair sized creek, with a pathway running alongside it.

The campsite is about 25 minutes from Gatlinburg, so if you want to spend some time in the resort town, but don't want to put up with the high priced hotels, Cosby Campground is just about perfect.

Room Tip: Arrive early, pick your site, then pay.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with friends
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3  Thank JcbT11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Cosby Campground

Address: Great Smokey Mountain National Park, Hwy 321, Cosby, TN
Location: United States > Tennessee > Cosby
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Cosby
Number of rooms: 157
Also Known As:
Cosby Campground Hotel Cosby

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