Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Elkmont Campground in the Smoky Mountains

Elkmont is a large campground inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hubby and I decided to check out the campground for a potential visit with the pop-up camper and were delighted at what we saw. There are 200 sites at Elkmont. Most of these looked like they can accommodate an RV, tent or motorhome. There are 22 sites for walk-up use.

The bathrooms have cold running water and flush toilets. Elkmont in the Smokies doesn't have showers but there is an outside dish sink at the comfort station. Bear precautions are in place so food must be kept properly stored and remainders must be properly disposed of. Large bear-proof trash containers are provided. Prices can change but ranged from $17-$23 per day with a 14 day limit at the time of this writing.

Elkmont campsites are relatively flat, have a fire ring and picnic table. The intriguing part of the campground is the electrical hook-ups.
Everything I read on the internet says that there aren't any. This is and is not true. It turns out that two of the campsites have 5 amp electricity.

This is provided solely to run medical equipment and not to provide for the needs of an RV. Proof of need is required. The rules at Elkmont campground are very firm. If you are found to use the electricity for another purpose, they will shut it off and you may be asked to leave.

If you are concerned about charging laptops or ipads, there is a solution. You can charge them for $1.00 during operating hours the well stocked camp store. This has to be one of the more unique camp stores that I have seen. Some supplies at Elkmont are available 24-hours a day via vending machine. This is common at hotels but isn't something that I've seen in use at a campground.

One machine was stocked with every toiletry imaginable. There is also a a coffee machine, snacks and ice cream machine.  Pain-relievers, plates, skewers, paper plates and other paper goods are available. The store also had ice and reasonably priced firewood.

Speaking of firewood...

A quarantine is in effect that includes Elkmont and the entire Smoky Mountains National Park. At was less than $4.00 a bundle, I'd purchase it on-site or from a safe county. The store staff and rangers we came in contact with were all friendly. If you have questions about anything, just ask or read the firewood quarantine page.

Getting back to nature is a prime reason for bringing the RV and visiting the Great Smoky Mountains. The campground offers tons of outdoor opportunities. Wildlife viewing, fishing, bicycling are just a few of the activities. Hubby and I decided to try the easy hike on the Elkmont Nature Trail which is just .3 mile from the campground entrance. We had a good time on this and other fall color drives.