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Balsam Mountain Campground Great Smoky Mountains National Park North Carolina

Balsam Mountain Overview

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Balsam Mountain Campground is located in remote area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and has 46 campsites that are best for tents rather than trailers or motorhomes. To reach Balsam Mountain campground, you’ll need to drive up a 9 mile road from Maggie Valley and climb about 2500 feet of in elevation. This is a nice road with plenty of turnouts to view the mountains and valleys.

Amenities include drinking water, flush toilets and trash collection.  Cell service is fair in the area. Each campsite also has a table, fire ring and grill. Campsites 26-31 have food storage lockers. Our favorite Balsam Mountain campsites are : 10, 11 12, 13, 14 and 15. Although campsites 1 through 7, 23 and 39 to 43 will accommodate larger campers and popup tents.

There are few sites that are level with the pavement, with most having a few steps either up or down to the site. Most sites have gravel tent pads, although a few did not. Sites 26 to 31 are designated tent only and each of those sites includes a bear-proof metal storage cabinet. Parking for those sites are anywhere from 30 to 150 feet away from the sites. This area would be perfect for a group of tent campers.

Further up the main road from the campground, a couple of trails start and there is a picnic area. The paved road ends, although a one-way, little used gravel road continues on for another 10 or more miles that eventually circles back to the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Two other Great Smoky Mountains campgrounds in the area are Cataloochee and Smokemont.


First Come, First Served

  • BBQ Grills
  • Campground Host
  • Campsite Tables
  • Cell Service Fair
  • Drinking Water
  • Equestrian trail
  • Fire Pit
  • Fire Rings
  • Grills
  • Group Camping
  • Pets OK
  • Picnic Tables
  • Restrooms (Flush Toilets)
  • Trash Collection
  • Backpacking
  • Biking
  • Bird Watching
  • Creek
  • Fishing
  • Fly Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historic Sites
  • Horseback riding
  • Mountain Biking
  • Nature Trails
  • Photography
  • Picnicking
  • Ranger Program
  • Stargazing
  • Walking Trails
  • Wildlife Viewing
107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, North Carolina 37738
865 436-1200
Lat / Long:

35.565655, -83.174868

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Best Campsites
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Campsite Types
  • ADA
  • RV
  • Tent
  • Trailer
# of Campsites:


Campsite Vehicle Size:

Up to 25 feet.


End of May – Mid October



Balsam Mountain Photos

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Balsam Mountain Camp Sign
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Balsam Mountain Rododendren
= Our Favorite Campsites (requires Pro Membership)

Balsam Mountain Comments & Reviews

Visited Balsam Mountain Campground lately? We'd love to hear about your adventure. Did you find us useful? Did we forget something? Anything our community should know before heading out to Balsam Mountain?

23 Comments on “Balsam Mountain”

  1. Rob Hughes says:

    I’m sure this campsite review was written sometime ago, but if any of the original authors are still there, can you possibly elaborate on why 10, 11 and 14 are your favorites? Planning to camp here in July and would love to know.

    • Hi Rob,
      Our photographer liked Balsam Mountain campsites 10, 11 and 14 because they offered a larger (and flatter) area in the tent camping and table/fire ring area. There are other sites that are larger (for trailers and RVs) though. He also though they offered a bit more privacy than other sites.

      • Thanks for the reply… on this one as well as the duplicate I seem to have put in here! LOL

    • Jennifer says:

      Are the sites large enough for multiple tents (we have 2 pop ups and a screen tent) or would we be better off renting two side by side sites?

      • Hi Jennifer,
        The hosts at Balsam Mountain campground would prefer you pitch tents on the tent pads and in most cases the tent pads will only handle one tent. There are some sites where you can fit two tents, and maybe pitch on the grass area. I’d recommend getting side-by-side campsites for your group.

  2. “Our favorite Balsam Mountain campsites are : 10, 11 and 14.”

    Can you elaborate? I’d love to know what you like about these.

    • Our photographer liked Balsam Mountain campsites 10, 11 and 14 because they offered a larger (and flatter) area in the tent camping and table/fire ring area. There are other sites that are larger (for trailers and RVs) though.

  3. Alisa M Lemons says:

    If you were going to rent two sites, would 10/11, 11/12, 12/13 or 13/14 be the best combo? There will be two small children with us.

  4. Alisa Lemons says:

    Thank you!

  5. edward draughon says:

    we noticed that some of the reserved sites say “trailer” and “tent” and some say “trailer” only. can we tent camp on those “trailer” only sites?

    • Hi Edward,
      Thanks for writing CampsitePhotos.com. We’re not affiliated with the campgrounds list on our website. We provide the photos, campground info and links to make a reservation.

      I recommend you might try calling Balsam Mountain Campground directly at 865-436-1200.

  6. Gabrielle M Scaramuzzo says:

    I will be coming here next week, where are the closest showers located from the campsite?

    • Hi Gabrielle,
      Click on the ‘Campground Map’ button and you’ll be able to see where the restrooms (which have the showers) are located relative to where your campsite is at Balsam Mountain campground.

  7. Alisa M Lemons says:

    Would taking bicycles be worth it? Is there enough space at the campground or nearby to ride?

  8. Shannon Whitaker says:

    Are there showers anywhere near the campground?

  9. Johnny on the Trail says:

    How about Hammock spots for two? which site In your opinion would be best to reserve for hammock use?

    • Hi Johnny on the Trail!
      That’s a qood question. We’re not sure, but perhaps others may have an idea of which Balsam Mountain campsites would be best for hammock use.

  10. If the camp hosts or someone else who’s there sees this, I’d love to know the actual dimensions of the tent pads. Makes planning more certain than just “big enough for a two-person” or “big enough for my Coleman etc.” Thanks!

  11. Tess Jordan says:

    Do any of these campsites have food lockers? All i can find online is that some do, and some don’t – but it doesn’t specify which.


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