Balsam Mountain CG in the Smokies

Discussion in 'Let me tell you about my trip' started by hometownhiker, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. hometownhiker

    hometownhiker Active Member

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    We spent a couple of nights this week camping at the
    little Balsam Mountain Campground in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. At 5310 feet in elevation it
    is the highest campground in the park. Nights are cool even in the summer, and I enjoyed wearing a long sleeve flannel and jacket while sitting around a campfire in July in North Carolina. That doesn't happen too often.
    [​IMG]IMG_20190701_170121_995 by Chuck Allen, on Flickr

    The views are fantastic too. Mile High Overlook is a short distance away with spectacular views of the mountains. We hiked over to the overlook on Monday night and were treated to an incredible spectacle as the sun set over the Appalachian Trail ridgeline that straddles the NC/TN border.

    [​IMG]IMG_20190701_211204_451 by Chuck Allen, on Flickr

    Balsam Mountain Campground is usually quiet and secluded, but it was pretty packed out for the 4th of July week. There are 46 campsites mostly best suited for tent camping. The tent only sites are really close to each other, I would not be happy camping in them. About half of the sites are ok for small trailers and popups. We had one of the best sites in the campground, #7. The sites come with the standard picnic tables and fire ring with grill grate. Like all GSMNP campgrounds there are no power, water, or sewer hookups. There are no showers. There are however, very clean and flushable restrooms and a very nice dishwashing station. As far as phone access, our Verizon gave us a bar and 4g service. I was able to stream a Braves game on Tuesday night.

    All in all, it was a relaxing couple of nights. I'd go back up there in a heartbeat, but only if I could reserve site #7 or #23.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2019
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  2. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting a report Hometownhiker. Love the photos.
     
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  3. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    What a scenic area, looking at it make me want to relax. Great photos thanks for sharing
     
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  4. 8lugnutz

    8lugnutz Member

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    Grew up visiting that park as a kid, lots of memories there! I took my kids there in the pup back in 2017 to Elkmont campground. Similar experience, but without that view, that’s gorgeous! No cell service, but you can drive a few miles back towards Gatlinburg and catch enough signal to make a call around the Laurel Falls trailhead. Clingmans Dome was under construction (and 60 feet lower than the elevation of our front porch here in the Springs [:D]).

    Never had a bad neighbor in the Smokies!
     
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  5. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    We always camp at ELKMONT when we go.... Elkmont Camp is almost all under trees... Used to love camping right next to the river that runs thru the sites... Sure gets loud sometimes however haha...

    We always went to the Townsend side to get groceries and supplies... Going to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge side is way to busy for us (DAY OR NIGHT) haha...

    [​IMG]
    Roy's image

    [​IMG]
    Roy's image


    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Loved the smokies. Just last year I camped at elkmont campground. As mentioned no views in the campground itself, but lots of overlooks along the road to pull into. The campground is quite large though and a lot of decent sites. I hung out mainly on the TN side of the smokies myself. Did take the great Smokie mountain train which is in NC. It was well worth the money.
     
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  7. Econ

    Econ Member

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    We were at Balsam Mountain the day the Boy Scout leader got struck by lightning. That would be a week or two before you were there.

    Is #7 the one directly in front of the lower restroom?
     
  8. bobinfleet

    bobinfleet Active Member

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    Great photos, sounds like a great place
     
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