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“Nice but Small & Cramped”

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Balsam Mountain Campground
Reviewed 4 August 2017 via mobile

I loved the remote location & the cool air due to being over 5,000 ft. However, as the other reviewers mentioned, the campground is small. The camp sites are right next to one another and the camp road. If you want privacy, this is not the place.

Stayed: August 2017, travelled solo
Thank txbenton4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 8 of 46 reviews

Reviewed 24 July 2017

We went camping during the recent heat wave (mid-late July) and it was such a relief to be up in the mountains. We had left 90+ degree weather, and it was 68 when we got up there in the afternoon.

The campground was maybe half-full. We had a little bit of a hard time figuring out which site to occupy, because if we camp too close to others, our dogs will have too much fun barking. The first site we chose was next to an empty site, but while we were hiking someone decided to occupy that site; there would have been no privacy whatsoever. So we moved to a different site that had woods on one side. There was a trail going into the woods that didn't necessarily seem human-made, and we had seen a lot of bear scat when we walked a couple of miles on the road nearby that goes to Cherokee (28 miles one way). However, we didn't have any contact with wildlife other than bugs -- there were bumble bees and flies in the morning; I was very relieved they weren't yellowjackets.

Even in the second campsite, it was difficult to feel like there was any privacy. This was a source of discomfort for me, as one reason I love camping is the opportunity to get away from much social interaction, and the quiet. I could hear someone snoring from a tent, in an adjacent campsite, and when I got up to relieve myself during the night I must have awakened the man next to us because shortly after that I heard him unzip his tent. For me, this all was kind of disquieting. There were few women camping while we were there, and this was maybe a slight source of discomfort as well. Know that anything you say or do will potentially be heard by others nearby -- bickering, laughing, etc. Because I felt uncomfortable emotionally / psychologically, I felt more physically uncomfortable -- the ground felt harder than it did the next night when we camped at a campground where I felt more relaxed overall.

So, be prepared for the possibility of very close quarters. If this is something that is hard for you to tolerate, this might not be the best place to stay. There were campsites we could have chosen that would have put more distance between us and other campers, but there is not much in the way of barriers between campsites (i.e. vegetative growth / trees).

The host was very nice. The bathrooms were pretty clean (take a light if you use a bathroom after dark, and something to wipe your hands on if you need it). I was not expecting running water or toilets, so that was nice.

The view of the stars was spectacular. The sky was very dark -- very little light pollution. It couldn't be a more beautiful area.

Stayed: July 2017, travelled with family
3  Thank P G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2017 via mobile

My son and I stayed at Balsam Mountain Campground for a week in early June. The campground is beautiful and the facilities are well maintained. The camp hosts were very helpful. The grounds are at a high elevation so it was very cool throughout the day and night, approximately 64 degrees during day and colder at night so make sure to pack warm clothes. The cool temps keeps the bugs at minimum and as we never once used spray repellent for the entire week. I loved this site and we will definitely be back! Miss it already!

Stayed: June 2017, travelled with family
1  Thank amypizzutibrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2016

A nice calm place. Camp ground allocation is first come first serve. one common rest room was neat and clean. There is a sun set view point near the camp ground, you have to drive past the camp ground entrance to get there. its very near by. Please head to Lake Junaluska overlook for a beautiful sun rise; believe me its worth a try. We saw bears on the way to the overlook in the early morning.

Stayed: October 2016, travelled with friends
3  Thank Noufal A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 October 2016 via mobile

I love it here! So much beauty and solitude. My only complaint would be that the campsites are too close together. Otherwise everything is wonderful! The temperature there last week was 39-40 degrees at night with 25-35 mph winds. It was raining leaves and it was magical!

Stayed: October 2016, travelled solo
2  Thank Melissa Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Balsam Mountain Campground

Address: 107 Park Headquarters Road, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN 37738-4102
Region: United States > Tennessee > Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Number of rooms: 46
Also Known As:
Balsam Mountain Campground Hotel Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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