Backbone Rock Campground

Cherokee National Forest

Backbone Rock Campground is open for the 2024 season. Backbone Rock Campground is a small campground situated along the beautiful Beaverdam Creek at an elevation of 2,100 feet in northern Johnson County. This developed campground is popular with those visiting the nearby Backbone Rock, a tunnel originally blasted through the rock ridge for the railway. The creek side location with popular swim area and lush forest surroundings make Backbone Rock Campground particularly desirable during hot summer months. With 10 campsites and an adjacent large Civilian Conservation Corps- built reservable pavilion with lawn, Backbone Rock is a great option for a group to reserve the whole campground for retreats and other events.  

There are 10 single campsites, including two double sites within Backbone Rock Campground. The campground has flush toilets. Each site contains a table, fire ring and lantern holder.

Need to Know

Natural Features

Backbone Rock Campground is located along the beautiful Beaverdam Creek nestled in the mountains of the Southern Appalachians.

Nearby Attractions

The trailhead for the Backbone Rock Trail (#53) is approximately a quarter mile South of the campground on TN Highway 133. This trail is 4 miles and at the end of the trail is where it joins into the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (#1) Damascus, VA is approximately 5 minutes North of the campground. The Backbone Falls Trail (#198) is approximately a third of a mile South of the campground. This 0.4 mile loop trail takes you to the top of Backbone Falls. 


Along with camping, Beaverdam Creek is stocked with trout. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is accessed via the Backbone Rock Trail (#53).  

Contact Information


4400 Unicoi Drive Unicoi TN 37692

Physical Address

9941 Hwy 133 Shady Valley TN 37688

Phone Number

For campground inquiries, please call: 423-735-1500

Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Driving Directions

Highway TN 133 north from Highway 91. The campsite is on Highway 133, just north of Backbone Rock.

Available Campsites

Photo Gallery