Backbone Rock Campground has closed for the 2023 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.
Backbone Rock Campground has closed for the 2023 season, and plans to re-open for the 2024 season on 4/29/2024.
There is no electricity/water/sewer site hook-ups at this facility. There is potable water within the campground.
All equipment must fit on the site pad. Vehicles park in developed areas only.
An RV counts as one of the two vehicles allowed at a site.
Be Bear Wise: Never leave food out on tables or in the open. Store unattended food in bear-resistant containers, in a vehicle in solid non-pliable material, or suspend food at least 12 feet off the ground. Remember to use the bear resistant trash receptacles provided at this facility. Please adhere to the Cherokee National Forest Food and Refuse Storage Requirements 36 CFR 261.58 (cc) . Visit the Cherokee National Forest website and the Backbone Rock webpage of the Cherokee National Forest website for more information.
Check-out time is no later than 11 am EST on your departure day. You may check-in to the campground between 2 pm EST and 10 pm EST of your arrival date. If you have not checked-in before 2 pm EST the day after your arrival date, your site will be checked-out and will forfeit all fees.
All pets must be on a 6' leash at all times. Owners must pick up after their pets, and all pet waste disposed of properly.
It is your responsibility to read, know, understand, and follow all campground specific rules and regulations which are posted at the campground.
The Large Pavilion at the Day-Use Area next to Backbone Rock Campground is CLOSED for repairs.
Backbone Rock Campground is located along the beautiful Beaverdam Creek nestled in the mountains of the Southern Appalachians.
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).
4400 Unicoi Drive Unicoi TN 37692
9941 Hwy 133 Shady Valley TN 37688
For campground inquiries, please call: 423-735-1500
Highway TN 133 north from Highway 91. The campsite is on Highway 133, just north of Backbone Rock.