Big Creek Campground is located in a remote portion of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Backcountry camping in a front country setting. There are flushing toilets and potable water. This is a tent only campground with a short walk from the parking area. The beautiful flowing waters of Big Creek parallel the campground offering the visitor a pleasant soundscape and peaceful beauty. Big Creek is an oasis for hiking, swimming, wildlife, fishing, and relaxation.
Big Creek Campground offers 12 TENT ONLY campsites for a traditional outdoor camping experience with the added convenience of flush toilets and drinking water. There are no hookups or showers at the campground. There is an emergency phone available at the Big Creek Ranger Station located 1 mile from the campground. No generator use or recreational vehicles are allowed in Big Creek Campground. There is a food storage locker available for public use.
A reservation is required to stay at Big Creek Campground. Please make your reservation before driving to the campground as cell phone coverage in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is very limited and there are no provisions to make a reservation once you are at the campground. Reservations are site specific therefore you are REQUIRED to occupy only the site(s) for which you have reserved. To make changes to your reservation you must contact Recreation.gov at 1-877-444-6777 or field staff where available.
Big Creek Campground is located in Waterville, NC.
Exit 451 from I-40
GPS: 35.750177, -83.111206
Caution: Bear Habitat! Bears and other wildlife frequent the area. All food and equipment used to prepare and store food (even when empty, and even if certified as bear resistant) must be kept in a sealed vehicle or camping unit of solid, non-pliable material AT ALL TIMES when not in use. All scented items, as well as all water containers MUST be stored. Dispose of garbage promptly in dumpsters provided. Unattended or improperly stored coolers, food and/or scented items may be impounded by campground staff. Violators are subject to fines.
Fires are allowed in fire rings only!
Firewood Restriction: Only heat-treated firewood bundled in its original packing and bearing a certification seal from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) or a state department of agriculture may be brought into the park. This rule is strictly enforced. Campers may also collect dead and down wood in the park for campfires. For additional information about these firewood regulations, please visit the park website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/frontcountry-camping.
Located at an elevation of 1,700' Big Creek Campground is surrounded by picturesque mountain ranges and a pristine mountain stream. Black Bear sightings are not uncommon and some lucky visitors may spot River Otter playing in Big Creek.
Nearby attractions include the Cataloochee Valley, Newport, TN, Cosby Campground, Hartford Whitewater Rafting, the Appalachian Trail and the Max Patch/Pisgah National Forest.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hiker's paradise, with over 800 miles of maintained trails ranging from short, leg-stretchers to strenuous treks. The Big Creek area offers some of the most challenging hikes within the Park. Baxter Creek trail begins near the campground and with an elevation gain of 4200' from trail head to the summit of Mt Sterling provides a strenuous work out for the strongest of hikers. The nearby Big Creek trail offers a pleasant hike along the waters of Big Creek with a beautiful waterfall along the way.
Local anglers agree that Big Creek offers some of the best trout fishing in the area. Fly fishing is particularly good during spring months when aquatic insects hatch in large numbers. Wildlife viewing is a popular pastime, and with around 1,500 black bear living in the park, it is not uncommon for visitors to spot one. The park is a sanctuary for a magnificent array of animal and plant life, all of which is protected for future generations to enjoy.
107 Park Headquarters Road Gatlinburg TN 37738
For campground inquiries, please call: 865-436-1261
Campground is at the end of Big Creek Entrance Rd. Waterville, NC, 28785 (Haywood County)
The campground is located off I-40 Exit 451 (Waterville). It sixteen miles east of Newport, TN. Follow Waterville road, crossing over the Pigeon River, past the Walters Power Generating Station and continue one mile to the 4-way intersection at Mt Sterling Gap.
Follow the signs to Big Creek. GPS coordinates are 35°45'00.3"N 83°06'38.6"W
The 4 way intersection is composed of Big Creek Campground Road and Waterville Rd (from I-40) + Mt. Sterling Road (from Cataloochee) + Hwy 32 (from Cosby)
Drive up to the end of Big Creek Entrance Road. You will pass the Ranger Station, horse camp, group camp, and hiker parking.