Cades Cove Campground
The large campground at the entrance to the Cades Cove Loop Road features 159 campsites, with picnic tables, fire rings and lantern hangers. The campground has comfort stations with flush toilets and drinking water, however there are no showers or electric, water or sewer hook-ups. Campsites can accommodate trailers up to 35 feet or motor homes up to 40 feet.
The Cades Cove Campground Store, located across from the Cades Cove Ranger Station, sells grocery essentials, camping supplies and souvenirs, as well as sandwiches, soups, hot dogs, pizza and soft serve ice cream. Biking in Cades Cove is a favorite way to explore the area, and the Campground Store offers bicycle rentals, with bikes available for all ages. A helmet is included with each bicycle rental. For more information on renting bicycles in Cades Cove, guests should contact the Campground Store at 865.448.9034.
The Cades Cove Campground is one of only three frontcountry campgrounds in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with accessible campsites that can be reserved in advance, and Cades Cove is considered to be the most accessible campground in the National Park.
BLACK BEAR SAFETY
A trip to Cades Cove may be a visitor's best chance to see a black bear in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is important to remember that despite their cuddly appearance, Smoky Mountain Black Bears are extremely unpredictable, especially when accustomed to humans, as are the bears in Cades Cove. Attacks on humans in the Smokies are relatively rare, and of the rare instances that have occurred, most could have been avoided if the bear had not been attracted by food.
Never store food in your tent. Never store food in a sleeping bag, even briefly. Food should be kept in a hardtop car or hung in trees according to regulations set by the National Park. Black bears in the Smokies have a keen sense of smell, and even sweet-smelling toiletries such as toothpaste attracts them.
If you see a bear while in the campground, try to discourage it from entering the camping area by banging pots together, shouting, waving your arms and generally trying to scare them away. If this does not work, retreat to the safety of your car or camper—do not try to hide in a tent—and report the incident to Park officials.
As you leave the Cades Cove Campground, you must leave no trace of food or litter that could attract bears. Do not bury or try to burn your food or litter. If you packed something into the Cades Cove Campground, you must pack it out when you leave.
Note that it is illegal to crowd or feed bears in Cades Cove or any other part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For the safety of both visitors and bears, the Park enforces penalties for bear infractions of up to $5,000 or 6 months in jail.