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Mile High Campground

World Class High Elevation Car camping in the Great Smoky Mountains

Your husband and wife team of hosts and Sebastian the dog. Driscal and Sebastian are survivors. A survivor of prostate cancer Driscal is glad to be your very much alive host. Sebastian survived abuse as a puppy and is glad to be your host too! Hosts since it opened  five years ago, they have guided Mile High into the beautiful campground that it is now

Mile High Information | Smokies Trails

5400 Foot ElevationY

A unique and friendly campground that is worth mentioning is the Mile High Campground. It has a hospitable staff and excellent views. Many sites on the "high road" have wonderful views of the Balsam Mountains and the Smokies. The new shower house is open and the campground is mountain bike friendly. This is an excellent base-camp for the many day hikes that are possible in this area.

Hikes Nearby:

Waterrock Knob    Flat Creek Trail  
Hemphill Bald Trail  Blue Ridge Parkway
Spruce Mountain  Polls Gap Trail 

Late arrival                          

On a recent trip there , our party arrived late and found that the campground was full. "No problem" said the manager. He then found a spot for us to pitch our tents and reduced the fee for camping! The only flaw that we could find was that the campground is closed from October to April! Each site has privacy as well as a picnic table and fire ring.



I've stayed in campgrounds from Abrams Creek to Cataloochee, Park Service and Private. None can boast the views and hospitality that this campground has.   If they had campgrounds in other parts of the Park, I would do a lot more day hiking !


Wildflowers and Wildlife

The wildflowers and northern hardwoods give this great place a different feel. The air is rarefied and the stars seem clearer from this elevation. I don't know of any other campground in the Smokies that can say it is at a 5400' elevation.

If you leave the campground without an Elk or Bear sighting, you are in the minority. The latest elk that were released by the Park Service have settled into the woods surrounding the campground. The road that leads to the campground from the Blue Ridge Parkway is a great place to watch the elk graze in the evenings.

The bears, though not intrusive, are residents of the woods that surround Mile High.  It is a good practice to put all of your food-stuff into a car before turning in for the evening. Check with the campground hosts for more information about bear activity. You may get lucky and get to see Yogi in action!


The campground is located off of the Blue Ridge Parkway Spur that leads to Balsam Mountain Road and the Balsam Mountain Area of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Take 19 through Maggie Valley, enter the Blue Ridge Parkway and turn towards Cherokee. Turn right at the Masonic Marker and Balsam Mountain sign. Approximately one mile on the left is the dirt road entrance to Mile High. As you drive the short distance to the campground, in the deciduous forest, notice the balsam fir stand through the trees on your left. 

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