There are many great private campgrounds in the North Carolina High Country, but camping can also be a great national park adventure. A stay at a Parkway campground is one of the most memorable parts of a Blue Ridge vacation.
Each site has a fireplace and picnic table. The campgrounds have no showers (except at Mount Pisgah) or electrical hook-ups—but they’re otherwise comfortable and provide water, restrooms, firewood for sale, and trailer dumping stations.
On average, the Parkway’s nine campgrounds offer a chance every 43 miles to set up a tent or park your RV. Seven offer picnic areas, four have visitor centers and camp supplies. Camping is only permitted only in formal sites at designated campgrounds—and each campground has a handicapped accessible site.
You’ll find 712 tent sites and 337 RV sites, all available on a first come, first served basis. You can reserve ahead at Boone area campgrounds Julian Price Park (the largest campground on the Parkway and the only with lakeside camping) and Linville Falls ($19 versus the $16 usually charged). To reserve online, go to www.recreation.gov or call toll-free; 877-444-6777.
Use of gas stoves and grills are permitted and encouraged. Fires are permitted in designated fireplaces at campgrounds and picnic areas using charcoal, firewood purchased or found dead and down within 100 yards. (Regulations ban bringing firewood from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey and New York—see the Parkway’s Web site for more.)
Major Parkway campgrounds can have camp stores with firewood and basic supplies for sale (charcoal, starter fluid, snacks, flashlights, batteries, ice, canned goods—but don’t expect a wide selection).
Campgrounds are the perfect place to really learn about the Parkway. Campground campfire amphitheaters (and other sites, including visitor center theaters) often feature fascinating programs, some led by rangers, others by visiting experts. Ranger naturalists lead trail walks near many campgrounds. Look for visitor activities schedules on bulletin boards at campground check in stations, visitor centers, restaurants and other concession facilities. Also be sure to pick up copies of the park’s seasonal magazine The Parkway Milepost (or download the latest at http://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/brochures.htm
Miscellaneous campground rules include the prohibition of all skateboards, roller skates, and other “coasting devices,” the removal of tow vehicle side mirrors when not towing, maximum campsite capacity of six people in one family or group, and maintaining quiet times between 10 pm and 6 am.
Plan to camp at these Boone-area Parkway Campgrounds
Doughton Park Campground (Milepost 239.2)
There are 110 campsites west of the Parkway, 25 trailer sites to the east, restrooms, a 250-person campfire circle, and camp store. Doughton Park’s restaurant is accessible by trail.
Price Park Campground (Milepost 296.9)
The Parkway’s largest campground has 129 tent sites, some directly on the shore of Price Lake. If you can snag a lakeshore site, it’s a perfect “golden pond” camping experience. There are also 68 RV sites, an amphitheater, and boat rentals. Great hiking options include the memorable lakeshore loop of the Price Lake Trail.
Linville Falls Campground (Milepost 316.4)
The only Parkway campground with group camping. There are 55 tent and small R/V sites; 15 large R/V sites, a 150-person campfire circle, and many trails to the falls.
Crabtree Meadows Campground (Milepost 339.5) (Closed in 2013)
This campground’s 71 tent and small RV sites and 22 large RV sites are near Crabtree Meadows Snack Bar and camp store. There’s also a 300-person amphitheater. Hikers can take the 2.5 mile Crabtree Falls Trail to one of the Parkway's best cascades.
Mount Mitchell Tent Campground (Milepost 355)
And just off the Parkway, atop Mount Mitchell, the state park's small tent campground offers the East's highest tent camping. You can actually see the summit tower from some sites.
Basics of the Parkway
Climb the Highest Peaks by Car
Fishing on the Parkway
Hiking on the Parkway
Linn Cove Viaduct
Just for Kids
Nature on the Parkway
Picnic on the Parkway
Visitor Centers and Cabins
Dive into our Interactive Map!
Zoom in close on the map below (use the plus sign and directional arrows at upper left, or repeatedly double click near, but not on, the map symbols). You can literally see the parking lots for Parkway destinations in this guide. Click any map symbol and information packed balloons pop up to describe locations all along the route. In the map balloons, click "Directions" to add your address and get step-by-step directions to Parkway locations from wherever you are. Start in the north, follow the road south, for a local's introduction to your own Boone-area Parkway adventure.
View Blue Ridge Parkway - Boone NC Area in a larger map