20 Best Places to Camp Within Two Hours of Asheville NC

A camp fire with a tent in the background.

The Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina’s passageway through the Blue Ridge Mountains, is often voted as one of the most scenic drives in the entire country. For nearly 470 miles through the Appalachian highlands of both North Carolina and Virginia, the Blue Ridge Parkway boasts a haze of mountain range colors of various shades of blue when viewed from a distance. In autumn, the parkway is lined with some of the country’s most vibrant red and orange fall leaves. 

There are winding trails, backcountry camping sites, viewpoints, and outdoor adventures. Rafting, hiking, and mountain biking activities are also popular. If you are looking at backcountry camping, a resourceful survival book can be vital. Survival guides like this book are good ways to learn new survival skills and improve the knowledge you already have.

There is no shortage of camping areas near Asheville. The majority of the campgrounds we discuss below are family-friendly and allow pets, but be sure to confirm those details for yourself before visiting. Simply read on for a list of the 20 best campgrounds and RV parks near Asheville.

A group of RVs next to a stream.

Enjoy the winding trails, backcountry camping sites, rafting, hiking, and everything else Mountain Stream has to offer!

1. Mountain Stream RV Park 

Camping at Mountain Stream is mostly for motorhomes and RV camping, but they have recently also added travel trailers and yurt rentals in this scenic valley. If you choose to rent one of Mountain Stream’s decked out RVs, expect a classy stay, complete with full hookups, comfortable bedding, a shaded deck area, and a shower. The simple yurts have wood floors, plenty of natural light, and very comfortable beds to rest your body after exploring the surrounding North Carolina mountains and sitting around the fire pit for a few hours. 

Pros:

  • Rv camping
  • Yurt camping
  • Mountain views

Cons: 

  • Large groups
  • No tent camping

2. Creek Ridge Camping 

Just under an hour from downtown Asheville, Creek Ridge Camping is a privately-owned campground designed with privacy in mind. Each campsite has been designed so that there is no way you’ll be able to see other campers from your site. Although tent camping in this area is incredible, there are also a few cabins with hot showers as well as some tents on platforms with sturdy beds. They come stocked with cooking utensils and a coffee pot, and there’s a fire pit to enjoy outside. 

3. Buck Hill Campground 

Buck Hill Campground features 144 acres of hiking and biking trails and a place to relax in a comfortable camping cabin. Nightly rates start at $50 and go up to $150, depending on the size of the cabin and the amenities you select, but do keep in mind that all of the cabins have comfortable beds and water views from each small front porch. For trout fishermen, the North Toe River can be found within the campground boundaries. 

4. Bear Den Family Campground 

Bear Den Campground is a very good jumping-off point for exploring Asheville by day and enjoying some privacy at night. The campground has several shaded, woody sites that are quite secluded. There is also a selection of simple, private cabins to choose from or even a few larger cabins that offer hot showers and deck hot tubs with scenic mountain views. 

5. Asheville East KOA

The Swannanoa River is one of the best features of the Asheville East KOA. The cool waters offer swimming and tubing and it is the perfect place for a kayak. Fishing is another excellent option in Swannanoa. Asheville is only about 15 minutes away, and access to the Blue Ridge Parkway can be found at another nearby milepost. There are all kinds of cabins to choose from here, as well as several other amenities. 

6. Four Paws Kingdom Campground and Dog Retreat

Four Paws Kingdom Campground and Dog Retreat is an incredible place for dog lovers. Each cabin has its own fenced-in yard, and its location at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains means miles of hiking trails nearby. There is also a swimming pond that’s fully fenced-in, a nature trail, a bathhouse, and a grooming station, which are a few things that make Four Paws the best place to stop if you’re traveling with your animal. Check out some of the best camping gear for dogs in this helpful article.

7. Crabtree Falls Campground

Crabtree Falls Campground is at milepost 340, close to Emerald Village and Little Switzerland, with dozens of rivers, creeks, and waterfalls just outside the campground. This campground is only about an hour east of Asheville. The hiking trails here are very attractive. The campground is very basic, with a few picnic areas, bathrooms, and an amphitheater, but the small town of Little Switzerland is only 5 miles away.

Autumn scenic landscape photography from an overlook of the southern Appalachian Mountains.

Surrounded by dense hardwood forests, Mount Pisgah offers shady, cool respite from the summer heat.

8. Mount Pisgah Campground 

If you are looking for elevation, this Park Service campground sits at the highest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you’re looking for beautiful scenery and outdoor recreation, it’s hard to beat this area. There are up to 62 RV sites with rates of $20/day. Not only does this give you stunning views from the campground itself, but you are minutes from some of the area’s best trails and sights, where you can do some hiking and even horseback riding. While this is a basic camping option, you do have access to a restaurant, flush toilets, laundry, and even a small gift shop. 

9. Linville Falls Campground

Surrounded by forest on the Blue Ridge Parkway but right in the small town of Linville Falls, this campground is near Linville Falls, Duggers Creek Falls, the Linville River, and lots of hiking trails and scenic overlooks. The campground is just over an hour from Asheville, and it is also close to the Cherokee National Forest. There are up to 62 RV sites surrounded by natural beauty with rates starting at $20/day. You can go and do some fishing in the Linville River, and the Linville Falls Cabins are also nearby. 

10. Doughton Park Campground 

Situated in the Doughton Recreation Area, this park is surrounded by forest, hiking, and other recreational opportunities. There is also the beauty of Willis Lake and a small town just across the parkway in Laurel Springs, as well as the appealing Stone Mountain State Park nearby. The hiking is spectacular and the vistas are incredible. The campground is rustic and minimal, so the main attraction is all the nature you will discover around you. 

11. Rocky Knob Recreation Area 

Just over the border in Virginia, you’ll find the Rocky Knob campground off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s in a rural, densely forested area just down the road from the Rocky Knob visitors center and just over an hour from Roanoke, Virginia. The Rocky Knob Recreation Area has over 4,000 acres of forest, with ample opportunities for hiking and enjoying the outdoors at this campground. There is ample picnic space and the campsites are peaceful. Nearby hikes include Black Ridge, Rockcastle Gorge, and Round Meadow Creek. There are up to 28 RV sites with rates of $20/day. There are also bathrooms and facilities for hiking and boating, as well as plenty of picnic tables where you can have a meal. 

12. Mama Gertie’s Hideaway Campground 

Mountaintop sites are this campground’s specialty. It also could not be more convenient. Just 5 miles from the beautiful Black Mountain and 15 miles from Asheville, you have the best of both worlds. Mama Gertie’s is close to the Blue Ridge Parkway as well as plenty of amenities like dining and gas stations. Enjoy the wilderness of North Carolina’s Appalachian mountains and the charms of Asheville all in one day. This campground is right on the mountainside, offering stunning views right from the window of your RV. Plus, the sites are very clean, facilities are well-maintained, and landscaping is terraced for privacy. There are up to 37 RV sites with rates starting at $40/day. 

13. Campfire Lodgings 

Open all year, this campground is just minutes from dining, gas stations, and other amenities. It’s also just minutes from the French Broad River. Surrounded by 100 acres of balsam woods and numerous trails, this campground is an outdoor lover’s dream. The best part about it, though, is its proximity to downtown Asheville. If you are looking for fine food, art, and culture, you are also just minutes from downtown Asheville. Campfire Lodgings offers the best of both worlds. The campground is clean, scenic, and well-maintained, and the sunsets are incredible.

Campfire Lodgings is just ten minutes north of Asheville on Goldview Knob. With 100 acres of woods and numerous trails, Campfire Lodgings offers many lodging possibilities, from RV and tent sites, to fully furnished yurts, cabins, and the Cliff House. The yurts are a modern adaptation of an ancient shelter used by central Asian nomads. With round fluid lines and natural light, fireplace, and skylight, our yurts offer a romantic experience close to nature. You can also stay in one of the log cabin duplexes that houses up to 5 people. The secluded Cliff House is uniquely constructed, with huge boulders forming walls and old shipyard beams supporting the ceiling.

14. Asheville’s Bear Creek RV Park and Campground

If you’re looking for convenience and amenities, Asheville’s Bear Creek RV Park is ideal. It’s in Asheville at the intersection of I-240 and I-40, making it easy to get to and surrounded by dining, shopping, and supply options. It is just south of central Asheville near the famous Biltmore Estates. This is a perfect campground if you want to combine the Blue Ridge Mountains with a trip to the estates. Despite being near many amenities like a well-stocked camp store, you still have good views from the campsites here. This campground is also one of few along the parkway to offer a pool. There are up to 110 RV sites with rates of $30/day.

Silhouette of a native American on a horse.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation is one of the only three federally recognized Cherokee tribes.

15. Cherokee Indian Reservation

History lovers can enjoy landmarks related to both Native American and European history. The Cherokee Indians of North Carolina, along with several other tribes, were some of the original inhabitants of the Blue Ridge mountains, and you’ll learn more about them at the Cherokee Indian Reservation. There are several campsites nearby as well as a few museums and even a visitors center. 

16. Lake Powhatan Recreation Area

Right along some of the most scenic spots on the Blue Ridge Parkway, near the North Carolina Arboretum, you’ll find this comfortable campground. It is right in the middle of a large wooded recreation area on Lake Powhatan, offering both forested hiking, whitewater boating, and sand beaches. It’s also about 10 minutes from Asheville, so you have easy access to the urban area too. One of the most beautiful and popular recreation areas and campgrounds along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Lake Powhatan offers a real sand beach, wildlife viewing, hiking trails, and mountain biking through Bent Creek Experimental Forest. You’ll also find the state arboretum, French Broad River, which is great for fishing and boating, and of course, the Blue Ridge Parkway. Best of all, Asheville is just down the road. 

17. Rutledge Lake RV Park

Near the Asheville airport you will find Rutledge Lake RV Park, a walk-in campground that offers immediate access to both downtown Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains. You’ll find plenty of nearby amenities, including gas stations, shops, and dining. You are just minutes from the Blue Ridge Mountains as well as the North Carolina wine trail. This is one of very few luxury RV parks along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Lakeside campsites offer lovely views and great tranquility. You’ll find options for outdoor recreation as well as the city of Asheville nearby. This RV park offers all the necessary amenities, from swimming and hot showers to laundry facilities and a well-stocked general store. 

18. Shenandoah National Park

There are so many things to do along the Blue Ridge Parkway. On either end of the parkway, you will find a national park, with Shenandoah to the east and the Smoky Mountains to the west. Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, near Charlottesville, is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers even more sweeping views than the parkway. Skyline Drive runs through the park stopping at a variety of amazing lookout points. You’ll even find a section of the Appalachian Trail here. 

19. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a national treasure, known for Chimney Rock, abundant wildflowers, and diverse animal and plant life. In Tennessee right along the North Carolina border, this national park is close to Asheville and western North Carolina, as well as Knoxville, Tennessee. If you’re looking to add more days to your trip, consider extending your getaways and visiting one of the national parks on either end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

20. Humpback Rocks Visitor Center

The Humpback Rocks Visitor Center explains some of the history of the area’s early European settlers through living history demonstrations, and there are also European homesteads and 19th-century log cabins here. You’ll even learn more about mining operations, blacksmith shops, and whiskey stills. Traditional crafts are offered here as well as free wifi and other useful amenities. 

Camping Fun Abounds!

For campers and hikers alike, we are certain that the campgrounds on this list will have you covered. You’ll find plenty of options if you are into backpacking and making large campfires since most of the campgrounds on this list are run by the National Park Service and within the wilderness of the Blue Ridge Mountains. But you’ll also find lots of camping options in or near Asheville. This is a town that you don’t want to miss, and if you really fall in love with it, these campgrounds offer you the chance to stay a few days and experience more of the area.

For most of the campgrounds within any of Washington’s national parks or national forests, reservations can be made ahead of time for select campsites through one of the official recreation websites. Always be sure to check the official sites for reservation policies and other information before you decide to make your outdoor getaway.

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    Riley Draper

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.