AVLtoday City Guide Live

Where to camp near Asheville

Got the camping bug? Here are 25 campgrounds, primitive camping spots, and cabins to rent for the perfect camp experience around Asheville.

A group of people sitting around a campfire in the shade, with a small waterfall and nearby hill in fall colors.

Grab the group and plan a campfire retreat in gorgeous Panthertown Valley.

Table of Contents

The ultimate Western North Carolina experience isn’t complete without some time in the great outdoors. We’ve rounded up great places to stay for hiking, wildlife viewing, and camp living, on a scale of “roughing it” to full-on glamping. Cheers, campers.

Backcountry camping

If you’re a seasoned backpacker, probably able to win a season of “Survivor,” and looking for nothing more than some level ground to sleep on, these camp areas are for you. Note: Be sure to read up on bear safety, hiking etiquette, if you’ll need a backcountry camping permit, and make sure you’re prepared with water and supplies.

A husky standing on a mountain bald with a mountain vista and sun in the background.

Find unparalleled views at Black Balsam Knob.

Photo by @awildbloom

Black Balsam Knob
Why you should go: While these trails are popular to the point of being overcrowded during summertime, they’re popular for a reason: mountain balds offer tree-less lookouts to take in soaring Blue Ridge Parkway views.

  • ~1 hour and 10 mins from downtown
  • Open year-round; stay informed of Parkway closures
  • Camp on top of the balds, 1,000 ft. away from the trail. Note: Campfires are not allowed, and bear-resistant containers are required.
A waterfall streaming into a lake littered with fall leaves.

Waterfalls and cliffs abound in Panthertown Valley.

Photo by @alloverthisplanet

Panthertown Valley
Why you should go: Granite rock domes and cliffsides have earned Panthertown Valley the nickname “the Yosemite of the East.”

  • ~1 hour and 30 mins from downtown. Pro Tip: Limited parking is available at three different trailheads. Follow these directions.
  • Open year-round
  • Camp at level sites off-trail, looking for established sites and following all camping rules. Note: Bear-resistant containers are now required for overnight camping.


Looking to tent camp or park the RV at a campground? The Asheville area and beyond is full of campground options, whether you’re looking for an electric hookup, hot showers, or simply a dark place to gaze at the stars.

A lake surrounded by fall trees under a bright blue sky.

Views of the stunning Lake Powhatan are a perk of this campground.

Photo by @embracelifemoments

Lake Powhatan
Why you should go: Only a short drive from Asheville, families will love the sandy swimming beach alongside the lake at this camp.

  • ~20 mins from downtown
  • Open year-round
  • Camping supported: Tent, RV (electric and nonelectric)
  • Activities: Swimming (including swimming beach), fishing, hiking, mountain biking
  • Amenities: Drinking water, hot showers, flush toilets, ice and firewood for purchase, pets allowed
  • Browse available campsites.
A river bend with plenty of strewn rocks under green and orange trees.

Get lost in nature at North Mills River.

Photo by @csmithwnc

North Mills River
Why you should go: Get your nature fix from woodsy campsites, with the bonus of notably clean bathrooms on-site, plus nearby grocery stores and breweries just in case.

  • ~30 mins from downtown
  • Open year-round
  • Camping supported: Tent, RV (electric and nonelectric)
  • Activities: Trout fishing, tubing, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, summer educational programs
  • Amenities: Water available seasonally, hot showers, flush toilets, firewood and fire-starter for purchase, pets allowed
  • Browse available campsites.
A stream filled with large rocks and boulders under a branch of a tree with orange leaves.

Hike along the creek and Curtis Creek Campground.

Photo by @trrussellphotography

Curtis Creek Campground
Why you should go: Picturesque scenes await you in this secluded camp, thanks to old-growth forests and the babbling Curtis Creek.

  • ~40 mins from downtown
  • Open Fri., March 31- Sun., Dec. 31 in 2023
  • Camping supported: Tent, RV (nonelectric)
  • Activities: Hiking, biking, trout fishing, horseback riding, swimming hole wading
  • Amenities: Drinking water pumps, vault toilets
  • Browse available campsites.
Mountains in the distance that look blue, with two close up leafy plants in front.

Mount Pisgah might just take your breath away.

Photo by @gvl.girl

Mount Pisgah Campground
Why you should go: At an elevation of 4,980 feet, this campground offers stunning Blue Ridge Parkway views as well as respite from the heat during summertime.

  • ~45 mins from downtown
  • Open Friday, May 19-Saturday, Nov. 4 in 2023
  • Camping supported: Tent, RV (nonelectric)
  • Activities: Hiking, guided interpretive walks
  • Amenities: Accessible showers, flush toilets, food storage locker, pets allowed
  • Browse available campsites. Pro tip: Campsites all reserved? About 70 more spots are available for in-person booking on a first-come, first-serve basis.
A rushing river over a tiny waterfall, surrounded by green.

The beauties of the Davidson River await you with this camp choice.

Photo by Gary Stevens via Flickr + Wikimedia Commons

Davidson River
Why you should go: If you like your hiking trails with a side of waterfalls, Davidson River is your place to camp.

  • ~45 mins from downtown
  • Open year-round
  • Camping supported: Tent, RV (electric and nonelectric)
  • Activities: Swimming (with swimming site), trout fishing, hiking, bike rentals, summer and fall educational programs
  • Amenities: Hot showers, flush toilets, ice and firewood for purchase, pets allowed
  • Browse available campsites.
A tall waterfall surrounded by green trees.

Enjoy greenery and great hiking trails around Carolina Hemlocks Recreation Area.

Photo by @travel.theparks

Carolina Hemlocks Rec Area
Why you should go: Fishers will love how accessible the nearby river is, while all campers can appreciate the hemlocks and greenery of Pisgah National Forest.

  • ~1 hour from downtown
  • Open Saturday, April 15-Monday, Oct. 30 in 2023
  • Camping supported: Tent, RV (nonelectric)
  • Activities: Swimming, tubing, fishing, hiking
  • Amenities: Hot showers, flush toilets, ice and firewood for purchase
  • Browse available campsites.
A waterfall at night with a starry sky above.

Gorges State Park? More like gorgeous state park.

Photo by @elchilivan

Gorges State Park
Why you should go: Staggering rock walls, river gorges, and waterfalls await. Bonus: Primitive sites are also available to reserve in advance.

  • ~1 hour and 15 mins from downtown
  • Open year-round
  • Camping supported: Tent, RV (electric).
  • Activities: Hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing
  • Amenities: Showers, vault toilets, water spigot, pets allowed
  • Browse available campsites.

Plan a fall trip for peak foliage in South Mountains State Park.

Photo by @gypsynomad27

South Mountains State Park
Why you should go: An 80-foot high waterfall is accessible via hiking trial. Plus, seasoned mountain bikers can try their hand at a difficult 17-mile loop.

  • ~1 hour and 15 mins from downtown
  • Open year-round
  • Camping supported: Tent, RV (Electric — limited spots), equestrian (electric)
  • Activites: Hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, trout fishing
  • Amenities: Hot showers, drinking water, pit toilets, firewood, pets allowed
  • Browse available campsites.
A dog staring thoughtfully off into space in front of a sunset over the mountains.

This doggo is thrilled his owner decided to go to Smokemont Campground.

Photo by @aspen.atlas

Smokemont Campground
Why you should go: Located in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, find bio-diverse, unforgettable hikes right from your site.

  • ~1 hour and 20 mins from downtown
  • Open year-round
  • Camping supported: Tent, RV (nonelectric)
  • Activities: Hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding
  • Amenities: Drinking water, flush toilets, pets allowed
  • Browse available campsites.

Cabins and cottages

Looking for access to trails and wildlife, without sacrificing the comfort of a proper bed at the end of the day? We’ve selected some of our favorite Vrbos to book some cabin time close to town.

The corner of a porch with a dining table against a backdrop of fall leaves.

Bamboo House at Mountain Meadows

Photo via Vrbo

Bamboo House at Mountain Meadows
Why book: At 3,500-ft. elevation, sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Parkway meet a California King-sized bed.

  • ~$300 a night
  • 4 BD | 3 BA
  • Amenities: Rain head shower, grill, hot tub, deck
A cream colored cabin with a porch and red trim set against lush woods.

Cold Creek Cottage

Photo via Vrbo

Cold Creek Cottage
Why book: A backyard creek, a foosball table, and an outdoor basketball court make this the perfect family vacation home.

  • ~$107 a night
  • 5 BD | 2 BA
  • Amenities: Grill, games, Biltmore Estate pass

Newly Renovated Home

Photo via Vrbo

Newly Renovated Home
Why book: Thanks to recent renovations, this modern chalet nestled into the edge of Pisgah National Forest is practically luxurious.

  • ~$280 a night
  • 2 BD | 2 BA
  • Amenities: Deep soaking tub, gas fireplace, grill

Artist’s Mountain Retreat

Photo via Vrbo

Artist’s Mountain Retreat
Why book: Proximity to both Asheville and the mountains make this a great base camp for all your North Carolina adventures.

  • ~$179 a night
  • 2 BD | 1 BA
  • Amenities: Pet-friendly, washer and dryer, linens and towels provided

1920s Bungalow

Photo via Vrbo

1920s Bungalow
Why book: With a deck and a lawn, stunning views, and a fire pit, you’ll be living your version of camping in no time.

  • ~$205 a night
  • 2 BD | 2 BA
  • Amenities: Fireplace, fully equipped kitchen, washer and dryer
A woodsy cabin with outside patio furniture, and the woods and mountain in the background.

Black Mountain Cabin

Photo via Vrbo

Black Mountain Cabin
Why book: This custom-built cedar log house will give you the cabin getaway you’ve been dreaming of.

  • ~$185 a night
  • 3 BD | 2 BA
  • Amenities: Fireplace with split wood provided, deck and patio, puzzles and board games
A wood cabin with an A-frame roof with green trees in the background.

Big Oak Cabin

Photo via Vrbo

Big Oak Cabin
Why book: This newly built home is only 15 minutes driving distance from Asheville.

  • ~$159 a night
  • 3 BD | 2 BA
  • Fire pit with wood provided, linens and towels provided, deck and porch
A porch with a large hot tub and a patio table, with a river and brown trees in winter in the background.

Chimney Rock River House

Photo via Vrbo

Chimney Rock River House
Why book: A rushing river will literally be in your backyard at this house — plus, there’s an outdoor hot tub to enjoy the views from.

  • ~$225 a night
  • 4 BD | 2 BA
  • Pets allowed, fireplace, fully stocked kitchen
A large brown cabin with a big front porch in front of fall foliage.

Eagle’s Rest Lodge

Photo via Vrbo

Eagle’s Rest Lodge
Why book: Imagine sipping your coffee on the porch and walking straight down to the pond at this cabin.

  • ~$190 a night
  • 3 BD |3 BA
  • Hot tub, fireplace, hammock
A blue house with a flower garden and large driveway.

Mountain Vista Retreat

Photo via Vrbo

Mountain Vista Retreat
Why book: Gorgeous surrounding mountain views and a hot tub await on this 4 acre private retreat.

  • ~$235 a night
  • 3 BD | 3 BA
  • Fireplace, hot tub, fully equipped kitchen
The interior of a cabin with a stone fireplace blazing.

Candler Log Cabin

Photo via Vrbo

Candler Log Cabin
Why book: A spot on the edge of a national forest meets a hot tub, pool, and firpit.

  • ~$250 a night
  • 3 BD | 2 BA
  • Pets allowed, wood burning fireplace, bicycles
A stone cabin with a red tin roof nestled into green woods.

Serene Creekside Cottage

Photo by Vrbo

Serene Creekside Cottage
Why book: This adorable cottage is nestled right into the woods, with plenty of outdoor spaces to enjoy the nature from.

  • ~$138 a night
  • 2 BD | 2 BA
  • Washer and dryer, grill, porch
Several horses grazing in a green pasture under the bright blue sky.

17-Acre Private Horse Farm

Photo via Vrbo

17-Acre Private Horse Farm
Why book: Kids will love seeing the horses on this property, not to mention a pond for fishing.

  • ~$210 a night
  • 2 BD | 2 BA
  • Hot tub, hammock, porch
The corner of a porch with a hot tub and a sweeping mountain view beyond.

Mountaintop Log Cabin

Photo via Vrbo

Mountaintop Log Cabin
Why book: You can’t beat the views from this classic cabin retreat.

  • ~$333 a night
  • 3 BD | 2 BA
  • Hot tub, fireplace, board games
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