Ignore the silly television ads about couples eating cereal being accosted by bears in the wilderness. That's not usually what you get in the High Country.


If you love the sound of rippling streams, peepers chirping in the evening, and a mellow hoot of an owl as the sun sinks below a panoramic mountainscape then the Western North Carolina Mountains are the place to be. The region offers an unprecedented number of different and exciting camping opportunities from immaculate and pristine primitive camping sites to comfortable recreational vehicle facilities with showers and toilets for those who don't feel the need to give up all the amenities of home for a weekend in the mountains.

The first thing that must be understood about camping in the High Country of Western North Carolina is that the only thing consistent about the weather is that it changes all the time. Temperatures can dramatically fluctuate between day and night. While summer temperatures do average in the eighties, within the past fifty years, snow has occurred in the higher elevations in every month of the year except July. It is a must that you bring clothing options for multiple weather scenarios.

The camping opportunities vary between the privately run campgrounds such as those belonging to RiverCamp USA and Zaloos Canoes to the public campgrounds along the Blue Ridge Parkway and within Pisgah National Forest. The private campgrounds generally have more of the "comforts of home," specifically showers and bath houses. Many of the public campgrounds do offer RV electrical and water hookups as well as tent sites and more primitive options. Whatever your ideas of getting back to nature are, there are numerous opportunities within the area to enjoy everything the great outdoors has to offer.

Whether you are staying in an RV at a private campground with several of the usual comforts of home, or at a public site in the middle of the backcountry, it is important to remember to leave the place better than you found it. The old adage, "Take only pictures, leave only footprints," is an essential rule of thumb to follow so that others can enjoy the beauty and tranquility that the High Country has to offer for years to come.

See also:

Campgrounds | Backpacking

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