The Smokies – Elkmont Campground

elkmont-campground1After a good full day of hiking, Julie and I returned to our campsite at Elkmont, E5, right on the water. Last night we didn’t have a chance to enjoy it because of the rain, but now the weather is finally doing as predicted so we have a honest to gosh campfire. I love campfires, but never make them when I’m traveling alone, it’s just not the same without company.

As for this campsground, it’s superb. The sites are a bit less level than Smokemont, but the abundance of water sites makes up for that. I will say though with the water running as fast as it is right now there is quite a bit of noise which might be a negative if you need quiet for sleeping. The way Elkmont is set up, a good number of the sites are on water. It runs along both sides of this stream and there’s even a smaller tributary farther back that has sites along it too. That rock you see me sitting on over the water was right in our site, like mother nature put it there for just that purpose. Prices and amenities are the same as Smokemont.

elkmont-campground2The next day we were planning on hitting the four mile round trip Chimney Stacks trail before heading back to Fairburn, but it’s closed. Julie had wanted to do this one when she’d come on a previous trip but it had been closed then too, foiled again. So instead we take our time leaving the Smokies, stopping at a few overlooks and moseying out through Cherokee the way we had came in.

Like the last time I visited, I leave wanting more. There are so many things yet to see, trails still to hike. But I know that as long as my home has wheels, I can always come back which is a good feeling. Perhaps next time I’ll be able to stay longer than just a few nights. So long Smokies… for now!

elkmont-campground3* * *

Since arriving back at Fairburn the weather has been hot, it got up to 88 yesterday. Is it time to go north yet? Otherwise GARF is going well, this will be my fourth weekend, then I’ve only got four more to go, I can’t believe how fast it’s flying by. I’ve been stuck to my Kindle this week, I had the (mis?)fortune to be loaned the first A Song of Ice and Fire book (Game of Thrones) before I went up to the Smokies and have not been able to tear myself away from the series since. I have access to the TV show through friends as well, but I want to read the books before I watch the show.

elkmont-campground4Also, a hearty thank you to everyone who contributes to IO through commenting on the posts, spreading the word to their friends, donating, and using my affiliate links. Amazon affiliate income for April totalled $230, and donations through Paypal for the month were $23. I had figured putting those links up would help me a little around the holidays and I continue to be amazed by how much comes in even now that they have passed.

Enjoy your weekend everyone! After sunshine and heat all week it sounds like it’ll be raining on me at the festival this weekend, if you have plans to be outdoors I hope you stay dryer than me.

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At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. vern on May 10, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    when I want to buy at Amazon I just golair and do the buying how do I give you the credit without having to go back and find one of your posts and use tha t link you put at the bottom vern

    • Becky on May 12, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      Vern, you can click through any link on my blog and once you get to Amazon through it save the page to your bookmarks or favorites list.

  2. Ron on May 10, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    if some of my comments seems messed up your blog site just does not work very well for posting from a smartphone.sorry for the errors.

  3. Ron on May 10, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Beautiful campsite. Camping next to rivers and streams is our favorite.just wait until you get out west and can camp on some mountain streams there, beautiful.

    • Becky on May 12, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      I can’t wait Ron. 🙂

  4. Reine on May 10, 2014 at 11:36 am

    We camped for four nights at Smokemont in March and the water noise from the stream was clearly noticeable although not as loud inside the Casita since it was cold enough to keep the windows closed. Although we enjoy the sound of the water I wouldn’t want to be beside it all the time. Sometimes I like it totally quiet.

    • Becky on May 12, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      When I was a kid I got use to sleeping in silence, my parents house was in the country. When I went to college and after I lived in less rural areas and got use to sleeping with noise. First time I went back to sleeping in a quiet area in the RV it was unnerving but now I’m getting use to it again.

  5. Marsha on May 10, 2014 at 8:47 am

    After a busy day outdoors I can’t imagine it would be difficult to fall asleep, even with rushing water nearby. Love campfires – especially sitting around the campfire in the morning when we have our coffee.

    We just uncovered our Casita a couple weeks ago, brought it up to the driveway last weekend and slept in it last night for the first time in months (Michigan).

    • Becky on May 12, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      Glad things are warming up up there Marsha. I grew up with campfires being an after dark thing for cooking supper over, just what my family did and I’ve continued that tradition. Bet it would be nice in the morning too.

  6. Curious by Nature on May 10, 2014 at 12:33 am

    If you build a fire, people will come, works for us all the time. While I have a modern trailer with all the comforts, I still prefer to cook over an open fire. There’s nothing quite like frying pan bread, hot of the fire with butter and jam!

    I love the sound of running water, it blocks out the sounds from other sites quite effectively.

    • Becky on May 12, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      Haha, yeah. Usually you don’t even need to build a fire, just sitting outside at your site is like an open invitation for conversation with the neighbors.