8 Blue Ridge Parkway Camping Spots — and Tips to Help Plan Your Trip

Here's your guide to camping along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Stretching 469 miles from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the country's most scenic drives. Whether you aim to travel the entire parkway from milepost 0 near Waynesboro, Virginia, all the way to milepost 469 near Cherokee, North Carolina, or just plan to visit a small portion of the road dubbed "America's Favorite Drive," you're bound to see some incredible Appalachian views. In fact, the Blue Ridge Parkway is one the country's most visited parks — receiving more than 15 million visitors in 2021 — and once you see it for yourself, you'll understand why.

Tent campsite at sunrise on Huckleberry knob in North Carolina
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The parkway makes for a stunning trip at any time of year: Drivers will pass by fresh blooms in the spring, lush greenery in the summer, and colorful foliage in the fall. And with a speed limit of 45 mph or less, it is designed for leisurely road trips and plenty of stops for hiking, picnicking, and camping. Navigating the parkway over a few days and spending the night along the way provides ample opportunities to bask in the area's outstanding natural beauty, so we've rounded up some top tips and spots for Blue Ridge Parkway camping.

McAfee Knob off the Appalachian Trail, Viriginia
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Blue Ridge Parkway Camping Tips

The Blue Ridge Parkway is free to drive, and campsites have a fee of $20 per night. There are eight NPS campgrounds at various points along the parkway, and they're open from May to late October (depending on weather). You can find tentative operating dates for the year on the NPS website. Reservations are available for these eight campgrounds during the main season, with only first-come, first-served availability in the last week.

Julian Price Park Campground and Linville Falls Campground also have some first-come, first-served availability from April 2 through May 28. Since the parkway is so popular, we recommend making reservations online ahead of time at recreation.gov — campsites can be booked up to six months in advance. All the parkway campgrounds have potable water, flush toilets, sinks, and dump stations, and the campsites include fire rings and picnic tables.

Blue Ridge Parkway Campgrounds

Otter Creek Campground

Located at milepost 60.8, this campground has 45 tent sites and 23 RV sites, plus it offers recreational activities like hiking and fishing, along with a visitor center. It's located near the James River and several hiking trails, including the James River Canal, Otter Lake Loop, and Otter Creek trails.

Peaks of Otter Campground

At milepost 85.9, you'll find one of the parkway's larger campgrounds: Peaks of Otter, home to 88 tent sites and 51 RV sites. According to recreation.gov, this campground almost always has sites available, as there are 79 first-come, first-served options that must be booked in person. The park also has a lake, hiking trails, and a nearby lodge and restaurant.

Rocky Knob Campground

Located at milepost 167.1, Rocky Knob features 106 sites (25 tent only and 27 RV only). Like Peaks of Otter, Rocky Knob often has first-come, first-served campsites available, according to recreation.gov. It's located in the Rocky Knob Recreation Area, which offers lots of outdoor activities, plus the nearby town of Floyd, Virginia, which is home wineries, breweries, and shops selling local crafts.

Doughton Park Campground

Doughton Park, located at milepost 239.2, offers 108 total sites (75 tent only and 24 RV only). The 7,000-acre Doughton Park has several trails for hikers to choose from, as well as historic cabins and stocked streams for trout fishing.

Otter Creek, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
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Julian Price Campground

The largest of the campsites on this list, Julian Price, located at milepost 297, has 190 sites (90 tent only and 73 RV only). Visitors can rent a canoe and paddle around nearby Price Lake, hike to waterfalls, and more. Plus, this campground has showers available.

Linville Falls Campground

Located at milepost 316.4, Linville Falls Campground has 64 sites (14 tent only and 19 RV only). There's plenty of hiking (for varying skill levels) at the beautiful Linville Gorge, as well as a 45-foot waterfall worth checking out.

Crabtree Falls Campground

Recreation.gov calls this the "hidden gem of Blue Ridge Parkway campgrounds." Crabtree Falls, located at milepost 339.5, has 81 sites, of which 18 are RV only. The Crabtree Falls Trail, a three-mile loop leading to a 70-foot waterfall, is accessible from the campground.

Mount Pisgah Campground

The southernmost parkway campground, Mount Pisgah is located at milepost 408.8 and has 125 sites (64 tent only and 50 RV oly). This is one of the parkway's most popular campgrounds, so book ahead — it can fill up on the weekends. Bonus: It also comes with showers.

Backcountry Camping

For resourceful campers who prefer the peacefulness of primitive camping, there are three backcountry camping areas along the Blue Ridge Parkway: Rock Castle Gorge at Milepost 167.1, Basin Cove at Milepost 244.7, and Johns River Road at Milepost 296.9. To use these sites, you must get a permit (issued on a first-come, first-served basis) at the nearest office.

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