The Blue Ridge Mountains are well known as one of the best spots in the U.S. for a spectacular fall color tour. And if you’ve ever been to Asheville, you know that the Blue Ridge Mountains are just a short drive away! If you’re looking for a spot to camp this fall where you can take in the best fall color that nature has to offer, these six campgrounds near downtown Asheville have everything you’re looking for. From tent camping to equestrian camping to RV camping, you’ll find a site in this list that’s perfect for whatever type of camping you love the most. Best of all, each of these sites is open at least until the end of October, ensuring you have plenty of time to take in that famous Asheville fall color.
Mount Mitchell boasts the highest elevation point east of the Mississippi River, making its state park one of the best places to view fall colors near Asheville. The Mount Mitchell State Park is open year-round and offers nine family-friendly campsites. If you camp before November this fall, you’ll have access to full facilities at the camp, and while you can still camp in the park after October, facilities are limited. Each campsite comes equipped with a grill and a picnic table, and modern restrooms are open and available for use through the end of October. Because Mount Mitchell is the tallest point, and the biggest of the Black Mountains, when you reach the top, you’ll have a 360-degree view of the vast mountain ranges below you, in full fall color. If you want to take a break from camp food, know that there is a restaurant about a half-mile from the park entrance that’s open from May to October, offering gorgeous views and casual comfort food.
One of Asheville’s hidden gems, the Carolina Hemlocks Campground is a spot that only locals know, just about an hour away from downtown. While the site is reserved for tent camping only, it does offer 31 spots, as well as a bathhouse with hot showers—quite a luxury when cooler fall temps roll in. This campground is open through the end of October, giving you plenty of time to take in the fall color. Carolina Hemlocks Campground is scenically nestled into the forest, giving you the opportunity to check out some of those bright reds, yellows, and oranges up close. Best of all, the South Toe River runs right by the campground, offering up the opportunity to do a bit of late-fall fishing. Know that campsites are first-come, first-served, but there isn’t too much competition for this one, especially later in the fall. If you’re looking to check out the gorgeous fall color of the Pisgah National Forest in peace, this is a beautiful, quiet spot to do it.
Close to the first two campgrounds, Black Mountain Campground sits in the shadow of Mount Mitchell, which means you’ll still have the opportunity to climb or drive to the top for those 360 degree mountain views. If that’s not in the cards for your camping trip, know that there will be no lack of color at the campsite alone. You can take in the bright colors of the Southern Appalachians right from your tent, or get active and explore the Hemlock Nature trail, an easy .3 mile walk featuring all kinds of informational displays about the ecology of the mountains around you. While the 43 campsites at Black Mountain don’t have hookups, they do feature tables, fire rings, lantern posts, and cooking grills. Since the campground is open April through October, it also offers flush toilets, drinking water, trash cans, and showers, making it an easy getaway for a fall weekend car camping trip!
For a year-round camping option in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you can’t beat Smokemont. It’s a pretty popular campground with 142 sites, so even though numbers tend to drop off in the fall, it wouldn’t hurt to reserve your site ahead of time. This is a great campsite for equestrians, as it offers horse stables, and it’s connected to a wide network of trails, the perfect location to take in the fall color of the Smokies. If you want to check out something a little different this fall, the Smokemont campground is located right next to the historic Mingus Mill, the largest mill in the Smokies, built in 1886. It’s a great place to take the kids, or just check out yourself for a bit of history!
Another year-round camping option with exquisite fall accommodations, the South Mountains State Park offers up quite a few luxuries. The family campground has a bathhouse with hot showers, and picnic tables and fire circles for each site. The equestrian camping area provides a 33 stall barn for your horses, and also features a bathhouse with hot showers and flush toilets. Though this park is a bit further out, at 70 miles from Asheville, its excellent accommodations and year-round access make it the perfect fall getaway for a girl’s riding trip, or a fall family color tour. There are amazing waterfalls close by as well as all kinds of well-marked trails where you can take in the gorgeous fall color along the Jacob Fork River.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is well known as the absolute best spot to take in fall color on the Southeastern side of the country. A winding stretch of road that loops through and around the Blue Ridge Mountains, on a good day you can see fall color for a good 50 miles in any direction. If you’d like to camp among all that splendor, we highly recommend the Julian Price Park, just off milepost 297 on the Parkway. Though the Julian Price Park is only open for campers through the end of October, that’s about when the color starts to drop off anyway, so just make sure to reserve your campsite before the park closes. The campsite has offerings for trailers and RVs, as well as 129 tent sites, so you’ll definitely get a spot. While you’re there, you can rent a boat or canoe to check out the fall scenery from pristine Price Lake. This is a quiet campsite with all the amenities you’re looking for, and tons of hiking spots where you can take in the nature around you.
We hope one of these sites is ideal for your camping trip to Asheville this fall. If you haven’t camped in the area before, we highly recommend you pack warm clothes, because even though temps in the city are mild, when you’re up in the mountains they can drop as much as 20 degrees. So pack warm, and you’ll be sure to enjoy your time in the Blue Ridge Mountains this fall!
Rather just live in Asheville instead of camp here? You’ll be able to take in the gorgeous fall colors of Asheville and the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains from the comfort of your own home when you live at Sovereign Oaks. For more information about our last few remaining properties, get in touch soon! Call our office at 866-936-5263 or request siteplan and pricing information online today.