Smoky Mountains Camping

Sunset from Mile High Campground site #4

Each time I visit the Smoky Mountains, I fall in love with them a little more than the previous trip. There is always something new to discover and new adventures to experience. When many people go to the beach for summer getaways, we head to the mountains or somewhere to get a break from the sweltering southern heat.

My daughter begged for months to go camping again, so we decided to go back to Mile High Campground, which we found about 10 years ago, by accident, while traveling with some friends. It is a gem to just drive by and discover. After revisiting this campground, it is a mystery as to how we ever just came upon this place. It was, however, even more beautiful than remembered. This is a view from our campsite that greeted us as we awoke.

view from site #4 at Mile High Campground

view from site #4 at Mile High Campground

Mingo Falls and Soco Falls were both close to the campgrounds with doable distances and terrain for a 4 year old.

Soco Falls is near Cherokee, NC. The path is a short .3 miles, maintained and although a little rocky in spots, it’s an easy hike down to a viewing platform that overlooks the falls.

Soco Falls

Soco Falls

Mingo Falls stands about 120 feet tall and is stunning. There is a short but steep hike up many stairs for about .4 miles to reach the falls but is worth the climb.

stairs to Mingo Falls

stairs to Mingo Falls

Mingo Falls

Mingo Falls

After a couple of waterfall hikes, the girls were ready for a swim. We found the perfect stream to make that happen.

stream

heading to the stream to swim

stream in North Carolina

perfect stream for swimming

flowers surrounding stream

flowers surrounding the stream

There are many scenic views while driving the Blue Ridge Parkway and surrounding areas. Plott Balsam Overlook is on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mile High Campground, so we decided to stop and absorb the beauty.

Plott Balsam Overlook - Blue Ridge Parkway

Plott Balsam Overlook

Plott Balsam Overlook - Blue Ridge Parkway

Plott Balsam Overlook

After a fun day, chilling at our campsite with this sunset view was quite peaceful and relaxing.

Sunset from Mile High Campground site #4

Sunset from Mile High Campground site #4

Sunset from Mile High Campground site #4

another sunset shot from Mile High Campground site #4

While on our way out of town, we stopped to check out Juney Whank Falls, which is close to Bryson City, NC. There is a short .4 miles moderately difficult hike to see the falls. It wasn’t until we were parking that we realized we came to this waterfall 3 years ago. It’s not big and spectacular but it’s a short hike and worth seeing if you are in the area. There is also a great spot for swimming or wading near the parking lot.

Juney Whank Falls - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Juney Whank Falls

Juney Whank Falls - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

back down the trail after seeing Juney Whank Falls

Leaving Juney Whank Falls, these beauties were hanging out near our car. A great last view before driving home.

flowers near Juney Whank Falls

flowers near Juney Whank Falls

Do you know of good camping spots near the Smoky Mountains? What about good hikes? With another trip already on my mind, I’d love to hear your ideas.

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