Camping at Mount Mitchell State Park

Available Camping Facilities

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There are nine campsites located inside Mount Mitchell State Park. These campsites are open from May 1 through October 31. Each site can accommodate up to 6 people only.

These are walk-in backpack campsites, and all equipment and supplies must be carried a short distance from the parking area.

Each campsite has a tent pad that measures 10 feet by 10 feet. There is a grill and picnic table at each site.

Potable water faucets and restrooms are located at the camping area. There are no hot showers or a bathhouse.

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Backpack campers who want to hike to backcountry tent campsites in the Pisgah National Forest may leave their vehicles overnight at the park.

If you would like to park your vehicle inside Mount Mitchell State Park overnight, please register using the forms provided at the trailheads near the parking area or at the park office. The forms must be left on the dashboard of your car.

Please note that Pisgah National Forest is not managed by the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. It is managed by the federal U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Once you leave state parkland, rules and regulations set by the U.S. Forest Service apply.

For information about camping in Pisgah, please visit the links provided. The area surrounding Mount Mitchell State Park is part of the Appalachian Ranger District, and that page has current alerts and status of facilities.

Important Information

Bear Awareness

Foraging bears have been active and sometimes aggressive at the Commissary Ridge backcountry camping area. Black bears have also been active in and around the park. It is especially common during warm weather months.

If you are camping at Mount Mitchell or the surrounding area, bear-resistant food canisters or storage sacks are highly advised. Otherwise, food must be hung correctly at least 150 feet away your tent. Food bags should hang 5 feet below the branch, 5 feet from the tree trunk, and be at least 10 feet off the ground. Bears can and will climb trees and can easily reach food bags suspended at heights under 10 feet.

You must secure all food, trash, and any items that might smell like food to a bear (including, but not limited to: toothpaste, mouthwash, deodorant, cosmetics, pet food, cooking and cleaning supplies, and stove fuel). At the campground inside Mount Mitchell State Park, there is a bear-proof storage container provided at each campsite. Please use this container to store all of these items.

Failure to behave properly and comply with these guidelines places you and your fellow visitors at risk for property damage and severe personal injury.

Never feed bears. Bears that become accustomed to human food and lose their fear of people are become at risk.

If you are approached by a bear, slowly back away while yelling loudly and waving your arms. Maintain eye contact with the bear. Do not turn around or run. Throwing rocks or waving sticks may be necessary if the bear follows you. Act aggressively and fight back if the bear attacks.

Leave No Trace

In areas where bear activity and encounters are frequent, following Leave No Trace principles becomes a matter of safety, in addition to courtesy. In addition to following the listed bear guidelines, you should:

  • Camp in designated areas only. There is no dispersed camping inside Mount Mitchell State Park. If you are camping at the tent campground, please make sure all of your equipment is on the tent pad or within the designated limits of each site. Please use the bear-proof storage container for all food, trash, cosmetics, toiletries, and any other item that would smell like food to a bear.
  • Burn all woods and coals to ash. Put out campfires completely before you leave, then scatter cool ashes.
  • Keep pets on a leash when you are at the park. It will protect your pet from other pets and wildlife that you may encounter on the trails. When camping, pets should be inside your tent or vehicle during quiet hours. 

Learn About the Seven Principles

Check-In and Check-Out Times

Check-in at Mount Mitchell State Park is 4 p.m. and check-out is at 3 p.m.

Some parks can accommodate early check-in or late check-out, depending on the reservation schedule and site availability. Please contact the park to make such arrangements: mount.mitchell@ncparks.gov or 828-675-4611.

Amenities

Not all campsites have identical amenities. Read the campsite information on ReserveAmerica to see photos of campsites; check availability and fees; find out whether a specific site is wheelchair accessible, has access to water, bathhouses, or pit toilets, or has RV hookups; and learn other important information.

Gate Access

Park gates are closed and locked at posted closing times for your protection. There will be no exiting or entering the gates after the posted closing time. All visitors who are not spending the night need to be out by closing time. Vehicles left overnight must have a camping tag or overnight parking permit.

If you leave the park and do not return before closing time, you will not be able to re-enter. Check with the park during office hours for the after-hours emergency phone number.

If you are parking your vehicle to backpack and camp at Pisgah National Forest, please be mindful of the park opening and closing times. You will need to arrive before the park closes, and you would not be able to leave until the park reopens the following morning.

Firewood

Firewood can be purchased at the park from the park office for $5 a bundle. Fires are permitted only in designated areas and must be tended at all times. Gathering firewood is prohibited.

Please don't transport firewood into our state parks because you could unknowingly spread dangerous insects and diseases and harm the forest. Purchase firewood locally or buy heat-treated firewood. For more information on how to have a risk-free campfire experience, please visit the Don't Move Firewood website.

Making Reservations

All North Carolina state park campgrounds are designated for recreation only. A single campsite can be reserved for a maximum of 14 consecutive nights within any 30-day period. Upon reaching that limit, a camper must vacate the park for 16 nights before returning.

Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance.

Changes and Cancellations

You can cancel reservations online by logging into your account on ReserveAmerica. Please note that there is a $6 fee per night to cancel your reservation. The fees will be deducted from your refund.

Same-day cancellations will incur an additional charge of one night's camping. You cannot cancel a one-night reservation on the same day. Same-day cancellations can be made only by calling the reservations number at 1-877-722-6762.

If you need to make changes to your reservation, please call ReserveAmerica at 1-877-722-6762. You cannot switch dates, campsites, or parks using your account online — you will be charged the cancellation fees, even if you book a new site.

In the event of a closure for a campsite, campground, or the entire park, you will be contacted automatically by ReserveAmerica to cancel or change your reservation. You will receive a full refund for cancellations due to park closures.

No refunds are issued for "no-shows," early departures, or cancellations made after the arrival date.

Camping Rates per Night

All prices listed on the page include the $3 reservation fee.

Campsite Type Nightly Rate
Tent campsite
— inside Mount Mitchell State Park
$26
Parking for backpack camping no charge, but registration is required

 

Please note that the fees listed apply to Mount Mitchell State Park only. Please check with the U.S. Forest Service for any day-use or camping fees at Pisgah National Forest.

Senior Citizen and Military/Veteran Discount

Campers 62 years old or older and any veteran or active military members are eligible for a $6 discount per night on most reservations (except group campsites). When making a reservation online, check the box for the discount program to apply it to your reservation. When you check in at the park, please make sure you have a valid ID with your birthdate or proof of military service or veteran status to confirm the discounted rate.

There are no other discounts or passes for camping.