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“Best kept secret!”

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Mile High Campground
Dover, NH
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Best kept secret!”
Reviewed 16 August 2011

This was our first time here, and our first time in the Smokies. We considered the NP's Balsam Mountain campground, but after checking it out, glad that we stayed at MHC. We were tent camping, but noticed every kind of mode there - rv's, popups, 5th wheel, etc.
Pro's: great views, outstanding hospitality, interesting wildlife sightings, QUIET, sites had privacy, awesome sunrises, sunsets, stargazing, hot water, showers, firewood, spacious sites, uncrowded (we arrived w/o a reservation but had plenty to choose from), at least 10-15 degrees cooler than other campgrounds in the valley, which was our primary reason for going there. Each site is unique in size, depth, view, distance to bathroom, etc. No cookie cutter sites like in the NP campgrounds. Thursday night potluck gathering with other campers was a blast, and some of the best food I've ever had while camping!
Cons: bathrooms are "rustic" but hey, they don't advertise anything but "primitive" so you know that going in! A few steps up from an outhouse (not heated, lights only at certain times of the day run by a generator). Depending on which site you are at you may have a bit of a hike to get to the bathroom if you don't have a trailer or rv, so keep that in mind if you have children or frequency issues.

Other: they have a Dutch Oven cook off there the last weekend of July which sounds like a lot of fun, but if you plan to go, definitely make a reservation as it sounds like it's pretty full
up then. Some of the sites are small but perfect for backpacking-sized tents, very few of the sites look big enough for larger trailers and RVs.

For the sake of comparison, the Balsam mountain campground has bathrooms with flush toilets, but no hot water/showers, the sites are extremely small and shallow (those with larger trailers/RVs actually have to park in the roadway itself) and there seems to be little or no privacy and space between sites, much like all the other campgrounds in the GSMNP. And it's much further away from Cherokee, very remote, no real views to speak of, and certainly not the hospitality you get at MHC!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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4 Thank NHBlueberry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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78 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
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English first
Fort Myers, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2011

My Brother and really enjoyed our 5 night camping trip, beautiful views, quiet, I wish I brought a bike. Did get a little windy on the mountain top in Oct to be expected.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank 34230HappyCamper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daytona Beach, Florida
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 September 2010

Mile high campground has nice views and is quiet. Our trip was great. The bath house needs to be updated but the showers were hot. We thought the price was high for primative camping and heard the price is going up even more next year. Not sure if we are going back because of the price.

Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank redbird9900
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greer, South Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 August 2010

Well, my riding friends just finished a two night stay at Mile High Campground. It was not the best experience I have had touring on my bike and camping. The campground was not kept up, the cabins are really run down and the areas set aside for pitching a tent are really not ideal. I have had much better experiences at either the numerous motorcycle campgrounds (Willville in Meadows of Dan Virginia, Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground in Cruso, NC, Iron Horse Motorcycle Campground in Stecoah, NC, or any National Park campground... Davidson River in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard). This place had one bath house that was really not well maintained nor clean. Plus the absence of any power to the bathhouse made things very primitive. For the money, you can stay at much better places for motorcycling camping. Plus the fact that the roads to the campsites were not well packed, very tricking to get into a site. Wish that the effort put into the road into the main entrance was carried throughout the rest of the campsites... that road was well sorted. The last thing was the host was rather unenthused about helping our group... just didn't seem to really welcome us warmly, we were interrupting something more important than checking in the guests. The only thing that the campground had going for it is the altitude and some of the views. But from our site, we only had woods surrounding us. I would recommend going elsewhere for a better stay unless your idea is just the view and nothing but the view.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank RoadWolfDesign
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edenton, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
151 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2010

The title gives you the 3 reasons to select this campground over the nearby Balsam Mtn. Campground on Smokies National Park. This is NOT KOA or Jellystone, so if you are looking to stay at a resort campground, go elsewhere. The facilities are better than the Smokies NP facilities, but not as nice or extensive as some other national parks I have been to like Shenandoah or Big Bend. We had tent site T00 which had a good view to the east. The site was mostly broken asphalt, but there was a small space for a tent. Privacy is much better than the NPS or private valley campgrounds with plenty of space and trees. The host was very nice, loaning us a small grill to cook our steaks and burgers since the fire rings do not have grills. He also lets people gather at his trailer to watch the sunset. The showers are generator powered and there are lights in the showerhouse from dark to about an hour after dark. Otherwise there is no electricity. The showers were OK but did not drain well. The maintenance is fair, but the facilities are showing their age. The nearest store to get ice, gas, drinks, etc is Starvin' Marvins (not listed in the phone book). It is on US 19 about a 1/2 mile west of the Blue Ridge Parkway, toward Cherokee. Drawbacks: There is a BIA road that runs right through the tent site area, and young people drive dirt bikes and four wheelers through there regularly in the evenings. The sites are very close to the road, so it can be a nuisance. The cost is $18 per night this year for 2 people, going up to $20 next year. That seems a bit steep to me, but its in line with similar campgrounds in the area. Overall, we had a good experience, but I think that with a little more effort (and maybe some money from the casino or an ARRA grant), this place could be even more spectacular.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Fourester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mile High Campground

Property: Mile High Campground
Address: Box 30, Bradley Loop Road, Cherokee, NC 28719-0030
Region: United States > North Carolina > North Carolina Mountains > Cherokee
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Cherokee
Number of rooms: 110
Also Known As:
Mile High Campground Hotel Cherokee

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