We fell in love with the Great Smoky Mountain Jellystone Park Camp-Resort at check-in. A hospitable camp worker named Whitney got us settled in and told us about the campground’s activities, amenities, and its very own hiking trails. Then she handed us off to Adam and Mark Landry, two of the owners and “Park Rangers” at the campground, who escorted us to our streamside site and backed us in with precision and style. Getting off the road and setting up at a new campground can be a bit stressful, especially with three energetic boys in the back seat. But Whitney, Adam, and Mark immediately made us feel like we were camping with family.
As we set up camp we could hear the water rushing over the rocks behind our site, and we could hear our boys laughing as they explored the stream. As soon as camp chores were done, we kicked off our shoes and joined them. We quickly realized that our site and the sites around us were simply magical. The stream was crystal clear and heavily shaded by trees, but the sunlight that made its way through made the water sparkle and shine. Can you say, best campsite ever? The fire pit also overlooked the stream for long, peaceful campfires after the kids are put to bed.
We spent a fair amount of time just relaxing at our site. Our six year-old twin boys both love playing checkers and they beat their dad on a regular basis. One afternoon they decided that if they beat him he would have to dunk himself in the stream. He agreed. He spent a lot of time in the stream that day.
So the sites are amazing, but how about the rest of the campground? Close to perfect. It is a small and cozy campground but it packs in the action and amenities of a much larger resort-type property. There is a movie every evening at 6:30 for the kids in the covered outdoor “Jellystone Theatre,” free mini golf, gem mining, horseshoes, basketball, corn-hole, and a full slate of events at the Yogi Bear Pavilion. They even had a puppet and clown show one night.
They call the upstairs game room a “clubhouse” and rightfully so. It had air hockey, pool, arcade games, and Yogi building blocks. It was a spacious and comfortable place to spend a rainy day.
Lucky for us, we had great weather during our stay near Great Smoky Mountains National Park and were able to hike almost every morning and then head back to the campground for a refreshing dip in the afternoon. Our boys loved the heated pool at this Jellystone Park, and they usually asked to go swimming after dinner as well.
In addition to some of the most beautiful streamside sites ever, this campground also has the most beautiful ice cream parlor we have ever seen at a campground.
Our boys loved, Loved, LOVED heading into the ice cream shop every night and pulling up a chair at the counter for a scoop of rocky road or chocolate chip mint. I recommend the Mountain Mud dish. It comes complete with crushed Oreo crumbs, hot fudge, and gummy worms. If you can, ask Mark to fix it up for you. He goes generous with the mud.
The Landry’s sure know how to run a great family campground. We talked to so many guests who come back year after year, and we look forward to joining their ranks.
The amazing beauty of America’s most visited National Park and the excitement of Dollywood and Gatlinburg surround the Great Smoky Mountain Jellystone Park Camp-Resort. Stay tuned for our next post about activities near the campground.
Jeremy and Stephanie Puglisi are the founders of the RV Family Travel Atlas podcast and blog. They spend over 40 nights a year in their RV traveling with their three young sons, sharing their experiences as they explore the new golden age of RVing.