Nantahala National Forest
Guide

Introduction

Come and be inspired as you visit Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina’s southwestern corner. Gorgeous, leave Asheville and head out in your RV on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the largest national forest in the state. With over half-million-acre forest to explore, you will not be bored on your next camping trip. This national forest offers eight RV campgrounds divided into three districts: Cheoah, Tusquitee, and Nantahala - all in the Cherokee language. There is so much to do at this fantastic forest including the popular whitewater rafting, viewing picturesque waterfalls and abundant wildlife, and horseback riding. Travel by foot, ATV or bike on the 600-miles of trails among the lush landscape that creates a green carpet as far as the eye can see. Grab your hiking boots and take a trip to the top of Standing Indian Mountain, one of the highest points within the national forest. Hop on the scenic byway and make plans to travel in your motorhome to the Nantahala River Gorge to see where the sun only reaches the forest’s floor at noontime. You’ll want to pack your swimsuit to take a dip into the Cullasaja River or at the pool of the majestic Cullasaja Falls. There’s a great day ahead of you; all you need to do is drive the RV to the Nantahala National Forest! Read on below for details on a few featured RV campgrounds.

RV Rentals in Nantahala National Forest

Transportation

Driving

Make Nantahala National Forest your next getaway destination for RV camping in western North Carolina. The Nantahala Gorge bypass is a beautiful scenic drive as long as you can handle tight winding curves. This National Forest is great getaway location for camping in your motorhome from Chattanooga, Tennessee, Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC. Located west of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Nantahala National Forest is accessible from US 64 and North Carolina 28. You’ll find that this national forest is excellent if you’re planning a day trip, overnight stay or an extended vacation. Beautiful at any time of year, your RV camping trip will be memorable, especially if you visit during the fall months. Easy to access, you see why everyone enjoys camping in this area of the country!

This area will quickly become of your favorite to visit in the remote outposts of North Carolina! Make sure to stop by the Rangers Station and pick up a national forest map that will guide you to your campground. The Nantahala National Forest offers a wealth of outdoor activities and plenty of picturesque mountain views. It’s all here just waiting for you to discover this magical place.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Nantahala National Forest

Campsites in Nantahala National Forest

Reservations camping

Standing Indian Campground

The Standing Indian Campground can provide all the frills needed for a leisurely camping trip during your stay at the Nantahala National Forest. Make a reservation at one of the 80 RV spots and enjoy hot showers, toilets, and picnic tables. You can enjoy a meal thanks to the fire pit and picnic table provided at each site. An angler's haven, this campground provides excellent access to the Nantahala River for fishing around the clock. RVs and trailers up to 50 feet long are permitted here. You'll find heaven on earth at this beautiful campground since you're surrounded by peaks and forests.

Jackrabbit Campground

A large site for RVs, you'll enjoy the rustic outdoor life at the Jackrabbit Campground! With 92 spots, reserve yours in advance as this campground has accessible showers, toilets, and picnic tables to enjoy your next dinner at during your trip. While there are no hookups, you will have access to lantern posts, fire pits, grills, drinking water, and boat ramps. Take in a sunset at Lake Chatuge or hit the trails early for a day of fun. Open from May to October, Jackrabbit Campground is a great place to enjoy Mother Nature!

First-come first-served

Tsali Recreation Area

Oh, the memories you will make at this popular pet-friendly RV camping site. With 42 first-come, first-served spots, try to head here early to have access to the trails and Fontana Lake. Open from April to October, the campground offers hot showers, toilets, picnic tables, and potable water. While the sites are better suited for smaller RVs and campers, this is a popular spot to camp among anglers. You'll have the chance to catch catfish, crappie, and bass. There are many other outdoor adventures just steps away from your campsite including hunting, biking, and hiking.

Seasonal activities in Nantahala National Forest

Off-Season

Fishing

A anglers delight, grab your favorite fishing rod and bait out of the camper to this excellent fishing location. With the clear, blue Nantahala Lake, you can see straight to the bottom. There are many great spots along the rivers make for some fantastic trout fishing. From saltwater, rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds - you’ll find the fishing at Nantahala National Forest excellent! Anglers should have the correct North Carolina fishing license before you cast your next fishing line.

Getting Out In Nature

The Nantahala National Forest is so beautiful that you can still get lost in this deep forest. Find a sense of zen as you travel the 600 miles of trails to waterfalls, mountains like Standing Indian, or the valleys such as the Nantahala River Gorge. Several parts of the Appalachian Trail connect with the trails at this national forest. Grab your sturdy hiking boots out of the camping trailer and head out today - adventure awaits!

Wildlife Watching

A beautiful place to connect with nature, listen to the peaceful sounds, and meditate among the evergreen canopy of Nantahala National Forest. Get out on the beautiful woodland trails to see white-tailed deer, bobcats, black bears and mountain lions. From the waterways, you may even see a beaver or river otter. You’ll want to bring a camera along to capture these fantastic animals and, remember, don’t feed or touch the animals out in the forest.

In-Season

Whitewater River Rafting

Get your adrenaline up and going by taking a trip down the Nantahala River in a whitewater raft. A once in a lifetime adventure, get out in the wild beauty of the national forest’s waterways. A great activity to get your adrenaline going while sightseeing some fantastic views. You’ll have an unforgettable experience as you travel down the river unparalleled anywhere else in the world be ready to get wet!

Taking A Dip

There are many opportunities to take a swim during your next motorhome camping trip - so pack your swimsuit in your campervan. From a quick dip at Cullasaja Falls or in the clear Nantahala Lake, enjoy the crisp waters of the rivers, streams, and lakes of this national forest. Enjoy a little sunshine as you stretch leisurely on the beach towel along the river banks. Relax and enjoy a little outdoor fun during your stay at Nantahala National Forest!

Rock Climbing

There is simply nothing as magical when you climb the mountains at Nantahala National Forest. From rappelling, ice climbing and mountaineering, test your skills out in the wilderness. A great place to experience some challenges along with breathtaking views, it’s perfect for those of all different strength levels. Call your local ranger station before heading out for your climb to make sure conditions are right.