Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Best National Park Campsites: Sheep Pen Gap

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

great smoky mountains national park
Flame azaleas in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Photo by rjones0856

While the origin of the Southern Appalachians’ high-elevation balds is a mystery, one thing’s for sure: Divine intervention could scarcely have made better campsites. And Gregory Bald is best among them, especially when it’s wreathed in pink and orange flame azaleas in mid- to late June. For a quick, 12-mile out-and-back, link the Gregory Ridge and Gregory Bald Trails to Sheep Pen Gap. Trailhead Gregory Ridge Season Summer Permit Reservations required, $4/person per night