Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Best National Park Campsites: Sheep Pen Gap

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

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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