Don’t Forget These 10 Things When Camping in Cherokee4.1.2015
For nature lovers, springtime in Cherokee means overnight camping trips to take in the spectacular scenery and wildlife. From birding to elk sightings, amazing waterfalls, wildflowers, world-class fishing, hiking, and more, there’s so much to enjoy. Looking for the perfect spot to call home for a night, a weekend, or more? Check out these 36 listings for Cabins and Campgrounds in and around Cherokee, and check off this list for items you’ll want to bring, for a truly unforgettable experience.
Be Sure To Bring
1. Directions to your campsite.
Don’t count on your GPS when getting around in the mountains. Call and get directions ahead of time from your park hosts, or from the campground website, and make sure you have them handy on your drive in.
2. An extra tarp and rain gear.
Higher elevations can bring sudden weather changes, including rain showers, so bring your rain gear and an extra tarp—especially if you’re tent camping, to avoid damp sleeping bags. You'll be glad you did!
3. Warm layers and extra blankets.
Mountain temperatures can take a dip at night, so you’ll want to bring warm layers and extra blankets for sleeping. Wool thermals and wool socks are a good choice because they can help regulate your body temperature and won’t stay wet like cotton clothing.
4. Water shoes.
There are creeks, streams, and rivers running through many campsites in Cherokee that kids and adults of all ages can enjoy wading in. Just make sure you bring your water shoes. Not only will they keep your feet safe, but they offer traction and grip so you’re less likely to slip when you're out exploring.
5. Tubes and floats.
The Tuckasegee and Oconaluftee rivers offer family-friendly tubing opportunities that will really float your boat. Bring your own tubes or rent one from a local outfitter. Tip: If you’re tent camping and don’t have a tube, use your blow-up sleeping pad as a makeshift raft. Just be sure you give it time to dry out in the sun before it’s time for bed!
6. Fishing Permit
Cherokee is renowned for its well-stocked streams brimming with brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout. Close to 400,000 trout are stocked annually! Tribal permits are required to fish within the Reservation, however, or you’ll face fines. Permits are available online or in dozens of shops in and around town.
7. Hiking Gear
Time to dust off your hiking boots and hit the trails: Mingo Falls on the Cherokee Indian Reservation is not to be missed! A short, moderate 0.4 mile hike places you in front of a 120 feet tall waterfall—one of the tallest and most spectacular in the area.
8. Binoculars and bird guides.
Birding experts say Cherokee is one of the best spots for bird watching in the southeast. The contiguous forests attract around 60 different species, starting in late April. Keep your eyes peeled and your binoculars handy for a chance to see Warblers, Sandpipers, Kingfishers, Thrushes, Hummingbirds, and so much more.
Few things are as relaxing as snoozing a few feet off the ground in a hammock at camp. Many Cherokee campgrounds have lots of trees that are perfect for your tree-friendly rig, so be sure to bring yours along.
10. Quarters and laundry soap.
Camping puts you back into nature, and nature can get a little messy—which, admit it, is half the fun. A sudden rainstorm can leave your camping gear wet and muddy. Fortunately, most campsites have laundry facilities on site, so bring a roll or two of quarters and some laundry soap for unexpected weather.