Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers some of the most beautiful
scenery on earth and there’s no better way to see it than by horseback. With
approximately 550 miles of hiking trails designated for use by horses,
you’ll find many horseback riding opportunities throughout the park. What
better way to smell the leaves, study the forest or listen to the creeks
than by horseback?
you are interested in horseback riding in the park, there are several
privately owned stables within the park’s boundaries that can assist you, or
if you prefer, you may also ride your own horse in the park on designated
horse trails. Frontcountry horse camps (with drive-in access) are available
at Cades Cove, Big Creek Cataloochee, Round Bottom and Towstring.
Backcountry horse camps are also available and require an advance
reservation. Camps are usually closed in winter, but a mild climate allows
other riding opportunities throughout the year.
the Smokies by horseback is an adventure you won’t soon forget, and a memory
that will last a lifetime.
Stables in the Park:
- Cades Cove,
near Townsend, TN (865) 448-6286 (hayrides and carriage rides
- Smoky Mountain,
near Gatlinburg, TN (865) 436-5634
near Gatlinburg, TN (865) 430-5020
near Cherokee, NC (828) 497-2373
Bringing Your Own Horse:
are restricted to trails specifically designated for horse use. If you wish
to ride your own horse in the park, please obtain a copy of the park's trail
map. This map indicates the trails on which you may ride horses and explains
the park's rules and regulations concerning horse riding in the backcountry.
It also provides information about backcountry camping, and permit
requirements. To obtain an official trail map, stop at any park visitor
center or call (865) 436-0120. The cost of the map is $1.
are allowed only on trails specifically designated for horse use. Off-trail
or cross-country riding is prohibited. Horse riders may use designated
campsites located on trails open to their use, however some backcountry
campsites must be reserved in advance. These sites are indicated on the
park's trail map.
camps are open from April through October. Reservations are required aHorse
camps are open from April through October. Reservations are required and may
be made for all five-horse camps through the National Park Reservation
Service by calling 1-800-365-2267 (park code GRE) between 10 a.m. and 10
p.m.nd may be made for all five-horse camps through the National Park
Reservation Service by calling 1-800-365-2267 (park code GRE) between 10
a.m. and 10 p.m.
campsite has a limit of six people and four horses. If you have more than
six people or four horses, you will need to reserve another site. Sites
vary, but generally you are permitted to have two vehicles and two trailers
(horse or camping) at each site.
cancellation fee will be charged if you cancel your reservation or if we
cancel your reservation because you fail to show up. You will also be
charged for one night's camping fee if you cancel on or after the day your
reservation begins or you fail to show up. To make changes to your
reservation or to cancel, please call 1-800-388-2733. If you will be
arriving late (i.e. after noon of the second day), please phone 865-436-1230
to hold your reservation.
Auto-access horse camps have picnic tables, grills, designated parking
spaces (usually gravel), refuse containers, hitch racks and space to pitch a
tent or two. Big Creek has flush toilets with cold water. Other horse camps
have portable toilets and no drinking water. Water is available for horses
either in the campground or at a nearby stream.