Blue Ridge Parkway | BACKCOUNTRY CAMPING


Backcountry camping is allowed along the Blue Ridge Parkway within the Rocky Knob Recreation Area, Julian Price Park, and the Doughton Park Recreation Area. Camping at any other location on the Blue Ridge Parkway must be done in designated campgrounds. There are no facilities at these campgrounds.

There are eight backcountry campsites at Rocky Knob and Doughton Park and two sites at Julian Price Park. No more than six people are allowed at any given campsite. No more than 18 total campers are allowed at the Rocky Knob and Doughton Park sites at one time and no more than 12 total campers at the Julian Price sites. Camping is limited to three consecutive nights.

The actual campsites are located as follows:

Rocky Knob Recreation Area: Rock Castle Gorge (MP 167.1)

Rocky Knob Hiking Trails (click to enlarge)

Rocky Knob Hiking Trails (click to enlarge)

Julian Price Park: Johns River Road (MP 296.9)

Julian Price Park map

Julian Price Park map (click to enlarge)

Doughton Park Recreation Area: Basin Cove (MP 244.7)

Doughton Park map (click to enlarge)

Doughton Park map (click to enlarge)

Permits are required and can be obtained from June 1st through October 31st at the corresponding recreation area’s campground, and from November 1st through May 31st at the each recreation area’s District Office. Permits are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

Rocky Knob

Rocky Knob Campground (MP 167) Phone: (540) 745-9664
Rocky Knob District Office: Phone (540) 745-9660

Doughton Park

Doughton Park Campground (MP 239.2) Phone: (336) 372-8877
Bluffs District Office at 49800 Blue Ridge Parkway, Laurel Springs, North Carolina (near Mile Post 245). Phone is (828) 348-3487

Julian Price Park

Julian Price Park Campground (MP 297) Phone: (828) 963-5911
Sandy Flats Ranger Station: Phone (828) 348-3510

Backcountry Use Regulations

  • A backcountry camping permit is required for all overnight use and must be in your possession at all times.
  • Camping outside of the designated sites is prohibited.
  • Campfires are allowed only inside the government provided fire grill. Only wood that is dead and down on the ground may be collected for use as firewood. The cutting of standing trees, whether live or dead is prohibited. The use of camp stoves is encouraged. All fires may be banned during periods of high fire danger.
  • All trash must be carried out upon vacating the site. Do not leave litter or cans in the fire rings. DO NOT burn or bury any trash.
  • Historic and archeological resources are protected by federal law. The damaging, defacing or removal of these resources is prohibited.
  • Natural resources are protected by federal law. Do not disturb or remove any animal or plant life.
  • Hunting and trapping are prohibited. Fishing is subject to state and federal laws and limits.
  • Those whom can legally possess firearms under federal, state, and local laws are able to possess firearms on the Blue Ridge Parkway, subject to the laws of the state they are in at the time.It is the visitor’s responsibility to understand and comply with all applicable state (North Carolina and/or Virginia) and federal firearms laws. Firearms should not be considered a wildlife protection strategy. The discharge and/or use of firearms remains prohibited at all times.
  • Pets must be leashed at all times while in the park. Horseback camping is not permitted. Horses are allowed on the Grassy Gap Fire Road during the day.
  • All human waste must be buried at least 6 inches deep and at least 100 feet from any stream. Pack out all diapers, tampons, and sanitary napkins in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Campsite improvements such as bough beds and trenching around tents is prohibited, as is the use of nails or spikes in trees for clotheslines, shelter construction or hanging lanterns.
  • Bathing or washing dishes or utensils in streams is prohibited. All unprotected water should be treated before consuming.
  • Food and other scented items must be in bear-proof containers or hung in a tree at least 10 feet above the ground and 4 feet from the trunk of the tree.

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Last updated on November 4, 2023
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