Blue Ridge Parkway | CRABTREE FALLS CAMPGROUND (MP 339.5)

Crabtree Falls Campground map (click to enlarge)

Crabtree Falls Campground map (click to enlarge)

CAMPING SEASON

Crabtree Falls Campground is one of eight campgrounds on the Blue Ridge Parkway that is operated by the National Park Service. It is typically open from May until the end of October, though the official opening and closing dates change each year. Be sure to get the latest schedule on the official Operating Hours and Seasons web page for the Blue Ridge Parkway.

TYPE OF CAMPING

Crabtree Falls Campground can accommodate tent campers, RVs, and other self-contained sleeping vehicles and trailers. Maximum vehicle lengths for each campsite are given on the reservation website, Recreation.gov.

There are no group campsites available.

If a campsite has a tent pad, all tents must be pitched on the pad. I’m not sure of the pad size, but they are at least 12′ x 12′. This should allow one large tent or two small tents. If you have more tents than can fit on the pad, you must pay for another campsite. Tent pads are pre-leveled areas of earth that are enclosed in a wood or concrete frame, so regardless of hilly or sloping terrain, you will have a level area on which to pitch your tent.

Campsite with a tent pad at Crabtree Falls Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Campsite with a tent pad at Crabtree Falls Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway

NUMBER OF SITES

Crabtree Falls Campground is comprised of three loops and has 84 sites. Each site can accommodate up to six people.

A Loop

The 18 sites in the A Loop are reserved for RVs. Parking spots are a mixture of back-in and curbside spaces, each accommodating RVs of various sizes. Twelve sites can be reserved in advance, and the other nine are available on a first come, first served basis. Driveway lengths are given on Recreation.gov, even for the first come, first served sites.

Two sites near the restroom are reserved for disabled visitors.

Curbside parking site in A Loop of the Crabtree Falls Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Curbside parking site in A Loop of the Crabtree Falls Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Sites situated on the inside of the loop are fairly level, more open (less private), and shaded by tall trees. Sites on the outside of the loop tend to be in more heavily wooded areas with barriers of trees and brush between them, which offers more privacy. Also, most outer loop sites have back-in parking spaces that aren’t very deep and are thus more suited for small RVs or pick-up truck / trailer combos parked side-by-side.

Back-in parking site at A Loop of the Crabtree Falls Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Back-in parking site in A Loop of the Crabtree Falls Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway

B Loop

Tent site in B Loop of the Crabtree Falls Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Tent site in B Loop of the Crabtree Falls Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The 33 sites in B Loop are open to tent campers and those with vans, pop-up campers, pickup truck camper top, and other small self-contained sleeping vehicles. Eighteen sites can be reserved in advance, and the rest are available on a first come, first served basis.

Two sites near the restroom are reserved for disabled visitors.

All sites have a tent pad, picnic table, a grill / fire ring, and a lantern post.

One one vehicle is allowed per campsite.

As with the A Loop, sites situated inside the loop are more open and less private. It’s like camping in a large meadow with tall trees offering some shade. Sites on the outside of the loop tend to be situated in cubbyholes and separated from the neighbors by barriers of trees, though this is not the case with every outer-loop site.

Openness of the inner loops of the Crabtree Falls Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Openness of the inner loops of the Crabtree Falls Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway

C Loop

The 30 sites in C Loop are open to tent campers and those with vans, pop-up campers, pickup truck camper tops and other small self-contained sleeping vehicles. All sites are available on a first come, first served basis. This loop is similar to B Loop.

All sites have a tent pad, picnic table, a grill / fire ring, and a lantern post. Only one vehicle is allowed per campsite.

AMENITIES

There are no electricity or water hook-ups at Crabtree Falls Campground. Each loop has one restroom building with modern toilets and sinks, but no showers or hot water. There is a dump station located just outside of the campground.

Metal bear boxes used to store food are located a various spots throughout the campground, not one per site. This never made much sense to me, for if bears are that much of a problem, shouldn’t everyone have access to a bear box? As is, some campers can store their food safely in the metal containers while others just have to put it in their cars and hope for the best. In truth, bears don’t really frequent campgrounds that often because they know people are dangerous.

RESERVATIONS

Select campsites at Crabtree Falls Campground can be reserved up to six months in advance online at Recreation.gov or by calling (877) 444-6777. The rest are taken on a first come, first served basis. Current fees are listed on Recreation.gov. Holders of the Interagency Senior, Access, Golden Age, or Golden Access passes are entitled to a 50% discount on campground fees. Passes can be obtained at all campgrounds.

For those arriving at the campground without a reservation, select sites are available on a first come, first served basis, and sites that can be reserved but are not taken are available for that night only. To tell the two types of sites apart, look on the campsite post for a diamond. Solid diamonds are first come, first served sites, and diamonds with an R on them designate sites available for reservation.

Reservable site (left) vs. first come, first served site (right) at the Crabtree Falls Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Reservable site (left) vs. first come, first served site (right) at Crabtree Falls Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway

When you arrive, drive around and pick out a site. Unoccupied first come, first served sites are yours for the taking for up to 30 days. If there are none left, you can get an open reservable site for one night only. However, don’t assume that just because it is 10 PM and nobody is at a reservable site that it hasn’t been reserved because the person may show up at midnight. Rangers put yellow tags on the posts of sites that have been reserved, so look for R-Diamond posts with no yellow tag. If the campground office is open, you might want to double check before setting up at a reservable site.

Once you have a site, return to the camp office and self-register. You can pay with cash, check, or credit card, though regardless of whether there is a Ranger or camp host on duty, you do not make payment to them. Instead, get a self-registration envelope, provide the required information (pen or pencil required), and then place cash or check into the envelope, or if paying with a credit card, write the card information on the envelope. When done, tear off your receipt (which you attach to the camp post) and drop the payment envelope in the secure payment box.

If you have a reservation and arrive after hours and there is no tag on your site post, you must get one in the morning at the campground office.

CAMPGROUND RULES

  • Camping is limited to a maximum of 30 consecutive days in any one campground and/or 30 days total per calendar year across all Parkway facilities.
  • A maximum of 6 people may occupy a site.
  • Checkout Time is 12:00 PM.
  • Camping is permitted only at designated sites. Sites are for use by a single family or parties not exceeding six people.
  • Hammocks may be used within established campsites. An established campsite is defined as within 50 feet of the existing grill/fire pit. They must be at least 20 feet from any public use areas such as trails, water spigots, restrooms, or other facilities. Hammocks may not be connected or tied to any facility. If tied to a tree, the tree must be at least 4 inches in diameter, and anchor ropes/webbing must be ½ inch or greater in width. Padding must be used if less than ½ inch in width. Trimming of trees and underbrush is prohibited.
  • Campground speed limit is 15 mph. Vehicles are to be parked on the pavement of an assigned site or in designated parking areas. No more than two vehicles may be parked in each site (i.e., trailer and car, two cars, two motorcycles).
  • All food, coolers, equipment used to cook or store food, and anything that may smell like food (such as toothpaste) must be stored in a closed vehicle or a camping unit made of solid, non-pliable material. Food may also be stored in food lockers provided in some campgrounds.
  • Only charcoal can be used in any grill provided. Gas grills and stoves are allowed. Extinguish all fires before leaving the campground or picnic area. Do not leave any fire unattended. Only heat-treated firewood that is bundled and certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or a state agency may be brought onto the Parkway.
  • Wood gathering for use in park campgrounds is limited to dead material on the ground lying no more than 100 yards from the camp or picnic site.
  • Respect quiet hours between 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Use of generators is prohibited between the hours of 9:00 PM and 8:00 AM. Please keep in mind that continuous, loud generator or audio equipment noise, at any time of the day, disturbs other campers.
  • Do not drive nails into trees or strip bark, leaves, or branches from trees or shrubs. Use the lantern posts provided at each site. Do not hang lanterns from trees or loop them over branches or vegetation; these practices always damage and sometimes kill trees and vegetation.
  • All dogs, cats, and other pets must be on a leash no longer than six feet or under physical restraint at all times. Do not leave pets unattended in the campground or your car. Please prevent excessive barking and properly dispose of pet waste.
  • The use of skateboards, roller skates, and other coasting devices is not permitted in the park or campground. Bicycles are permitted on roads only. NC law requires persons under 16 years of age to wear an approved bicycle helmet when operating a bicycle. In Virginia, bicycle helmet regulations vary by county.

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Last updated on December 20, 2023
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