Rock Creek Recreation Area

Area Status: Open

View of Rock Creek Recreation Area in Cherokee National Forest

Rock Creek Recreation Area is named for the creek that runs alongside this developed recreation site.

The picnic facilities, stream-fed swimming pool and bathhouse were originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1930s. Camping facilities were constructed by the US Forest Service in the early 1960s.


Rock Creek is a welcome respite from the summer heat in the valley, cooled by cold air flowing down from Unaka Mountain and protected from the hot sun by large trees.   Situated among tall oaks, maples, hemlocks and rhododendron, these sites give the feel of deep woods privacy while offering electric hookups, RV sites, double sites, walk-in tent sites, and multiple bathhouses.

A creek-fed swimming hole, seasonal campfire programs, a rugged hiking trail into Unaka Mountain Wilderness,  an easy bicycle trail and short nature trails are among the activities you can choose during your visit.

Rock Creek Recreation Area Map

Rock Creek Recreation Area Guide

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Entrance gate opens at 7 AM and closes at 10 PM.  2024 Season Dates: May 1st - October 24th
Reservations: Logo Campsites are available for reservations for the 2024 season starting January 15th, 2024 (primitive tent, walk-in only section is not available to reserve online)
Area Amenities: Tent camping, Camping trailer, Fee charged for some activities, Picnic tables, Toilets, Drinking water, Parking
Fees: Regular Fees
  • Non-electric, Tent Sites - $12/site/day. 
  • Basic Single Site with electric hook-up - $20/site/day.
  • Basic Double Site with electric hook-ups - $40/site/day. 
  • Day use area fee is $2/day/car.
With America the Beautiful Passes (50% discount off basic camping fees, does not include electric hookup fee):
  • Non-electric, Tent sites - $6/night
  • Basic Single Electric Hookup - $15/night
  • NOTE:  The America the Beautiful Pass can not be used on group/double sites.
Open Season: 5/1/2024 - 10/24/2024
Usage: Heavy
Busiest Season: June, July and Holiday Weekends
  • Single sites are limited to a single family or not more than 5 people, and 10 people for double sites. Vehicle limits is 2 vehicles per campsite.
  • Alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the area.
  • Food storage restrictions apply at all areas on the Cherokee National Forest. All food and beverages must be stored in an approved bear-proof container, your locked vehicle or hard-sided camper at all times unless being eaten, prepared, or transported.
Closest Towns: Erwin, TN
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Flush and Vault Toilets, Showers, Dump Station
Passes: America the Beautiful Pass only discounts the basic site fees.  The electric fees are not discounted. Digital Pass Icon
Operated By: Forest Service Volunteer Campground Hosts help manage the area and can provide visitor information.

General Information


From I-26 take exit 36 to Main Street in Erwin. Turn right onto Main Street, then take a left on TN 395 east for 3.5 miles to Rock Creek Recreation Area.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Rock Creek offers camping opportunities for tents and RVs. Each campsite is equipped with a picnic table, firering and lantern post. All sites except the 5 walk-in sites have electricity.

No. of Sites 27 single sites, 5 double sites, and 5 walk-in tent sites.
Reservation Info Campsites in Loop A, B and C can be reserved. Reservations can be made online by visiting or by calling 1-877-444-6777.
Fire Information There is a grill/fire ring at each campsite.

RV Camping

Rock Creek offers excellent camping opportunities for both trailers and RVs.
No. of Sites 27 single sites, 5 double sites,
Reservation Info All sites are on the reservation system.
Dump Stations There is a dumpstation onsite at Rock Creek Campground.
Fire Information There are accessible fire rings at each campsite.
Hookups - Electric Yes. Loop A and B have 30 amp breakers. Loop C has a 50 amp breaker.

Day Hiking

The moderate Rock Creek Falls trail is accessed through Rock Creek Campground.


The day-use area includes shady picnic sites, a group picnic area, a playground, and a historic CCC-era bathhouse.
No. of Sites There are 23 picnic tables.

Group Picnicking

The day-use area includes shady picnic sites, a group picnic area, a playground, and a historic CCC-era bathhouse.
No. of Sites There are 23 picnic tables.


A creek-fed swimming hole provides a perfect place to retreat from the heat of summer. Please not that there is no lifeguard on duty.

Quick Links

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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  Elevation : 
2300 Feet