Cardens Bluff Campground

Area Status: Open

Located on a bluff overlooking the 6,430-acre Watauga Lake, Cardens Bluff Campground offers more than 40 sites, primarily for tent camping. There is a bathhouse with showers and flush toilets. No electrical hookups are provided. Day use areas are located nearby for those wanting to take advantage of swimming, boating, and fishing opportunities.

Cardens Bluff Campground Map

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Cardens Bluff Campground is open.  
Operational Hours: Gate opens at 7 AM and closes at 10 PM. Guests are asked to leave the campground before the gates are closed.
Reservations: Logo
Area Amenities: Tent camping,Camping trailer,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Fees: Camping is $12 per night.
Open Season: 4/25/2022 - 10/10/2022
  • Campsites are for one family of up to 5 family members and 2 vehicles.
  • There is no alcohol allowed in the campground.
  • No burning of plastic or other non-wood products except local wood in campfires. 
  • 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.
  • It is your responsibility to read, know, understand, and follow all campground specific rules and regulations which are also posted at the campground. 
  • Please note that most sites will only accommodate a tent. Sites #16, 28 and 29 can accommodate up to a 30 foot RV or trailer. 
Closest Towns: Elizabethton, TN and Hampton, TN
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Flush toilets, warm showers
Operated By: Forest Service Volunteer Campground Hosts help manage the area and can provide visitor information.

General Information


From Elizabethton take US 19E/321 South 5 miles to Hampton. Turn left on 321/67 travel 3 miles to the campground, and entrance will be on the left. 

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Sites #16, 28 and 29 can accomodate up to a 30 foot RV or trailer.

Reservation Info Reserve your campsite at

Lake and Pond Fishing

Fishing opportunities in the vicinity of Cardens Bluff are located on Watauga Lake.

Boating - Motorized

Nearby boat launch for Watauga Lake are located at Rat Branch Launch. 


Camping trailer:
Picnic tables:
Tent camping:
Drinking water:

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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