5 Beautiful Backpack Camping Spots in North Carolina

By Anna Glazebrook

5 Beautiful Backpack Camping Spots in North Carolina

Grab your backpack because it is time to go for a hike and pitch a tent. Sometimes, we need to get back with nature and backpack camping is a brilliant way to reconnect. Here are five beautiful backpack camping spots to enjoy in North Carolina.

1. Badin Lake Recreation Area

Swap the hustle and bustle of everyday life for a peaceful time at the Badin Lake Recreation Area. Located in the Uwharrie National Forest, hike the Badin Loop Trail and then set up camp for the evening. Backpack the beautiful scenery of Badin Lake. On your journey, explore the opportunities to fish, swim or just take in the gorgeous lake view. Year-round, pitch your tent and camp at one of the several campsites in the area. Camping along trails or near water is permitted if campers set up camp at least 200 feet from the trails and streams. In case of confusion, there are signs posted where camping is not allowed. 

2. Standing Indian Mountain

The Standing Indian Loop, located in the Nantahala National Forest and along the Appalachian Trail, is great for beginners. This backpacking opportunity is complete with scenic views of the hills and foliage, as well as the water. Begin at the Standing Indian Campground and take the Kimsey Creek Trail along the waters, leading you to the Standing Indian Mountain. This is a great camping spot for backpackers ready to settle in for the night. Enjoy incredible views among pristine wilderness. 

3. Hawksbill Mountain

Bring your camera and capture this unforgettable experience through this out-and back-trail, tucked in the Pisgah National Forest. Begin at the Hawksbill Mountain Trailhead, and enjoy the scenic hike of the forest and various wildlife. The hike to the top of Hawksbill Mountain will be a little tricky at times, but the view at the top is well worth the adventure to get there. There’s nothing better than pitching a tent and waiting until that sunrise. Don’t forget your camping permit! 

4. Hi-Balsam Shelter

The highest summit within the Blue Ridge Mountains, begin along the Tanawha Trail where backpackers can explore nature. The trail has access to several different trees—American beech, black birch and maple—and birdwatchers can listen in to unique bird calls. Backpackers can continue along the moderately difficult Daniel Boone Scout Trail and pass several campsites and streams before the Calloway Peak. The Hi-Balsam Shelter is a great backpack camping site to stay a night or two. Although, backpackers should know a permit is necessary.

5. Mt. Mitchell Hike at Black Mountain

You’ll want to bring your camera for this one. Begin at the Mt. Mitchell trailhead, and enjoy the scenic hike of the forest and various wildlife. The hike to the top of Mt. Mitchell will be a little tricky at times, but the view at the top is well worth the adventure to get there. The sunrise and set are a beautiful experience, and there’s nothing better than pitching a tent at the Black Mountain campsite and waiting until that morning sunrise. And don’t forget your camping permit! 

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