Standing Indian Campground

Let’s go camping?! Seriously! It’ll be fun. And there’s no better place than the Standing Indian Campground in the Nantahala National Forest of western North Carolina. (Some people might get upset that I’m letting you in on this secret.)

Situated 12 miles west of Franklin, NC off Highway 64, Standing Indian Campground, at the headwaters of the Nantahala River, offers 84 campsites and 3 group sites (for parties up to 25). Some sites are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Others you can reserve in advance.

A campsite at Standint Indian CampgroundRV site at Standing Indian CampgroundGroup Campsite at Standing Indian CampgroundEach site offers a picnic table, fire ring with grill, lantern post, and tent or camper pad. Fresh water spigots and clean restrooms with flush toilets (a must for our kids!) and showers are available throughout the campground. There’s even a dump station close by for RVs.

We’ve always had wonderful experiences at Standing Indian (open April 1 – October 31). Situated at 3800 feet elevation and surrounded by 5000 foot peaks, Standing Indian is a cool, refreshing place in the hottest of summers. And everywhere you go you can hear the calming sound of running water.

In our experience, everyone’s friendly, the “hosts” are always available and ready to assist you, and people respect quiet hours. There’s always the pleasant smell of campfires, our kids seem to make “best friends” quickly, and it’s very dark at night – VERY dark, which is a great change from all the light pollution we’re used to these days.

Camp Store at Standing Indian Campground.Day Use area at Standing Indian Campground.Information Kiosk at Standing Indian Campground.So Much To Do!

There’s never a dull moment at Standing Indian. The whole family can play in the river and creeks, skip stones, go rafting, tubing, or kayaking, and even fish for trout (license required). You can walk around the campground, ride your bikes, go for umpteen different hikes on world class trails, visit the Appalachian Trail, ride your horses, visit waterfalls, or enjoy the views from Standing Indian Mountain and Albert Mountain.

If this sounds like too much for you, you can always stay at your campsite, reading books, writing your memoir, playing cards, meditating, napping, or simply recuperating from your hectic city life. Ahhh! Doesn’t that sound good?!

Plenty of space for people to ride bikes, walk, and play at Standing Indian Campground.Wade, soak, float, or fish in the Upper Nantahala River at Standing Indian Campground.Ride your bike on the roads or play in the river at Standing Indian Campground.The surrounding area even offers many outstanding excursions within a short drive of Standing Indian. And if you should need groceries (more than the small camp store offers) or want a restaurant, Franklin is only 20 minutes away.

Whatever you decide to do, you can always cap the day off sitting around a campfire telling stories or reminiscing with friends and family.

Perfect for a short weekend or an extended stay (up to 14 days!), Standing Indian Campground is right in the heart of an outdoor paradise. I suggest you avoid holidays unless you’re able to reserve a site in advance. You can check availability or make reservations at

With 84 campsites to choose from, Standing Indian Campground has the perfect spot for you.Park an RV, pitch a tent, or hang a hammock at Standing Indian Campground.The perfect place to skip stones at Standing Indian Campground.So Let’s Go Camping!

I could wax poetic, like Emerson or Thoreau, about the virtues of reconnecting with nature, but that would be presumptuous of me to think I can do it better than them. No! Instead, I’m just going to say, “Go camping at Standing Indian!” Really. Just do it! And take the whole family with you. You won’t be sorry!

Ever been to Standing Indian? Tell us about your wonderful experience in the comment section below.


From the intersection of 441 and 64 W in Franklin, NC, drive west on 64/Murphy Road for 11.8 miles. Turn left on W. Old Murphy Road (sometimes shown on maps as Allison Creek Rd). Drive 1.9 miles and turn right on Forest Service Road 67. Drive an additional 1.9 miles to the Standing Indian Campground.

S’more Good Hiking Posts – The Sweetest Reads of the Week #2

It’s time for a campfire, some good company and S’mores – S’more Good Hiking Posts, that is. Here’s a collection of some of the sweetest reads I’ve found around the web this week.

One Foot, Two Foot, Wet Foot, Dry Foot

Whether you step in a stream or get caught in the rain, if you’re going to hike, you’re going to get wet boots. Sometimes it can’t be helped. And wet boots aren’t comfy. But how do you safely dry your boots? Greg Christensen over at Seattle Backpackers Magazine shares this ingenious boot-drying method.

Inuit Boot Drying Trick

“My friends and I had been on the trail three days when the rain hit. It started as drizzly rain, then changed to a fat-drop rain, then to a misty rain and then to a sprinkling on- and-off rain. We’d been hiking in an open valley, and by the time we reached the relative shelter of a distant pine forest, we were….” Read more…

Thanks! But I Think I’ll Walk

Looking for adventure in the Himalayas? Here’s one trip where the flight in and out may prove to be more adventurous than your hike. From his blog, Words From Swaziland, Steve shares his personal experience with the Lukla Airport in a humorous – and slightly anxious – fashion. I was certainly on the edge of my seat and I wasn’t even on the plane.

Flights of Fancy

“Aside from the lady who was throwing rice over her shoulder as an offering to whichever Hindu deity deals with flying, the passenger complement comprised nervous trekkers, one cheerful chap and one morose chap from the Nepal Civil Aviation Authority, a Buddhist Monk and a Flight Attendant. I know that the Flight Attendant is obligatory and have a sneaking suspicion that the Monk is also on the airline’s payroll….” Read more…

A Family That Hikes Together…

One of my favorite things is to see families hiking together – or rather, families who enjoy hiking together. Jeff, from The Path Less Beaten, is gracious enough to share his family’s love for hiking with insight, wit and a whole lotta great pics. Thanks, Jeff, for another great trip.

Backpacking To Kinney Lakes

“We originally started off the year with the goal to hike the entire Tahoe Rim Trail before year’s end. We started off with good intentions, hiking from Big Meadow to Echo Summit. As the summer progressed though, we started to realize some of the challenges that the trail posed.” Read more…

A Stroll Through The English Countryside

Ok! I’ll be honest. Until recently, England was not the first place I thought of for adventure hiking. No offense to my British friends, but I’ve never been to the UK. My primary experience of England comes from watching British TV shows, like Inspector Lewis, Luther and Sherlock which only deal with the British countryside when someone’s been murdered. So, you can see it’s not my fault. But that’s all behind me now. I’ve repented. And I owe it all to Martin from Adventures Close To Home. Here’s another one of his great posts that makes me want to hike through the English countryside.

Hit the North! – Stage 8 : Melton Mowbray to Grantham via the Grantham Canal (with thrilling wild camp!)

“After some time faffing about in the suburbs I found Melton country park from where I could join the Jubilee Way which in turn would eventually lead me to the village of Stathern.  My wild camp for the night was to be just beyond Stathern in the woods of the Vale of Belvoir.” Read more…

How Far Would You Go?

Whoa! That’s some serious desire. But I’m not surprised by David’s plans. Hardcore hikers will do just about anything to go on a special trail, especially if there is a lottery for spots. We wish you well, David! Looking forward to your follow up report on An Epic Adventure.

Why Go On This Hike?

“The Enchantments is a place I’ve dreamed of going ever since I first heard about it back on Monday. It’s known as the hike in Washington; as in the best. Permits are next to impossible to get and are…” Read more…

That’s it for this week. Thanks for visiting.

See ya’ on the trail,

S’more Good Hiking Posts – The Sweetest Reads of the Week #1

It’s time for a campfire, some good company and S’mores – S’more Good Hiking Posts, that is. Here’s a collection of some of the sweetest reads I’ve found around the web this week.

You’re So Cheesy!

Anyone else crave cheese when you’re out on the trail? If you’re going for a day hike, it’s generally not a problem. BUT what about long hikes and backpacking trips? What’s the best cheese to take with you? Melissa over at Chasqui Mom has some ideas for you.

The Toughest Backpacking Cheese
“I’m a burger and fries kind of girl.  I crave healthy fats and bad fats but after hiking for long periods of time or in particular backpacking trips, I want meats and cheese at the end of the day.  I’ve managed to address my meat craving with Trader Joe’s Chianti Red Wine Artisan Salami, which is absolutely delicious alone or in a dish.” Read more…

Déjà vu…Well, Sort Of

I came across this next sweet read by Steven Berei from Lake Tahoe All Access. It didn’t take me long to recognize this place and remember how much I loved this spot. It’s fun seeing someone else’s experience of one of your favorite places in the world.

It’s a very short hike with spectacular views!
“If you live in or have been to Tahoe, you may have called this one.  Yup, it’s Cave Rock!  Cave Rock was created over 3 million years ago, and is located on the southeastern shore of Lake Tahoe.  You can see the rock structure from almost any point on the lake.  It’s still considered sacred to…” Read more…


You never know where – or when – that “ah ha” light bulb is going to turn on. Dave from got an epiphany that challenged his idea of adventure from, of all places, a bored hipster. Who knew, right?

Bored Hipster Seeks…Adventure!
“It’s interesting the conversations you overhear, out of context, that resonate with you.  It happened for me at camp this weekend in Grand Canyon at the Desert View Campground.” Read more…

Manhandling Those Meddlesome Mossies

Mosquitoes taking a bite out of your outdoor adventures? Don’t lose another drop of blood. Andrew  Skurka’s got you covered…literally.

My clothing system for backpacking in peak mosquito season
“Were it not for some scheduling constraints, I would have preferred to schedule these trips at another time of year since they coincided precisely with the region’s peak bug season, which historically happens around the summer solstice, June 21.” Read more…

“Staggeringly Beautiful Landscape”

Well, after seeing the video that accompanies this article from Lets Be Wild, I’d say that’s an understatement. You owe it to yourself to check out this amazing story about the adventures of a couple of talented film-makers.

64 Days of Learning
“For 64 days, film-maker Sim Warren and Mia Xerri headed to North America for two months of exploration in Canada and America’s best loved and most beautiful national parks, blogging about their trip as they went.” Read more…

That’s it for this week. Thanks for visiting.

See ya’ on the trail,

Cougars, Coyotes and Bears Oh My…

Don't Get EatenAnd Moose and Javelinas and Buffalo and…. Well, you get the picture.

It’s a good day when you come home from the wilderness in one piece. It’s an even better day when you’re not eaten by a wild animal.

Sure, it’s rare, but human attacks by wild animals do happen. We’ve all heard the stories. Some real. Some wildly exaggerated. Some completely made up.

So, what’s the real story behind wild animal attacks? What’s a myth? And what are the facts?

Just The Facts, Ma’am!

First of all, don’t let your imagination run wild. And don’t let it keep you from enjoying a hike in the woods. You’re at greater risk of injury in your own neighborhood than you are on a wilderness trail.

Simply arm yourself with the truth about wild animals, how to avoid them, what to do if you encounter one and, heaven forbid, how to survive an attack.

A little knowledge goes a long way. And a great place to start is with Dave Smith’s book, Don’t Get Eaten: The Dangers of Animals That Charge or Attack.

I’ve shared this book with lots of people over the years and every one of them has returned it relieved and at ease about wild encounters.

At less than one hundred pages, this informative book is a quick read and written in a very matter-of-fact style. Smith even provides references, which makes me feel better knowing he didn’t make things up.

“They say…”

In the midst of teaching you how to avoid and safely coexist with wild animals, Smith also dispels many of the myths and misinformation surrounding them.

For example, he addresses things like:

  • Should you fight back or play dead?
  • What wild animal kills more humans?
  • Do menstruating women need to be concerned?
  • When’s the best time of the day to avoid cougars?
  • Does Bear Spray really work?

Even though Smith’s book deals with North American animals, much of what he teaches about personal space and avoidance can be applied to many wild animals around the world.

Use Your Head

A lot of what Smith teaches is common sense. Don’t temp fate by seeing how close you can get for a photo op. And don’t assume that cuddly looking animal begging for food won’t rip your arm off.

There’s a reason why they’ve never been domesticated!

In other words, don’t be stupid! Most attacks are caused by human foolishness or negligence! (See video below.)

Do yourself – or someone you love – a favor and read Smith’s book, Don’t Get Eaten. It could save a life.

Have you had a close call with a wild animal? Tell us in the comments below how you avoided being injured.

See ya’ on the trail,

A quick search at YouTube will provide you with enough examples of what can happen when humans don’t respect the personal space of a wild animal. Here’s just one example. This woman was lucky – and she knows it.