Wow, great info. Didn't expect access roads into park to be an issue. Thought we might be able to camp outside park and drive toad into park for 50 miles or so and do this several times along the length.
It's true. the BRP is the best road up there. Roads to avoid getting off on. 226. Don't even think about it, Same for Hy 80, if you are going down, it's OK from the PKW to Spruce Pines. 221 is not as bad coming down, but still twisty, and steep, especially the 3 miles at the top. However going the other way, it's a good ride to 105, and into Boone, Do not take it to Blowing Rock. 181 is pretty bad as well.
One of the best roads to get off on is, 321, between Boone, and Blowing rock. You will find food and fuel there.
As for camping on the BRP. The NP Cgs are great, but have no hookups. Bear Den is near Little switzerland, and has full hookups. It is just off the PKY, and has an access road to the PKY. Raccoone Holler is also private, and has Full hookups, and is right on the PKY. They are several hours apart, and would make good stopping places.
What ever you decide. Stop and look around. Rent a canoe, and paddle around Price Lake, hike out to some of the waterfalls, and see the Cone Mansion
Not all the access roads are steep that is just in some areas. Mark the Roanoke Rt 220 as a great place to get off & get supplies. There is a Walmart just off the Parkway. Normal type exit not hardly any grade. South of there Meadows of Dan is a normal exit with a small town gas & Nancy's Home Made Fudge Factory. Near there on the Parkway is Marybrys (Spelled wrong) Mill has RV parking look for the signs Mill on side of parkway. Actually most of the southern end in Virginia from the line to Roanoke is easy on & off.
Easy on-off when towing in the Asheville area: US 70 (Tunnel Rd.), US 74 (Charlotte Hwy), US 25 (Hendersonville Rd.), and NC 191 (Brevard Rd.).
Roads to avoid in tow on the north side of town: the little dirt FS road out of Craggy Gardens picnic area, Town Mtn. Rd. On the south/west side, the dirt FS road at Bent Ck gap and NC 151. US 276 and NC 215 are marginal... narrow and lots of steep twisty, miles to services.
Be aware that speeding, picking flowers, harassing critters, etc. are all federal busts. Watch out for bicyclists, especially around towns, and especially the dam'ed idiots who don't bother with bright colors or lights when it's getting dark. They have same right of way as any other vehicle.
Jim, "Mo' coffee!"
'06 Tiger CX 'C Minus' on a Silverado 2500HD 4x4, 8.1 & Allison (aka 'Loafer's Glory') www.tigervehicles.com
Anyone else have any info on towns to stay in, rv parks we could stay in near the parkway where we could stay and drive the toad for 50 or so miles and see important sections then go on to another such spot 100 miles or so down the road? We will see the GSM NP before we head NE on or near parkway. We have been on the Skyline Drive a long time ago, but never on BRP. Almost looks like hwys just north of the parkway are closer than trying to do same south of the parkway?
Late May the main road across the GSMNP, US 441, may or may not be re-opened. They had a major washout this winter. Latest public info on re-opening is "late May - early June".
If you're coming from the west (TN) side of the park, I'd take I-40 into Asheville. If you stay in a CG on either the east or west side of Asheville, you'll be close to an entrance to the Parkway. An example: on the east side, on US 70 it's about 2 miles from I-40's exit 55 to the BRP. There's a small RV park called Taps in between. I _don't_ know anything about it except it's a good location for the BRP and it looks well kept driving by. With that as a base, if you just want to 'see' the BPR, a day spent driving in the toad going west and a day going north will let you cover a lot of the prettier section (IMO). That time is for "drive-by tourism". Worthwhile hikes or side trips would lengthen this.
Weather and road conditions cause some closures on the BRP. Detours on surface roads can be short or a major PITA. You can check them here http://maps.nps.gov/blri/road-closures/, or by calling 828-298-0398.
Have a friend who lives near the BRP, traveled it many times and has been rving in various size class A's for many years. He'll say don't drive it in a class A, park it at a cg and drive it in the towd. Even then, because of continuous curves/hills, the driver in a car won't see much because he's got to watch the road constantly.
Unfortunately I would tend to agree with seadogjim’s friend. Bad attitude I know, but I’ve drivin’ the BRP at least 20 times on a motorcycle and a few times in a car. You don’t get to see much while driving. There are too many blind curves and you have to constantly be on the watch for stopped vehicles. I went around a blind curve years ago and there was a car stopped dead because a bear was on the side of the road. I was very lucky that I was going slow, was watching and had very quick reflexes or I wouldn’t be writing this. It sure is pretty though when you ain't driving!