Lake Jocassee Camping Guide

Lake Jocassee is a manmade lake located in South Carolina and one of the best camping locations in the area. Created in 1973 in the Devils Fork State Park, it measures 30 sq. km and has a maximum depth of 91 m. Fed by clean Appalachian Mountains rivers, Lake Jocassee is one of the most exciting camping destinations in South Carolina. Lake Jocassee camping is serene and playful.

If you’re looking for a place to go camping in the Carolinas, then this is the place to go!

What is Lake Jocassee known for?

Lake Jocassee provides some of the most unforgettable opportunities for camping, biking, hiking, and kayaking. You can also enjoy scuba diving in this 9000-acre lake. Jocassee Gorges dam at 117 meters is among the most visited places around Lake Jocassee. There are some of the most enchanting waterfalls in the Jocassee Valley that can be accessed by boat. The surrounding of the Jocassee lake is a major temperate rainforest. The Devils Fork State Park has a wide range of flora, especially some of the rarest flowers such as the Oconee Bell.

Fishing can be a rewarding activity as both warm water and cold water fish species are found in this lake. You can catch trout, crappie, bass, hybrid stripers, catfish, white bass, pickerel, and other species. Relaxing at this mountain hideaway next to the lake and surrounded by waterfalls and springs can be the best experience. Once you are here, you would not like to go away too soon. You can discover amazing hidden treasures and plenty of fish by a casual boat ride. A view of the hills that surround the lake is mesmerizing. But the best part of the lake is its crystal clear water where visibility is up to 30 feet.


What is the best time of year to go?


Lake Jocassee offers a mild but four-season climate. The average maximum and minimum temperatures are 72 and 49 degrees respectively. The lake and its campsites can be enjoyed at any time of the year as the temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold.

The average elevation of Lake Jocassee is about 1000 feet above sea level. So the temperature is mild throughout the year compared to extreme temperatures at 2000 to 3000 feet higher. Such areas of higher elevation are only about 45 miles from the lake. This region is a fantastic place to live, work, and enjoy round the year.


What campsites are there?

Devils Fork State Park, which is where  Lake Jocassee is, has three different types of campsites.


Standard Campsites

The standard campsites are located in Devils Fork State Park and have 59 camping sites where you can park your RV or pitch your tent. These campsites offer elevated tent pads in the size of 12-foot long and 12-foot wide, fire rings, picnic tables, electrical and wire hook-ups. There are also shower and restroom facilities. However, some sites are big enough to accommodate 40-foot long RVs. A standard campsite can have a maximum of two tents. Pets are allowed but they need to be kept on leash.


Rustic Tent Sites

If you want a more traditional kind of camping experience, the park has 25 rustic campsites where only tents are allowed. These are elevated pads in the size of 12×12 feet with fire rings and picnic tables. These sites have no electrical or water hookup but have access to showers and restrooms which are located in the campground itself. Maximum two tents are allowed per camping pad.


Boat-In Campsites

There are also 13 primitive boat-in campsites, which can be accessed only by boat. These are elevated 12×12 feet camping pads with no electricity, shower or restroom facilities. Here, pets are not allowed.


There are also 15 well-stocked villas in the park.


Things to know before going?

Devils Fork State Park and Lake Jocassee are located in a densely forested region. So you should pack your travel bags accordingly. In particular, you should not forget to take along the following items with you: Sunscreen, More sunscreen, Hats, Bug spray, Towels, Water shoes, Water, Food/lunch/snacks, Sunglasses, Beach chair & umbrella, and personal water toy or tube.


Things to know


Should you go camping at Lake Jocassee?

There are many reasons for Lake Jocassee camping. Located only about 121 miles from the downtown, it’s a wonderful mountain hideaway next to a gigantic lake. It can be visited any time of the year, however, campers frequent this place in spring, summer and the fall seasons. It’s a dog-friendly camping destination. Also, it has one of the best facilities for the campers starting from villas to full-facility standard, no-facility rustic, and adventurous boat-in campsites.

Though tent campers can pitch their tents on any of the camping pads, the walk-in lakeside tent offers the best Jocassee experience. A little aside from the trees, you have a stunning view of crystal clear water, sunrises, and sunsets. Take a canoe or kayak and head over to the primitive boat-in campsite. It’s roughly two miles of the paddle. After you are relaxed and have your breakfast, the 9000-acre and 300-foot deep lake is an irresistible invitation to explore it. It has such clean waters that it’s just perfect for scuba diving.

Alternatively, you can simply spend your day paddling about and exploring and appreciating the vast expanse of water surrounded by mountains and temperate rainforests. Waterfalls and fish are something that takes less of an effort to discover. This is certainly a great place to visit.


Wrap up

Devils Fork State Park is located at the southern extreme of Lake Jocassee. Lake Jocassee camping is a worthy and wonderful experience. You have options to explore the pristine waters right from your camping site and extensive networks of equally worthy trails only a short drive away. You should not miss an opportunity to be here.

See you there!

Article Author
Sean's an avid camper, kayaker, and RVer. He loves spending time finding new trails and campsites to take his family and friends.