Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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506 mi 815 km

Hikes

758 mi 1,219 km

Trails
Gems
13 Gems

Easy Trails
86 Trails
Intermediate Trails
97 Trails
Hard Trails
20 Trails

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is made up of countless forested mountain ridges that form the border between Tennessee and North Carolina. Encompassing over 800 square miles in the southern Appalachian Mountains, this one of America's most visited national parks, and for good reason! The park is famous for its stunning variety of flora and fauna, the magnificence of its ancient topography, and the remnants of its Southern Appalachian culture. Visitors are sure to be impressed by the wonderful diversity that the park has to offer.

To learn more about Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visit www.nps.gov.

Details

Visitor Centers:
Hours of operation vary by season. To see current hours of operation as well as to see the amentities offered at each visitor center, visit the park's website.

  • Cades Cove Visitor Center: Open daily, except on 12/25. Hours vary by season.
  • Oconaluftee Visitor Center: Open daily, except on 12/25. Hours vary by season.
  • Sugarlands Visitor Center: Open daily, except on 12/25. Hours vary by season.
  • Clingmans Dome Visitor Contact Station: Open April through November. Hours vary by season.

Visiting Tips

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, some secondary roads, campgrounds, and other visitor facilities close in winter. For more information on seasonal closures and to check current conditions, visit the park's website.

Due to the varied elevation and topography in the park, local weather can be unpredictable. The temperatures are greatly varied between mountain tops and valley floors, and the weather can also be drastically different. The park's lowlands average about 55 inches of rain per year while Clingmans Dome receives up to 85 inches per year. Visitors are advised to plan ahead and be conscious of the weather when planning a trip to the park.

Fees & Passes:
There is no entrance fee for Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Camping and Lodging

Camping:
The park maintains ten developed campgrounds. Campsites at Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Cosby, Elkmont, and Smokemont may be reserved online or by phone at (877) 444-6777. Advance reservations are required at Cataloochee Campground. All remaining park campgrounds are filled on a first come, first served basis. For more information about camping reservations, campground amenities, and seasons of operation, visit the park's website.

  • Abrams Creek: 16 sites. $14 per night. Open late May to mid-October. Sites filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Balsam Mountain: 46 sites. $14 per night. Open late May to mid-October. Sites filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Big Creek: 12 sites. $14 per night. Open early April to late October. Sites filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Cades Cove: 159 sites. $17 - $20 per night. Open year round. Reservations can be made online.
  • Cataloochee: 27 sites. $20 per night. Open late May to late October. Reservations required and can be made online.
  • Cosby: 157 sites. $14 per night. Open early April to late October. Reservations can be made online.
  • Deep Creek: 92 sites. $17 per night. Open early April to late October. Sites filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Elkmont: 220 sites. $17 - $23 per night. Open mid-March to late November. Reservations can be made online.
  • Look Rock: 68 sites. $14 per night. Sites filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Smokemont: 142 sites. $17 - $20 per night. Open year round. Reservations can be made online.

Backcountry Camping:
Advance reservations and permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. To make reservations, please visit the park's website.

Lodging:
The LeConte Lodge is the only lodging located within the park. It is located on the top of Mount Le Conte and is only accessible on foot. Reservations must be made in advance and can be made online or by calling (865) 429-5704.

Shops, Shuttles and Tours

Guided Tours:
Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a variety of ranger-led programs from spring to fall. All programs, unless otherwise specified, are free and open to the public. To learn more about these ranger-led programs and to see the current events calendar, click here.

REI Adventures:
REI offers over 30 national park trips led by expert guides capable of taking you off the beaten path to discover hidden gems that many visitors never see. In honor of the National Park Service Centennial, REI will donate 10% of proceeds from these trips to the National Park Foundation.

Maps and Guidebooks

If you're interested in learning more about hiking in Great Smoky, please consider purchasing a copy of GSMP: Hiking Trails of the Smokies. The guide covers all 150 official trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with in-depth narratives and invaluable profile charts that show mileage, elevation change, and major stream crossings at a glance.

To download the park's free trip planner to help plan your visit, click here.

Food and Drink

There are limited options for food and beverages located within the park. Cades Cove Campground Store sells limited groceries and camping supplies and has a snack bar that serves breakfast, sandwiches, wraps, soup, chili, pizza, and soft serve ice cream. The Elkmont Campground Concession offers some snack items, beverages, and a limited selection of camping supplies. Smokemont Riding Stables sells snacks, beverages, firewood, and ice. Vending machines can be found at most of the visitor centers. Visitors looking for more dining options can visit the nearby towns located just outside the park.

Other Activities

Visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park have a multitude of options when it comes to ways to explore the park. Whether hiking, biking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, picnicking or simply enjoying the scenery from the road, Great Smoky has plenty of opportunities for visitors to enjoy all that the park has to offer. For visitors looking for other adventures in the area, check out the nearby options for mountain biking and rock climbing in the area.

Local Events Next Up: Classic Hike of the Smokies to G... - Dec 6

Classic Hike of the Smokies to Grotto Falls: Dec 6 - Trillium Gap Trail
Join Friends of the Smokies for a Classic Hike to Grotto Falls on Trillium Gap Trail in GSMNP on Tuesday, December 6th. The guided hike is led by outdoor enthusiast and author Danny Bernstein. Details


Friends of the Smokies Classic Hike: Dec 13 - Friends of the Smokies
December 13: Grotto Falls on Trillium Gap Trail; 7 miles, 1000 ft ascent, Features: Historic Waterfalls Details


East TN Harvey Broome Group of the Sierra Club: Dec 13 - Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church
The Harvey Broome Group is 1 of 5 groups within the TN Sierra Club chapter, a national environmental organization with over 2 million members. Our motto is Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet Details


10th Annual Tour De Lights: Dec 16 - Market Square
Join us for this fun, free bike parade through downtown, 4th & Gill and Old North Knoxville. Riders are encouraged to get creative with lights, costumes and decorations. Details


Appalachian Mountain Bike Club Meeting: Dec 22 - Sweet P's Barbecue and Downtown Dive
Interested in getting involved with the mountain biking community here in Knoxville? Our local community partner, the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club, meet the 4th Monday of each month! Get involved! Details


Thru-Hiking the AT Panel Discussion with Local Thru-hikers: Feb 6 - Calhoun's in Bearden
Dream of hiking the AT? Want information about long distance hiking or thru-hiking? Like beer? Then join five local expert thru-hikers at Calhoun's in Bearden to learn more! Details


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Featured Hike
Trail
Featured Hikes
Trails

Gems in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 13

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Featured Hikes in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 24

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Trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 180

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6.6 mi 10.6 km
#1 Baxter Creek Trail
Cove Creek, NC
6.6 mi 10.6 km Cove Creek, NC
Unknown
Update
Newport, TN
0.6 mi 1.0 km Newport, TN
Unknown
Update
15.6 mi 25.1 km
#3 Hazel Creek Trail
Robbinsville, NC
15.6 mi 25.1 km Robbinsville, NC
Unknown
Update
0.6 mi 0.9 km
#4 Cosby Nature Trail
Newport, TN
0.6 mi 0.9 km Newport, TN
Unknown
Update
Wildwood, TN
0.8 mi 1.3 km Wildwood, TN
Unknown
Update
Bryson City, NC
0.8 mi 1.3 km Bryson City, NC
Unknown
Update
4.3 mi 7.0 km
#7 Abrams Falls Trail
Wildwood, TN
4.3 mi 7.0 km Wildwood, TN
Unknown
Update
4.1 mi 6.6 km
#8 Jonas Creek Trail
Bryson City, NC
4.1 mi 6.6 km Bryson City, NC
Unknown
Update
2.4 mi 3.8 km
#9 Cucumber Gap Trail
Gatlinburg, TN
2.4 mi 3.8 km Gatlinburg, TN
Unknown
Update
Bryson City, NC
1.2 mi 2.0 km Bryson City, NC
Unknown
Update
4.1 mi 6.6 km
#11 Boogerman Trail
Cove Creek, NC
4.1 mi 6.6 km Cove Creek, NC
Unknown
Update
Bryson City, NC
24.4 mi 39.3 km Bryson City, NC
Unknown
Update
Maryville, TN
2.8 mi 4.5 km Maryville, TN
Unknown
Update
Robbinsville, NC
10.5 mi 16.9 km Robbinsville, NC
Unknown
Update
5.5 mi 8.8 km
#15 Low Gap Trail
Newport, TN
5.5 mi 8.8 km Newport, TN
Unknown
Update
Cove Creek, NC
5.4 mi 8.7 km Cove Creek, NC
Unknown
Update
8.8 mi 14.2 km
#17 Sunkota Ridge Trail
Bryson City, NC
8.8 mi 14.2 km Bryson City, NC
Unknown
Update
Gatlinburg, TN
0.3 mi 0.5 km Gatlinburg, TN
Unknown
Update
7.9 mi 12.7 km
#19 Rabbit Creek Trail
Wildwood, TN
7.9 mi 12.7 km Wildwood, TN
Unknown
Update
3.7 mi 5.9 km
#20 Long Bunk Trail
Cove Creek, NC
3.7 mi 5.9 km Cove Creek, NC
Unknown
Update

Photos of Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 656

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