From hiking to camping, picnicking to horseback riding, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has something for everyone! Click on the links below for information to help you plan your next trip to the Smokies.
- Park Maps
The following maps are available for downloading from the National Park Service:
► Park Map – Map with the locations of all park roads, visitor centers, picnic areas, and campgrounds.
► Trail Map – Map of all the official hiking trails in the park. This map also includes the location of backcountry campsites and shelters, front country campgrounds, and roads in the park.
► Regional Map – Map showing major highways providing access to the national park.
- Things to Do
► Cades Cove – With it’s beautiful mountain views, historic cabins, and abundant wildlife, it’s no wonder that Cades Cove is one of the most popular destinations in the park!
► Roaring Fork – This 5-mile auto tour just outside of Gatlinburg, leads you past rushing mountain streams, an old-growth forest, and several historic cabins, buildings, and a grist mill.
► Clingmans Dome – Spectacular views await you at Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hike up to the observation tower, for an unobstructed 360º mountain view!
► Newfound Gap – Straddling the state line between North Carolina and Tennessee, Newfound Gap offers fantastic mountain views, and the chance to take a hike on the Appalachian Trail.
► Cataloochee – Historic structures, mountains views, and to chance to see elk are just some of the highlights of the Cataloochee Valley. The challenge is getting there!
► Deep Creek – Waterfalls and mountains streams abound in the Deep Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
► GSMNP Visitor Centers – Begin your adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with a stop at one of the many Visitor Centers.
► Hiking Trails – The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to over 800 miles of hiking trails. Whether you choose one of the short, quiet walkways, or a backpacking trek through the backcountry, there is something for everyone to enjoy!
► Hiking Safety – Hiking in the Smokies can be a very rewarding experience, but you must be safe. Good judgement, preparation, and constant attention are a must for all hikers.
► Day Hikes – Coming Soon…
► Waterfalls of the Smokies – The Great Smoky Mountains is has many beautiful waterfalls, several of which can be reached by a short hike, or seen from roadsides.
► Popular Waterfall Hikes – Coming Soon…
► Wildlife Viewing – White-tailed deer, wild turkey, coyote, elk, and of course, black bear, are just some of the wildlife you may find in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While wildlife can be found anywhere inside the park, Cades Cove is one of the best places to try your luck.
► Black Bears – The Smokies most famous resident, the black bear, lives in all areas of the national park. Have you seen one?
► What to do if you see a bear – Black bear behavior can be unpredictable. Treat all bear encounters with caution, and follow the simple rules.
► Elk – Reintroduced to the park in 2001, the elk herd is growing larger every year. Initially, 52 elk were released into the park. Now there are approximately 110 in the herd! The best place to view elk is in the Cataloochee Valley, but they can sometimes be found around the Mountain Farm Museum near Cherokee, NC.
► Salamanders – Did you know the Great Smoky Mountains are known as the “Salamander Capital of the World?” Five families of salamanders are represented in the park: Cryptobranchidae, Proteidae, Salamandridae, Ambystomatidae, and Plethodontidae.
► Synchronous Fireflies – Only occuring a few places in the world, Synchronous Fireflies put on a spectacular light show in the Smokies every June.
► Frontcountry Camping – There are 10 developed, frontcountry campgrounds in the park. Frontcountry campgrounds have campsites that can accommodate tents, pop-up trailers, and RVs.
► Backcountry Camping – The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has many backcountry campsites. Permits are required for all backcountry camping.
► Group Campgrounds – The park has seven campsites available for group camping. Only tents are allowed at these sites.
► Horse Camps – The park has five drive-in horse camps that provide ready access to backcountry trails.
► Picnic Areas – The park has 11 picnic areas available, 7 of which remain open year round. Picnic sites have a picnic table, and a grill for cooking.
- Horse Riding
► Horseback Riding – Did you know horseback rides, horse-drawn carriage or wagon rides, and even hayrides are available in the park? You can even bring your horse for a trail ride on one of the many trails designated for horse use.
- Weather/Road Conditions
► Park Weather – Due to the steep differences in elevation, weather and temperature can vary drastically in some areas of the park.
► Weather and Road Closure Hotline – Call (865) 436-1200, when you hear a voice, dial extension 630 for the current weather forecast. Dial extension 631 for current road conditions.
► When will it snow? – Winter is unpredictable in the Smokies. On average, 69″ of snow falls every year in the higher elevations.
- Park WebCams
► Look Rock WebCam – Overlooking the Western (Tennessee) side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
► Purchase Knob WebCam – Overlooking the Eastern (North Carolina) side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Our Favorite Smoky Mountain Websites
► Great Smoky Mountains National Park Homepage – The Official GSMNP Website
► Great Smoky Mountains Association – The park benefits from every purchase you make!
► Friends of the Smokies – Helping preserve and protect the Smokies
► Go Smokies – Lots of great information on hiking in the Smokies
- Our Favorite Smokies Blogs