Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
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  • bill f
    Orchard Park, New York304 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful views and plentiful animal life!
    Absolutely gorgeous scenery, if you have never been here I highly suggest making the trip. This park is literally the people’s national park and entrance is free although you are required to buy a parking pass if you drive through the park. We saw some bear eating blackberries in a field, too many deer to count, birds galore, marmot and woodchuck, two foxes and that’s just a partial list.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 22 July 2023
  • Sarah o
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Gorgeous views
    First time visiting with my family of 3 kids aged 7-15. The park is beautiful! We hiked Clingmans Dome, Laurel Falls, Grotto Falls, and drove Roaring Fork Motor trail and Elkmont River Trail. Parking can be tricky but we got lucky. Can't wait to go back to do more hikes. Don't waste your time in Gatlinburg-everything is crowded and expensive . We stayed in Sevierville, which was a bit far from the park so will definitiely pick another town on next visit.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 26 July 2023
  • Sarah
    Macon, Georgia7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful
    This park is amazing! The views are breathtaking and if you love nature the natural springs and rivers are so beautiful and refreshing. The kids loved stopping at Oconaluftee Visitor Center and seeing the historical farm and learning about the early settlers. My oldest got to make a corn doll as they had a event that day that we happened upon. I took our younger kiddos to play in the stream and we all had a wonderful time. We saw many elk crossing the road as we were traveling home so it was a great treat for us all to see.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 31 July 2023
  • tosl
    Jersey City, New Jersey876 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent hikes and drive
    We drove and hiked for a couple of days in the Smokies. Countless turnouts and trailheads to explore the mountains but be prepared, the Smokies are steep. A two-mile hike seems easy unless it is one mile straight up on stairs. We are already planning on our return. Please note, there is little service in the mountains so have a paper map on hand.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 5 August 2023
  • James W
    Clearwater, Florida570 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of our Best National Parks
    This is a beautiful mountain land that has dramatic elevations and lush forest. The road through the park has many observation points that capture the sheer drops and rugged terrain. My wife and I arrive at the east park entrance at about 1 pm. While there is not a park fee, the park service does sell $5 daily parking passes that you will need if you choose to park your car at the many trailheads or viewing areas. Given the park's attraction, there are many visitors. Driving through the park is not an obstacle. However, stopping at the most popular attractions is a challenge if you do not arrive early. Overall, an excellent trip - but, plan accordingly.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 August 2023
  • Kathy S
    Massillon, Ohio8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Smoky Mountain National Park is a Treasure to explore and enjoy!
    One of our BEST family vacations ever! I was here as a child and had wonderful memories. Coming back with grandchildren it was even better. A beautiful place full of adventures around every corner! Checkout the park ranger special events. Informative and fun! Hiking the park is an amazing experience. We saw several of the waterfalls, wild turkey and a small bear. The bear we saw was while we were driving. We had a picnic lunch and our six year old grandson did a little fishing and absolutely had a blast! We spent two full days in the park and could have spent two more.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 12 August 2023
  • Lowell B
    Indianapolis, Indiana36 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Favorite National Park
    We visit the Smokies with several friends every October. We usually do some light hiking, although we have hiked to the top of Mt. Le Conte, too. We often see some bears in the park. We drive the Cades Cove loop, but the traffic is usually backed up - don't be in a hurry or on a tight schedule. The Visitors Centers are top notch, and may also be crowded at times. Sometimes the fall leaves are an array of colors. A beautiful park.
    Visited October 2022
    Written 13 August 2023
  • Dr_Xaos
    Palatine, Illinois1,246 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    National Park is a Natural Treasure
    An amazing beautiful park! There's multiple hiking trails of varying levels of difficulty. We spent about 2 hours hiking some of the easier trails located near the Sugarlands Visitor Center. Plenty of naturesque scenes to see along the trail. We even saw some of the local fauna among the various trees and other plants. There were some hills and streams as well, although these did make the hike more challenging (and may be an issue for those who have mobility issues/impairments). Well worth the visit, which is technically free. Park does require a parking pass, which was about $5 for the day. Well worth the money for our entire family to have several hours of enjoyment in the outdoors of the Smokey Mountains.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 14 August 2023
  • Dick P
    Amite, Louisiana501 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very pretty park with majestic views.
    Beautiful views, nice trails, nice visitor centers. It is crowded and parking in many places was inadequate even though we were not there in peak season. If you drive over the mountain between Tennessee and North Carolina, expect delays and slow travel.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 15 August 2023
  • Pamela C
    10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The beauty of the mountains is something you will always remember. ...
    We stayed in Gatlinburg the weekend of August 12 - August 14. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is so beautiful and absolutely breathtaking. We were told a bear had just crossed the road moments before as we were driving through the park for about 2 hours. Even though I didn't see the bear it was great to experience the beauty and the tranquility of the water flowing through the park and the views were amazing!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 August 2023
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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles2,588 reviews
Excellent
2,303
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200
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Rita S
Melbourne, FL1,847 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Solo
Breathtaking views. Bring binoculars, trail shoes, water, sunglasses, walking stick. Pickup map at welcome center. Flowers, trees, deer, birds. Hiking trails. Hollows, mountains, valleys, tunnels. Overlooks. Picnic tables.
Written 9 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cindy g
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2024 • Family
The park rangers offer free guided hikes. We took the Porters Creek. It was great! We found it by going to the calendar at the Sugarlands Welcome Center.
Written 3 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Virgil G
14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Dollywood are all one huge circus, a tourist trap; strictly made for picking your pockets. Here the SMOKEY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK is the ONLY real deal! The PARK with its beautiful vistas, historical attractions, numerous hiking opportunities, and bears is a destination worth visiting. Just driving around we saw 3 sets of mamma bears with 2 cubs each grazing in the fields; really up close! Seriously, we were about a hundred yards from a couple encounters! Scary but wonderful! The wedding we came for and the PARK made this trip very memorable! The tourist traps are a waste of your time, but the PARK is a wonderful destination. Many B&B’s can accommodate your visit; don’t forget your hiking boots/shoes!
Written 2 July 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

newjerseyfamily
Burlington, NJ749 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
This park is pretty big, and the first time we drove through we were coming from Cherokee. Later in the week we drove out to Cades Cove, and on another day we spent time in the eastern half of the park. In June it is green and beautiful. Nice stops along the way, and the river you drive along will appear on either side of the road at different times. Definitely pack a picnic lunch and if you think of it, chairs are not a bad idea either. We saw a lovely bunch of horses in a meadow along the way, and at one point saw a bear and her cub. Nice except when people stop in a way making it difficult to get around. The park seems to be mostly run by volunteers who are sincerely dedicated to their tasks. We only encountered a single park ranger giving a talk about bears. Cherokee offers a lot of food choices if you drive in that direction, or Gatlinburg if you are in that direction. The park was the calm we sought and we really enjoyed our visit.
Written 28 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

prometheamoth
Yorktown, VA13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
SYNCHRONOUS FIREFLY LOTTERY: Definitely worth entering the lottery to get tickets for this event. I have been trying for years and was thrilled to get in this year! From what I understand, they have changed it up a bit from prior years, allowing people to spread out all along two trails and trail offshoots nearby so it's not as crowded as prior years. Our 2024 lottery tix were for a Sat night and everyone stayed pretty well-spaced along the two recommended trails. We were dreading crowds as my spouse is retired military with PTSD, but our experience was actually REALLY lovely, and not crowded in the least. We went to the back porch of a nearby restored historic cabin and it was really magical. Our family had the area pretty much to ourselves. Be sure and stay until 10:30 pm so you can see the various firefly species and get the full "the wave" effect of the synchronous fireflies. Bring a camping chair and walk as far down the trail as you can get to avoid people, then walk back in the dark. No need to get there until close to 8 pm (cutoff time for parking). People who got there at 6 had to walk the farthest to get back to their vehicles later in the dark.
Written 9 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lois C
United States29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
We Love the Great Smoky Mountains, we stay in Gatlinburg usually. Saw bears, went to Cades Cove saw 7 bears, went to Elkmont. Love looking at the history. Gatlinburg needs to stop putting in all those parking lots, your taking away from the old Gatlinburg people goes to walk & shop and eat. Not to see parking lots where motels & business used to be. Roaring Fork we saw 3 vehicles with the rear of cars in roadway. Need to patrol this area. In downtown Gatlinburg in the old days there used to be seating on both sides of Streets it lined the Streets. Now you have to search and find one really? Seniors need areas to sit and relax. The doggy parents need to understand the pets pads can get burned while walking on those hot sidewalks, was sad. I saw one man holding his fur baby.
Written 31 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Babydolls & Parks Rock
Indiana224 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Very pretty National Park and highly recommend seeing. There are spots pretty to watch the sunrise/ sunset in the mountains. The streams are nice to stop and listen to. We will be back again!
Written 30 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brendan S
Arlington, VA2,098 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
Great Smoky Mountains is not the most spectacular national park, but it has a lot of variety that makes it well-worth visiting. The eponymous mountains are definitely a highlight, but can be a bit capricious. The view from the peak on Clingman’s Dome was mostly obscured by clouds, but I got some unexpectedly great views on Alum Cave Trail later on. The bears on Cades Cove Loop were another highlight. I saw multiple adult bears and cubs in a few hours having never seen more than one at any other park. The Park also includes lower-profile features like several small but picturesque waterfalls, old cabins and farm buildings and all kinds of wildlife including elk, wild turkeys and salamanders. The drive through the Park and its roaring creek is an attraction itself. Although the Park is large and has hundreds of miles of hiking trails, I was able to drive the two main park roads and see the waterfalls, wildlife and mountains in 1.5 days; it felt like a thorough visit.
Written 25 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AdvisorMember35
Chicago, Illinois47 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Definitely going back! There is so much to see and do! This was our first time visiting. We only spent 2 days in the park itself. We went off-season which I highly recommend - I read how jam-packed it can get and no parking. We did Clingman's Dome, Cades Cove and Newfound Gap. We had no trouble in stalled traffic and no trouble finding parking - went early May (after school breaks and before summer breaks). Visit the park starting in the early morning. Breathtaking vistas everywhere! Recommend doing most of the pull-offs and taking in the majestic views. We dipped our feet in crystal clear water from the mountain....gorgeous. Amazing place for photographers! Stop at the visitor centers, they are a wealth of knowledge. All the rangers were kind and helpful. We saw elk, wild turkeys, over a dozen bears. We didn't take the trails because we had our dog with (very dog friendly place otherwise) but the trails were very crowded. Everything was marked clearly, had no trouble navigating this huge park. Take your time ENJOY THE JOURNEY. We met many nice fellow travelers. There are bathrooms at the Visitor Centers, campgrounds and some picnic areas but that's it. Pack a cooler with water and snacks for a daily car trip there is little to no food in the park. Next time we will download one of the apps on our phone that have a guided tour that talks about the park. Daily parking pass is $5 or $15 for the week. Great trip for families. Be aware that if you get hurt, they are limited in helping you. So follow the rules and signs because you are on your own (some lady fell off the rocks). If you love nature and being outdoors this is the place to visit - one of our great National Parks!
Written 8 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NW748
Washington428 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
If you want a day stuck in traffic- this park is for you. We love to go to National parks and this one was the worst! Yes, it is beautiful, and yes we did get to see a few bears, but that got very overshadowed by the people that visit the park. If you want to sit in traffic all day and not move for 10-15 minutes at a time, then maybe go 4 to 5 mph when you get to move, then you may enjoy this place. There needs to be more signs along cades cove to not stop and block traffic. It’s an 11 mile loop that you will be stuck on for hours (it took us 2.5 hours)!!!! Senior citizens even got out of their car and walked faster than we drove. I thought this would be a day of peace and tranquility and I left the park absolutely stressed out!!!! I had a much better time enjoying the Smokey Mountains from the cabin we rented in the woods.

I will say that the park rangers are very nice and informative if you get a chance to talk with any of them. To visit the park is free, you only need to purchase a $5 parking pass (be sure to have your cars license plate number to enter it at the kiosk). It’s sad that we didn’t even get to do a hike because all we wanted to do after we drove through cades cove was to get out of the park as fast as we could.
Written 2 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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