Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles Tennessee and North Carolina. The mountains are part of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Appalachian Mountain range.
Covered in woods, laced with rivers, dotted with waterfalls and often shrouded in the haze that gives it its name, it is an incredibly beautiful place to explore in every season. Hiking is a major activity here, and part of the famous Appalachian Trail crosses through the park. It is America’s most visited park, seeing over 12 millions visitors each year.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Travel Guide
Great Smoky Mountains National Park at a glance
- States: Tennessee and North Carolina
- Main attractions: Forests, waterfalls, wildflowers, fall foliage
- Best time to go: Spring – fall
- Hotels/ Airbnbs: LeConte Lodge inside the park (accessibly on foot only); Airbnbs in Gatlinburg, TN and other gateway towns (including Bryson City and Cherokee in NC)
- Campgrounds: 10 campgrounds inside park (+ backcountry sites)
- Dining: Gateway towns
- Shuttle: No
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Guide
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Best Tours of Great Smoky Mountains
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James Ian is a national park, camping and hiking expert.
He has dedicated his life to travel, visiting more than 80 countries, all 7 continents and all of the main national parks in the United States. With over 35 years experience in the travel industry, James has worked on cruise ships, at resorts and hotels, and as a travel planner who’s helped hundreds of people plan successful trips to US national parks.
Based on his experience visiting our national parks multiple times, in-depth research and expertise as a travel planner, James has published detailed itineraries for most of the major national parks in the US. These itineraries, as well as in-depth park guides, comprehensive camping and hiking gear reviews and buying guides, and helpful packing lists and gift guides will help you have your own incredible trip to US national parks without stress and hassle.
As a national park expert, James has contributed to many publications, including Time Business News, Savoteur, Best Trip, and Wired.