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 has dedicated his life to travel and has traveled to 82 countries and all 7 continents. He’s visited all of the main national parks in the United States, as well as many national monuments and state parks.
As a national park expert, James has contributed to many publications, including Time Business News, Savoteur, and Wired. He also has several published detailed itineraries in addition to many free online guides.
James has rafted through the Grand Canyon; rappelled down slot canyons near Zion and Arches; hiked among the hoodoos in Bryce and the enormous trees in Sequoia; admired the waterfalls in Yosemite and the colored hot springs in Yellowstone; seen moose in Grand Tetons and seals in the Channel Islands, and much more.