Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Suggestions? Local tips? Tell us!


351 mi 565 km

Runs

955 mi 1,537 km

Trails
Gems
13 Gems

Easy Trails
86 Trails
Intermediate Trails
102 Trails
Hard Trails
18 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.

Description
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 Christmas Day. Hours vary by season.
  • Oconaluftee Visitor Center: Open daily, except on Christmas Day. Hours vary by season.
  • Sugarlands Visitor Center: Open daily, except on Christmas Day. 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.
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.
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.

After the Run: Local Favorites

The Park Grill Salad bar is amazing! So is the Pecan Chicken and sweet potato casserole. Best food I've had so far in Gatlinburg.
1110 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 436-2300
Old Dad's Gatlinburg General Store Best place in G-Burg to get picnic supplies. Free parking! Hidden gem near the entrance to the Great Smokies.
1227 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 430-1644
Calhoun's Best fried chicken I've ever had, ribs are fantastic, and the mac and cheese is delish!
1004 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 868-1500
Texas Roadhouse Ask for Matthew... He is the best waiter in this place...!!
1019 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 430-4284
Cherokee Grill You must try the mac and cheese! it is the best ever!
1002 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 436-4288
Flapjack's Pancake Cabin Good, but very expensive wihout many choices. Doesn't worth the benefits.
940 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 436-2387
Mellow Mushroom Check out the custom artwork all over the store!
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Mama makes the best bread pudding! At least that's what mama always said...
900 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 430-3034
Hogg's Upstairs Taverne
Hofbrauhaus Restaurant and The Cheese Cupboard Check out their expansive German beer selection.
Donut Friar Any true fan of Gatlinburg gets their donuts here. Especially good when sitting on your motel/hotel balcony, listening to the waters of the creek.
Tom & Earl's Back Alley Grill I love this bar! Not usually crowded, great drinks, nice patio and food is good too.
Pancake Pantry French Toast is amazing. Seriously.
628 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 436-4724
New Orleans Sandwich Company Fat Tuesday Ferdie Sandwich dressed = YUM!
Geno's Pizza & Subs Food was very good. The employees were really nice. My wife and I went in late, looking for a good pizza place around town. Our kids are extremely picky eaters and they loved the pizza.
385 E Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 430-9300
Hungry Bear BBQ Delicious! Loved it
490 E Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 325-1084
Mountain Perks Black Widow coffee has the perks!
9 Depot St, Bryson City NC — (828) 488-9561
Anthony's Italian Resturant Only bad thing is the stupid tourists. They come in expecting other customers to wait on them like they employee's.
103 Depot St, Bryson City NC — (828) 488-8898
The Iron Skillet Chicken wrap... Can ask for buffalo... Awesome. Friendly staff. Bright atmosphere. A+
Little House of Pancakes All you can eat pancake is HUGE!
807 E Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 436-4784
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.
Women's Great Smoky Mtns 900 Miler Panel Discussion!: May 6 - Barleys Taproom and Pizzeria Downtown Knoxville
REI is teaming up with 4 local women and the new 900 miler record holder to bring you the best knowledge on hiking all 900 miles in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Don't miss this one! Details
Women's Backpacking Basics: May 6 - Knoxville REI
Want to take your day hikes overnight? Connect with other female hikers and REI to get an overview of backpacking planning, preparation and gear in this women's-only class. Details
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Featured Run
Trail
Featured Runs
Trails

Gems in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 13

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Featured Runs in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 23

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Trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 183

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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
All Clear
Update
Dry, Snowy, Some Mud, Fallen Trees - Varying conditions throughout the loop but nothing that would be cause for concern. Confirming mouse/mice at 37!
13 days ago
15.6 mi 25.1 km
#2 Hazel Creek Trail
Robbinsville, NC
15.6 mi 25.1 km Robbinsville, NC
Unknown
Update
Cove Creek, NC
94.1 mi 151.4 km Cove Creek, NC
Unknown
Update
5.4 mi 8.7 km
#4 Boulevard Trail
Gatlinburg, TN
5.4 mi 8.7 km Gatlinburg, TN
Unknown
Update
Wildwood, TN
0.8 mi 1.3 km Wildwood, TN
Unknown
Update
Newport, TN
0.6 mi 1.0 km Newport, TN
All Clear
Update
Mostly Dry
24 days ago
14.0 mi 22.5 km
#7 Thomas Divide Trail
Cherokee, NC
14.0 mi 22.5 km Cherokee, NC
Unknown
Update
0.6 mi 0.9 km
#8 Cosby Nature Trail
Newport, TN
0.6 mi 0.9 km Newport, TN
Unknown
Update
Gatlinburg, TN
0.5 mi 0.8 km Gatlinburg, TN
All Clear
Update
Dry
32 days ago
Bryson City, NC
0.8 mi 1.3 km Bryson City, NC
Unknown
Update
11.7 mi 18.9 km
#11 Noland Divide Trail
Bryson City, NC
11.7 mi 18.9 km Bryson City, NC
Unknown
Update
Cove Creek, NC
6.6 mi 10.6 km Cove Creek, NC
Unknown
Update
Robbinsville, NC
102.3 mi 164.7 km Robbinsville, NC
Minor Issues
Update
Muddy
3 days ago
Cherokee, NC
5.8 mi 9.3 km Cherokee, NC
Unknown
Update
Wildwood, TN
4.3 mi 7.0 km Wildwood, TN
Unknown
Update
Robbinsville, NC
10.5 mi 16.9 km Robbinsville, NC
Unknown
Update
10.8 mi 17.3 km
#17 Cooper Road Trail
Maryville, TN
10.8 mi 17.3 km Maryville, TN
Unknown
Update
Wildwood, TN
3.6 mi 5.8 km Wildwood, TN
Unknown
Update
4.1 mi 6.6 km
#19 Jonas Creek Trail
Bryson City, NC
4.1 mi 6.6 km Bryson City, NC
Unknown
Update
6.8 mi 11.0 km
#20 Welch Ridge Trail
Gatlinburg, TN
6.8 mi 11.0 km Gatlinburg, TN
Unknown
Update

Photos of Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 694

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