A Wondrous Diversity of Life

Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America's most visited national park.


The Cable Mill in Cades Cove

Cades Cove

Wildlife viewing, historic homes and churches, and beautiful mountain scenery make Cades Cove one of the most popular destinations in the park.

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The hike to Ramsey Cascades waterfall is long, but the view is worth it!

What Can I Do in the Park?

Feel the cool spray of a waterfall. Camp under the stars. Explore a historic grist mill. There's plenty to see and do in the park!

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A snowy river

When Will It Snow?

Snow falls infrequently in the park's foothills, but at high elevation, snow is more common.

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Elk have been reintroduced to the park.


Elk can often be seen in the early morning and late evening in open areas around the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and in Cataloochee Valley.

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Join Our Social Network

No matter where you are, stay connected to Great Smoky Mountains! Get the latest news, explore the wonders of the park, and keep memories alive.

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Colorful fire pink flowers bloom in spring.


From the earliest hepaticas in the late winter to the last asters in the late fall, blooming flowers can be found nearly year-round in the park.

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A proud, new Junior Ranger is sworn in.

Programs and Special Events

Explore the wonders of the park with a Ranger.

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Approximately 1,500 black bears live in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Want to See a Bear?

From black bears to elk, white-tailed deer to Yellow Warblers - learn how to improve your chances of spotting wildlife in the park.

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Fall colors

Fall Leaf Colors

Autumn leaf season lasts several weeks as fall colors travel down the mountain sides from high elevation to low.

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Did You Know?