Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is an icon of the national park system. Over 10,000 different species of flora and fauna have been identified within the Park's boundaries. The large number of species in the park is due to the diverse habitats, ranging from spruce-fir forests to temperate deciduous forests. The diversity of the Park has also lead to it being designated as an International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site.

Recreation opportunities are numerous in the Great Smoky Mountains. Visitors can hike on over 800 miles of trail, explore the many cultural heritage sites, take self-guided auto tours, or view the abundant wildlife of the park. Because of the popularity of the Park and the proximity to major urban areas, the Great Smoky Mountains is the most visited National Park with over 9 million visitors every year.

Did You Know? 

Jordan's red cheeked salamander is a species that only occurs in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Pound for pound, salamanders in the Smokies are the most voracious predators in the park--consuming more mass or weight of prey than any other animal species- including bears! The Smokies has 31 species of salamanders, and is often called the "Salamander capitol of the world." One specific concern related to salamander species is what might happen as we begin to lose our hemlock trees to the invasive hemlock wooley adelgid. Hemlocks provide shade for many of the streams in the park, and as we begin to lose the trees, scientists are concerned about the water temps going up as the shade is lost. This could potentially effect a wide variety of stream life--only a few degrees of temperature change might make waters uninhabitable for many native species.

grsm.jpg

Threats

According to air-quality experts, each year the amount of acid deposition of sulfur oxides in the Great Smokies is comparable to 200 railroad tank cars spilling sulfuric acid in the park. As you can imagine, this excess acid has a horribly damaging effect on the park's ecosystem.

Air pollution is among the most serious threats to national parks. The National Park Service has established the NPS air quality webcam network to show “live” digital images of more than a dozen parks. Click here to see current air conditions at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Anonymous

November 19, 2014

this is my dream of going to work in these mountains there amazingly beautiful

Jan

November 6, 2014

When I was a little girl way back in the 1940 's, I attended a girl's camp - Camp Chiwasee - just outside of Gatlinburg, and it ignited a never-ending love affair with my wonderful, beautiful Smokys. I could never live too far away from them and must visit at least twice a year or my heart would break.

BLT

May 19, 2014

Visited from Montana last fall. Dinned in Gatlinburg one evening two tables away from Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban. The very next week Harrison Ford and his wife were in the same establishment. GSMNP has more than beautiful mountains.

Castle

May 19, 2014

We have traveled thousands of miles to float the Colorado River, hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, explore hundreds of trails in Yellowstone, Yosemite and Glacier, experience the backcountry of Wrangell-St.Elias and Denali but there is something special about the GSMNP. It is a place of great flora and fauna diversity that we have observed nowhere else...and it is only 35 miles from our front door. A lasting experience...even if you don' make it to Dollywood.

lyssa

May 12, 2014

Smoky seems like a place that you wanna spend a lot of time there. I will defiantly visit soon!

mckinly lover

April 29, 2014

i love this park

Smeagain

February 25, 2014

I have been blessed with a lifetime in the shadows of the GSM's. I am awestruck everytime I see a sunrise or sunset. The fall colors are the handiwork of a Mighty Power. Cade's Cove reminds me of my strong Sctoch Irish ties to this Land. Thank You, Lord.

blueeyes

January 17, 2014

i have went to cades cove every year for all my life but its just not anything like it used to be now it takes forever to go thru the 11 mile loop but i have seen the best buck fight ever there in nov of 2010 2 huge bucks fighting like crazy and been within 5 ft of a black bear and god at how comfortable deer are with us humans i love that place god has made a great place for us to enjoy

Lousie

January 3, 2014

We have many wonderful memories of living in the park and getting to know the area and the good people there.

Hollie

September 16, 2013

Amazing

red

September 16, 2013

My family and I had a blast last summer all because of you. Thank you a thousand times

lover

September 16, 2013

I think it is prety amazing!!!!

Deacon

March 26, 2013

Was a seasonal ranger at Oteen, NC in 1953. Have always loved it, along with Cades Cove and Foothills Parkway.

Ashley

February 19, 2013

Hands down, the Great Smoky Mountains have to just about be my favorite national park there is! The hiking trails are absolutely fantastic, and my family has seen a bear almost every time we've ever been!

Steve

November 27, 2012

AWESOME

honda civic

September 13, 2012

THERE IS MORE THAN BEARS THERE PEOPLE, GOD!!!!!

chanman

February 1, 2012

Awesome!

April

November 10, 2011

I've been to the GSM twice and had amazing adventures both times! This past summer we went whitewater rafting and the hiking is incredible. I've hiked the Rainbow Falls and Ramsey Cascades trails. Ramsey was tough, but it was WELL worth the trek. :)

Munchkin

November 10, 2011

Soon to be a resident. Been camping all over the West which I dearly LOVE. Grew up camping at Cades Cove and have loved the Smokies all my life. Raised our children camping in the Smokies too. SO much to explore and see. Bears are numerous, trails are plentiful (over 900 miles of them!), folks are friendly, trees are breathtaking, not to mention the river that you drive along! Kayakers frequent The Sinks after a hard rain...ahhh. The best.

Dakoop

November 10, 2011

I have been Hiking the GSMNP for 12 years now. I can't begin to tell all the stories of the beauty and peace that abound. It is no wonder the Cherokee call it home.

Hollie

November 10, 2011

I recently visited the Great Smoky Mountains for vacation. It rained everyday that I was there, but I still had a good time. We went to Cades Cove and had a blast. Road the Skylift in Gatlinburg and it was awesome. The Aquarium was great too. Never seen anything like it before. We will be going back, for you can't do everything you want to do in a week. Thanks for the great entertainment too. :)

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