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.
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.Read More
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!Read More
Programs and Special Events
Explore the wonders of the park with a Ranger.Read More
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.Read More
Elk can often be seen in the early morning and late evening in open areas around the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and in Cataloochee Valley.Read More
Fall Leaf Colors
Autumn leaf season lasts several weeks as fall colors travel down the mountain sides from high elevation to low.Read More
When Will It Snow?
Snow falls infrequently in the park's foothills, but at high elevation, snow is more common.Read More
Did You Know?
An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001. Elk once roamed the Smokies, but were eliminated from the region in the mid 1800s by over-hunting and loss of habitat. Other animals successfully reintroduced to the park include river otters and barn owls.