• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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  • Trail Advisory

    Several trails in the park are temporarily closed. Please check the "Backcountry Facilities" section of the Temporary Road and Facilities Closures page for further details. More »

Air Quality: June-July, 2009

Issue 4 > Resource Roundup > Air Quality


A soggy summer

A rainy spring led into a rainy, and somewhat cooler-than-average summer. As of the end of July, precipitation at Mt. LeConte was 2.18 inches above average, or 4% above normal. Precipitation at the Elkmont station was 2.29 inches above average, or 6% above normal.

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Did You Know?

Flame azalea can be found growing on heath balds in the park.

The park’s high elevation heath balds are treeless expanses where dense thickets of shrubs such as mountain laurel, rhododendron, and sand myrtle grow. Known as “laurel slicks” and “hells” by early settlers, heath balds were most likely created by forest fires long ago. More...