• 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 »

Browse by Science Topic

Dispatches from the Field > Dispatch index by science topic

Bear tracks.

Science in the Smokies includes understanding bear behavior, monitoring stream and amphibian health, searching for new forms of life, monitoring air quality, and much, much more!

NPS photo.

Air quality

Culture & Archeology




Invasive Exotic Species


Water quality


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Did You Know?

Fontana Lake is formed by Fontana Dam.

At 480 feet, Fontana Dam, located on the southwestern boundary of the park, is the tallest concrete dam east of the Rocky Mountains. The dam impounds the Little Tennessee River forming Fontana Lake and produces hydroelectric power. More...