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

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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    During spring, park roads may close due to ice, especially at high elevation where wet roads can freeze as temperatures drop at night. For road status information call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »

Smokies Announces DUI Enforcement “Wave”

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Date: April 13, 2011
Contact: Bob Miller, (865) 436-1207

Rangers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have announced plans to begin a series of DUI vehicle checkpoints and traffic patrols this weekend in an effort to provide a safer visit for the approximately 20 million people who drive through the Park or travel the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge Spur and Foothills Parkway each year. The Smokies has received $25,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to fund several waves of DUI reduction activities in 2010-2011.

According to Chief Ranger Clay Jordan, "Managers of national parks have two essential missions. One is to preserve and protect the Park's natural and cultural resources in perpetuity. The other is to provide for the safe enjoyment of those resources by the Park's visitors. While many people tend to think that the chief risks associated with visiting a national park would be posed by wildlife or natural hazards like waterfalls or cliffs, the fact is that motor vehicle crashes account for over 2/3 of the fatalities at the Smokies. Sadly, alcohol is a contributing factor in too many of these wrecks."

"Over the next few weeks we plan to ramp up our efforts to reduce these crashes through a combination of stepped-up DUI enforcement and education."

DUI checkpoints are scheduled on the Gatlinburg Pigeon Forge Spur this weekend and near Park's Cherokee Entrance the weekend of April 29. The Park has also scheduled Saturation Patrols in various locations over the next couple of weeks.

Did You Know?

The park is named for the misty clouds that hang over the mountains.

The wispy, smoke-like fog that hangs over the Smoky Mountains comes from rain and evaporation from trees. On the high peaks of the Smokies, an average of 85 inches of rain falls each year, qualifying these upper elevation areas as temperate rain forests. More...