Winter Road Status
During winter, roads in the park may close due to snow and ice, especially at night when water from melting refreezes on roads. For road status information please call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow road updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »
Smokies Announces Extensive Vista Clearing Project
Contact: Public Affairs Office, (865) 436-1297
Whenever the National Park Service has surveyed visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park about their planned activities while in the Park, the number one response has always been "viewing scenery - scenic views." Over the years the number and quality of those scenic viewpoints along Park roads has gradually declined. When Park roads were constructed, the forests had been extensively logged and often burned in pre-Park days, leaving unobstructed views in every direction, but 75 years of forest recovery has resulted in many of the scenic overlooks becoming obscured by maturing trees.
Over the next few months a Park contractor will be rolling back this "natural clock" by reopening 34 of the most popular roadside vistas along the Park's main roads. Park officials say that this will be the first major vista-clearing initiative in decades.
Motorists can expect to see vista management under way from April 1 through August 1 along Newfound Gap Road, Clingmans Dome Road, the East and West Foothills Parkway, the Gatlinburg Bypass, Rich Mountain Road, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, Lakeview Drive and Cataloochee Road. No roads are expected to be closed to complete the work, but the overlooks being cleared will be closed as needed to accomplish the work safely.
Did You Know?
There are at least 30 different species of salamanders in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This gives the Smokies the distinction of having the most diverse salamander population anywhere in the world and has earned the park the nickname “Salamander Capital of the World.” More...