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

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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  • Spring Road Status

    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 »

October 10, 2012 Photos

A Great Blue Heron standing in a stream with fall color on the trees in the background.

A Great Blue Heron stands completely still while hunting in Laurel Creek.

Warren Bielenberg Photo

Fall color continues to develop in the park. Although some high elevation areas are now past peak, other areas along the crest of the mountains are quite beautiful. Leaves at middle elevations are beginning to turn and there are a few pockets of color at lower elevations, though most leaves in the foolthills are still green. Scroll down the page for photos of the park this week.

 
The brightr crimson foliage of sourwood trees frames a view of Defeat Ridge.
The past few days have been foggy and rainy, but the bright red leaves of sourwood trees stand out even in dull, misty conditions.
Mike Harrington Photo
 
The late afternoon sun is low on the horizon in a blue sky accenting colorful fall trees in the foreground and ridge after ridge of mountains stretching off into the distance.
The view from Clingmans Dome Parking lot just before rainy weather moved into the area this past weekend.
Bob Turney Photo
 
Elk graze in the field near Oconaluftee Visitor Center
Patches of color are showing near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. Elk can sometimes be seen in the fields adjacent to the visitor center.
Photo courtesy of Rob Wilson, Artist-In-Residence
 
Bright red trees line a trail in the park
Trails at mid elevations are beginning to become colorful now.
Priscilla Watts Photo

Did You Know?

Eastern Pipistrelle bat

A nursing female bat can eat her weight in mosquito-sized insects each night. More...