• 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 »

Directions

Driving Directions
Airports
Public Transportation

Download maps of the park and surrounding region
General park map, trail map, and region map are available in PDF format for downloading.

 

The following routes provide access to the park's three main entrances

Gatlinburg, TN entrance
From interstate highway I-40 take Exit 407 (Sevierville) to TN-66 South. At the Sevierville intersection, continue straight onto US-441 South. Follow US-441 through Sevierville and Pigeon Forge into park.


Townsend, TN entrance

From the north: From interstate highway I-40 in Knoxville take Exit 386B to US-129 South to Alcoa/Maryville. At Maryville proceed on US-321 North/TN -73 East through Townsend. Continue straight on TN-73 into the park.

From the south: From interstate highway I-75 take Exit 376 to I-140 E towards Oak Ridge/Maryville. Merge onto I-140 E via Exit 376B towards Maryville. Turn onto US-129 South (Alcoa Highway) at Exit 11A and travel towards Alcoa. Turn onto TN-35 and follow it to US-321 North. Follow US-321 North/TN -73 East through Townsend. Continue straight on TN-73 into the park.


Cherokee, NC entrance

From the north: From interstate highway I-40, take Exit 27 to US-74 West towards Waynesville. Turn onto US-19 and proceed through Maggie Valley to Cherokee. Turn onto US-441 North at Cherokee and follow the road into the park.

From the south: Follow US-441/US-23 North. At Dillsboro merge on US-74 West/US-441 North. At Exit 74 merge onto US-441. Follow US-441 through Cherokee and into the park.


Don't Trust Your Vehicle Navigation System/GPS
Vehicle Navigation Systems and GPS units may provide inaccurate information in the mountains—sending drivers the wrong way on one-way roads or leading them to dead ends in remote areas. Free park road maps are available in park visitor centers.



 

Regional Airports

The nearest major airport in Tennessee is the McGhee-Tyson Airport (TYS) located just south of Knoxville in Alcoa. This airport is approximately 45 miles west of the Gatlinburg entrance to the park.

In North Carolina, the Asheville Regional Airport is located approximately 60 miles east of the Cherokee entrance to the park.
 

Public Transportation
There is no public transportation to the national park from major cities in the area. However commercial businesses operating in the smaller communities surrounding the national park offer transportation from cities such as Knoxville, TN and Asheville, NC to the park. Information is available from local Chambers of Commerce.

The City of Gatlinburg offers trolley service from Gatlinburg, TN to Sugarlands Visitor Center and Elkmont during summer and fall.

Cherokee Transit offers bus service from Cherokee, NC to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN during summer and fall.

 

Did You Know?

Marbled salamanders are one of 30 salamander species native to the park.

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...