• 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 »

Eating & Sleeping

An RV and tents set up in a campground
Kowalik Photo
 

Lodging

There are no motels or rental cabins located within the national park other than Le Conte Lodge. The lodge is located on the crest of Mount Le Conte and can only be reached by hiking. Advance reservations are required. Several popular hiking routes lead to the top of Mount Le Conte, including Alum Cave Trail (a 5-mile hike up the mountain), the Boulevard Trail from the Appalachian Trail (8.3 miles), Rainbow Falls Trail (6.5 miles), and Bullhead Trail (6.8 miles).

Communities surrounding the national park offer a wide choice of accommodations including hotels, cabins, bed and breakfasts, and campgrounds.

 

Camping

The park offers several different types of campsites:

  • Backcountry - backpacking sites that require hiking several miles to reach a campsite.
  • Frontcountry - RV and tent camping in a developed campground that has restrooms.
  • Group Campgrounds - large frontcountry campsites suitable for groups of eight people or more.
  • Horse Camps - Small campgrounds, accessible by vehicle, that offer hitch racks for horses and primitive camping facilities.
 

Eating

Limited food and beverage services, groceries, and convenience items are available in the park.

Did You Know?

An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001.

An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the park was begun in 2001. Elk once roamed the Smokies, but were eliminated from the region in the mid 1800s by over-hunting and loss of habitat. Other animals successfully reintroduced to the park include river otters and barn owls. More...