• 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 »

Fontana Dam

Construction of Fontana Dam

Highlights: tallest dam in the eastern United States, visitor center, Appalachian Trail, fishing

At 480 ft., Fontana Dam is the tallest concrete dam east of the Rocky Mountains. The dam impounds the Little Tennessee River forming Fontana Lake and produces hydroelectric power. Reservoir size is approximately 11,700 acres. There is a shoreline of about 240 miles. You will enjoy beautiful scenery in the area. Fontana Dam is located near Fontana Village, North Carolina.

A visitor center operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is open from early May until late October. Fontana Lake offers boating and fishing and access to remote, historic areas of the park like Hazel Creek and Eagle Creek.

Directions: Follow U.S. 74 west from Bryson City. Turn right at the State Highway 28 turnoff. Follow State Highway 28 until the turnoff to the right for Fontana Dam. From Maryville, follow U.S. 129 south. Turn left at State Highway 28. Go approximately 10 miles to turnoff on left for Fontana Dam.

 
Visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park's official online store for books, maps, and guides to the park. Operated by the nonprofit Great Smoky Mountains Association, proceeds generated by purchases at the store are donated to educational, scientific, and historical projects in the park.

Did You Know?

Visitors can often spot bears in trees at the edges of forests.

Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the park. This equals a population density of approximately two bears per square mile. Bears can be found throughout the park, but are easiest to spot in open areas such as Cades Cove and Cataloochee Valley. More...