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

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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    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 »

October 22, 2012 Photos

Many areas in the park reached peak this past weekend and the mountains were a riot of fall colors. Enjoy these photos taken in the park over the past few days.

Morning fog covers the valley in Cades Cove while blue mountains rise in the background
An early morning fog covers the valley in Cades Cove.
Photo courtesy of Rob Wilson, Artist In Residence
Autumn colors on the ridges around Cataloochee
Fall colors from an overlook leading into Cataloochee Valley.
Photo courtesy of Rob Wilson, Artist In Residence
A hiking trail covered in red and gold fallen leaves
Trails in the park are covered with brightly colored leaves this week.
Photo courtesy of Rob Wilson, Artist In Residence
Colorful trees line the Little River at Metcalf Bottoms
Many trees along the Little River have reached peak in the past few days.
Kent Cave Photo
A long line of cars on the Cades Cove Loop Road
The fall colors brought crowds of visitors to the park this past weekend. Traffic was especially heavy in Cades Cove, where it took anywhere from 3-5 hours to drive the 11-mile-long loop road!
Warren Bielenberg Photo
Distant mountains are framed by spruce trees in theis view from a high elevation trail
The view from the upper portion of the Sugarland Mountain Trail, looking west across the Rough Creek watershed.
Ron Shrieves Photo
Fall leaves cover the rocks of a small cascade in Laurel Creek
Golden leaves litter the rocks of a small cascade in Laurel Creek.
Warren Bielenberg Photo
Woolly bear caterpillars
A sign of the season--woolly bear caterpillars are often found along park roads and trails in fall as they search for a site, such as under rocks or logs, to spend the winter.
Warren Bielenberg Photo

Did You Know?

Eastern Pipistrelle bat

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