• 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 »

Support Your Park

A volunteer reminisces with a park visitor.

Don McGowan photo

Do you care about the park and wish to help preserve the wonderfully rich natural and cultural resources the park was created to protect? Consider becoming a VIP-a participant in the Volunteers In Parks program, that is. The park could not function without the efforts of its dedicated volunteers. As a VIP you can help the park provide educational programs for visitors, assist rangers to protect the park's priceless natural and cultural resources-there are many rewarding opportunities awaiting you. Share your talents today!

If you would like to make a donation to the park, please visit the Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park or do a bit of shopping at Great Smoky Mountains Association store. These nonprofit organizations assist the park by raising funds, increasing public awareness of park issues, and by supporting the educational, scientific, and historical efforts of the park.


Artist in Residence Program
Learn more about our Artist in Residence program.

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...