Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited park in the National Park system. The park draws over 9 million adventurers and sightseers to the area each year.

The Park consists of more than 1/2 million acres overflowing with beautiful waterfalls, cool mountain streams, floral & fauna and an abundance of wildlife.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the southern Appalachians, and straddles the Tennessee-North Carolina border for 70 miles.

In autumn the Park's hundreds of thousands of acres of unspoiled forests begin their transformation for an incredible annual display of natural beauty: the brilliant changing of leaves from luxuriant greens to the brilliant reds, oranges, golds and purples of autumn. The display of fall colors usually peaks around the third week in October.

Take a look at our Gatlinburg cabins page for lodging near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Walking and hiking along the Park's over 800 miles of trails are the most popular ways for many people to see Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors can appreciate many aspects of the park on foot that would be missed from an automobile. Wildflowers, cascading streams, the scent of the forests, and the sounds of birds are best seen and experienced away from roads.

Visitor Centers - Operating Hours & Seasons

The park is open year-round. Visitor centers at Sugarlands, Oconaluftee, and Cades Cove are open all year, except for Christmas Day.

The Sugarlands Visitor Center is two miles south of Gatlinburg, Tennessee on US 441. The Sugarlands Visitor Center's displays focus on the Park's plants and animals.

April - May 8:00-6:00
June - August 8:00-7:00
September - October 8:00-6:00

The Oconaluftee Visitor Center is one mile north of Cherokee, North Carolina near the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Oconaluftee Visitor Center's displays focus on the economic and environmental impact logging, farming, and other 19th century activities had on the area.

April 8:00-5:00
May 9:00-6:00
June - August 8:00-7:00

The Cades Cove Visitor Center is located inside the park near the mid-point of the eleven-mile, one-way Cades Cove Loop Road. The Cades Cove Visitor Center's displays focus on the cultural history of the area.

April - August 9:00-7:00
September - October 9:00-6:00
November 9:00-5:00

For more park information including updates, alerts and temporary closures, visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park.