Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park is made up of countless forested mountain ridges that form the border between Tennessee and North Carolina. Encompassing over 800 square miles in the southern Appalachian Mountains, this one of America's most visited national parks, and for good reason! The park is famous for its stunning variety of flora and fauna, the magnificence of its ancient topography, and the remnants of its Southern Appalachian culture. Visitors are sure to be impressed by the wonderful diversity that the park has to offer.

To learn more about Great Smoky Mountains National Park, visit

Local Info

Please Note: There are no singletrack trails within Great Smoky Mountains National Park that are open to mountain bikes. This page serves as a general overview of the area. If you're visiting the park and looking for places to ride, check out the following areas:

Visiting Tips

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, some secondary roads, campgrounds, and other visitor facilities close in winter. For more information on seasonal closures and to check current conditions, visit the park's website.

Due to the varied elevation and topography in the park, local weather can be unpredictable. The temperatures are greatly varied between mountain tops and valley floors, and the weather can also be drastically different. The park's lowlands average about 55 inches of rain per year while Clingmans Dome receives up to 85 inches per year. Visitors are advised to plan ahead and be conscious of the weather when planning a trip to the park.

Fees & Passes:
There is no entrance fee for Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Camping & Lodging

The park maintains ten developed campgrounds. Campsites at Cades Cove, Cataloochee, Cosby, Elkmont, and Smokemont may be reserved online or by phone at (877) 444-6777. Advance reservations are required at Cataloochee Campground. All remaining park campgrounds are filled on a first come, first served basis. For more information about camping reservations, campground amenities, and seasons of operation, visit the park's website.

  • Abrams Creek: 16 sites. $14 per night. Open late May to mid-October. Sites filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Balsam Mountain: 46 sites. $14 per night. Open late May to mid-October. Sites filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Big Creek: 12 sites. $14 per night. Open early April to late October. Sites filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Cades Cove: 159 sites. $17 - $20 per night. Open year round. Reservations can be made online.
  • Cataloochee: 27 sites. $20 per night. Open late May to late October. Reservations required and can be made online.
  • Cosby: 157 sites. $14 per night. Open early April to late October. Reservations can be made online.
  • Deep Creek: 92 sites. $17 per night. Open early April to late October. Sites filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Elkmont: 220 sites. $17 - $23 per night. Open mid-March to late November. Reservations can be made online.
  • Look Rock: 68 sites. $14 per night. Sites filled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Smokemont: 142 sites. $17 - $20 per night. Open year round. Reservations can be made online.

Backcountry Camping:
Advance reservations and permits are required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. To make reservations, please visit the park's website.

The LeConte Lodge is the only lodging located within the park. It is located on the top of Mount Le Conte and is only accessible on foot. Reservations must be made in advance and can be made online or by calling (865) 429-5704.

Food & Drink

There are limited options for food and beverages located within the park. Cades Cove Campground Store sells limited groceries and camping supplies and has a snack bar that serves breakfast, sandwiches, wraps, soup, chili, pizza, and soft serve ice cream. The Elkmont Campground Concession offers some snack items, beverages, and a limited selection of camping supplies. Smokemont Riding Stables sells snacks, beverages, firewood, and ice. Vending machines can be found at most of the visitor centers. Visitors looking for more dining options can visit the nearby towns located just outside the park.

After the Ride: Local Favorites

The Park Grill Salad bar is amazing! So is the Pecan Chicken and sweet potato casserole. Best food I've had so far in Gatlinburg.
1110 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 436-2300
Old Dad's Gatlinburg General Store Best place in G-Burg to get picnic supplies. Free parking! Hidden gem near the entrance to the Great Smokies.
1227 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 430-1644
Calhoun's Best fried chicken I've ever had, ribs are fantastic, and the mac and cheese is delish!
1004 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 868-1500
Texas Roadhouse Ask for Matthew... He is the best waiter in this place...!!
1019 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 430-4284
Cherokee Grill You must try the mac and cheese! it is the best ever!
1002 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 436-4288
Bearland Grill & General Store The French toast is made to order & that's good. Got cussed out for not giving partner two ruffs.
Mellow Mushroom Check out the custom artwork all over the store!
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Mama makes the best bread pudding! At least that's what mama always said...
900 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 430-3034
Hogg's Upstairs Taverne
Hofbrauhaus Restaurant and The Cheese Cupboard Check out their expansive German beer selection.
Donut Friar Any true fan of Gatlinburg gets their donuts here. Especially good when sitting on your motel/hotel balcony, listening to the waters of the creek.
Tom & Earl's Back Alley Grill I love this bar! Not usually crowded, great drinks, nice patio and food is good too.
Pancake Pantry French Toast is amazing. Seriously.
628 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 436-4724
New Orleans Sandwich Company Fat Tuesday Ferdie Sandwich dressed = YUM!
Geno's Pizza & Subs Food was very good. The employees were really nice. My wife and I went in late, looking for a good pizza place around town. Our kids are extremely picky eaters and they loved the pizza.
385 E Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 430-9300
Hungry Bear BBQ Delicious! Loved it
490 E Parkway, Gatlinburg TN — (865) 325-1084
Mountain Perks Black Widow coffee has the perks!
9 Depot St, Bryson City NC — (828) 488-9561
Anthony's Italian Resturant Only bad thing is the stupid tourists. They come in expecting other customers to wait on them like they employee's.
103 Depot St, Bryson City NC — (828) 488-8898
The Iron Skillet Chicken wrap... Can ask for buffalo... Awesome. Friendly staff. Bright atmosphere. A+

Other Activities

Visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park have a multitude of options when it comes to ways to explore the park. Whether hiking, biking, camping, fishing, horseback riding, picnicking or simply enjoying the scenery from the road, Great Smoky has plenty of opportunities for visitors to enjoy all that the park has to offer. For visitors looking for other adventures in the area, check out the nearby options for mountain biking and rock climbing in the area.

Areas Within Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 2

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Cherokee, NC
1.6 mi 2.5 km Cherokee, NC
1.4 mi 2.2 km
#2 Gatlinburg Trail
Gatlinburg, TN
1.4 mi 2.2 km Gatlinburg, TN

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