This is the nations most visited park and for many reasons. The Smokies have been named an international biosphere preserve. There are 800 miles of hiking trails and hundreds of trout streams. The incredible thickness and variety of the flora is stunning, and the wildlife is amazing and up close for viewing, sometimes frighteningly so. Smoky Cove Resort is amazingly close to the most popular National Park in the world, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park of Tennessee and North Carolina. The Smokies are designated as an International Biosphere Reserve, and as such enjoy special
protection that has allowed these mountains to remain much as they were 1,000 years ago. It is incredible to realized that only a few hours from major cities like Atlanta and
Charlotte and Washington DC is an area where wildlife and vegetation remain primitive
and truly wild.
The elevation in the park ranges from 1,000 feet to 6,642, with the climate and vegetation
and wildlife in the upper reaches being much like it is in Canada, far to the north.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a hiker's paradise with over 800 miles of maintained trails ranging from short leg-stretchers to strenuous treks that may require backcountry camping. But hiking is not the only reason for visiting the Smokies. Car camping, fishing, picnicking, wildlife viewing and auto touring are popular activities.
Most visitors come to the Smokies hoping to see a bear. Some 1,500 bears live in the park. From the big animals like bears, deer, and elk, down to microscopic organisms, the Smokies have the most biological diversity of any area in the world's temperate zone. The park is a sanctuary for a magnificent array of animal and plant life, all of which is protected for future generations to enjoy.
Below is a list of frequently asked questions and answers follows:
How can I get information to plan my trip to the park?
Download a copy of the Smokies Trip Planner. The trip planner features information about favorite park destinations and popular activities-such as hiking, auto touring, and camping-and includes a park map. It lists phone numbers for information about accommodations in communities surrounding the park, and includes a selection of books and guides you can purchase to help make your visit more enjoyable.
Does the park have cabins for rent?
There are campgrounds in the park, but there are no motels or rental cabins within Great Smoky Mountains National Park with the exception of Le Conte Lodge. The lodge is located on the summit of Mt. Le Conte and is accessible only by hiking. Le Conte Lodge requires reservations, which you can make by calling (865) 429-5704.
Where can I camp in the park?
The park offers 10 developed campgrounds for RVs and tent campers. Campsites for large groups are also available in many campgrounds. Horse riders may camp in the park's 5 horse camps. Advance reservations are required.
Backpackers may stay in campsites and shelters in the park's backcountry. A permit is required for all overnight stays in the backcountry and advance reservations are required for all shelters and many campsites.
What is the weather like?
To listen to the park's current weather forecast, dial (865) 436-1200 extension 630. Check with our office at
Pigeon Forge Cabin Rentals for current info!
When planning a trip in the park, remember that elevations in the park range from 800 feet to 6,643 feet and temperatures can vary 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit from mountain base to top. Prior planning and weather-wise clothing will help ensure an enjoyable visit during any time of the year.
Can I bring my pet to the park?
Pets are allowed in campgrounds, picnic areas, parking areas, and along roads, but must be kept on a leash at all times. The leash must not exceed 6 feet in length. Pets are only allowed on two short walking paths--the Gatlinburg Trail and the Oconaluftee River Trail. Pets are not allowed on any other park trails. ..
Where can I ride my bike in the park?
The park allows bicycling on any park road that is open to vehicle traffic. Biking on trails is prohibited.
Where can I fish in the park?
Fishing is permitted in most streams year-round in the park. Detailed information, including a complete list of regulations and a map of fishable park waters, is available at any visitor center or ranger station.
Where can I rent horses in the park?
Horseback riding by the hour is available from mid-March through late November at four stables in the park.
Where can I picnic in the park?
Picnic areas are located at Big Creek, Chimneys, Cades Cove, Collins Creek, Cosby, Deep Creek, Greenbrier, Heintooga, Look Rock, Metcalf Bottoms, and Twin Creeks. .
When are ranger-led programs offered?
Evening campfire programs, guided hikes, history demonstrations, and other ranger-led programs are scheduled in spring, summer, fall.
Can I hold my wedding or other special event in the park?
Weddings and other special events require a permit and must follow specific guidelines. If you wish to hold your special event on the Tennessee side of the park, please call (865) 436-1266 for permit information. If you would like to hold your event on the North Carolina side of the park, please contact (828) 497-1930.