NPS Lodging Hotels

Customer Service / Reservations
800-818-0018

Great Smoky Mountains National Park - General Park Information

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most popular and most visited national parks in the United States. It features year-round activities and spans between two state borders, Tennessee and North Carolina. Great Smoky Mountains National Park averages between 9 and 10 million visitors each year.

The park was established in 1934 in the midst of the Great Depression. When funds began to run out, the Rockefeller family contributed $5 million dollars to complete the purchase. The park is 95% forest with more than 1,400 different flowering plants, 4,000 non-flowering and plants and nearly 100 different native trees. Because of the deep forest there is an abundance of animals and birds found in the park.

It is best to get to the entrance of the park by car. The easiest entrance is from the Tennessee Park although there is an entrance in North Carolina. Tennessee also offers other tourist spots, restaurants and attraction near their entrance. North Carolina offers several entrances through Maggie Valley, Bryson city and other well-known cities.

Activities at the park can be enjoyed year round. The temperature may vary by which area of the park you are visiting. There could be mild, warm temperatures in the valleys but discover it is snowing in the higher elevations in the mountains.

Tourists enjoy many different activities in Great Smoky Mountains State Park. Camping is available most of the year. You can choose a campsite that has facilities or you can go the rugged way and pitch a tent in a designated area in the wilderness. The park is great for hiking, bird watching, fishing and camping. You also can tour the park with your bicycle or car. The views are spectacular and you can choose many different tours to explore. You may choose a tour of cascading waterfalls, historic areas or breathtaking overlooks.

There are over 800 miles of hiking trails available in the park. They range from leisurely strolls to watch the birds or enjoy the flowers to rugged back packing trips through the most isolated parts of the park.

Whether you enjoy fishing, camping, hiking or looking at the lovely scenery, you will find it all in Great Smoky Mountains State Park.