The Great Smoky Mountains
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    Web Smokies.ws

    View from Look Rock
    observation tower

    Welcome to the Smokies Website!

    The Smokies WebSite, www.smokies.ws, provides information about recreational opportunities in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding areas. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited National Park in the United States. This site is a guide to hiking, camping, picnicing, and many other great activites available in the park.

    Outdoor Recreational Activities

    Information about the following activities in the Smokies is available on this site:

    Places to Go in the Smoky Mountains

    The Smokies offers a wide variety of destinations:
    • Clingmans Dome is the highest peak in the Smokies and provides a 360 degree panaramic view of the mountains.
    • Cades Cove is one of the most popular destinations, providing one of the best places to see wildlife.
    • Greenbrier is a great out-of-the-way destination which does not see much traffic. Greenbrier Road runs along the Little Pigeon River with many good spot to pull off and play in the water. A small picnic area and several good hiking trails area also available.
    • Cosby has a large picnic area and campground which are rarely crowded. Several good hiking trails start in Cosby.
    • Look Rock, on the Foothills Parkway west, has a lookout tower, similar to Clingmans Dome, with panaramic views of the mountains.
    • Newfound Gap Road is the most popular drive in Smokies. It crosses the mountains from Gatlinburg, TN to Cherokee, NC, passing several hiking trails, picnic areas, and pulloffs with great views.
    • Little River Road is another great drive. It follows the River from Sugarlands past Tremont and Elkmont, and ending at the Townsend "Y".
    • Roaring Fork Motor trail is one of the best auto tours in the Smokies. The 5 mile road passes through the forest, by mountain streams, and past well-preserved log cabins and other historic buildings. It is also a good place to see wildlife.
    • Cataloochee is a great place to see wildlife (including elk) and to see log cabins and other historic buildings.
    • Deep Creek, near Bryson City, is best known for streams and waterfalls. Several hikes to waterfalls start in the Deep Creek area.
    • Fontana Dam is the largest Dam in the eastern United States. Fontana lake provides boating and fishing.
    • Heintooga/Balsam Mountain is known for its spectacular mountain views and summer wildflowers.
    • Elkmont Large campground, centrally located
    See Map below for locations.

    Recommended Reading

    Trails Illustrated Map is an excellent map of the Smokies, showing roads, hiking trails, camping areas, picnic areas, ranger stations, and more. It is waterproof and tearproof, so it is very durable to take with you camping or hiking, even if it rains.
    100 Hikes in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most informative books available about hiking in the Smokies. It gives detailed information about many of the hiking trails in the park.
    Insiders' Guide to the Great Smoky Mountains provides good information about outdoor activities in the park. It also provides complete information about the surrounding areas including dining, lodging, and area attractions.

    Weather in the Smoky Mountains

    The temperature varies depending on the season and elevation. The park gets quite a bit of rain. The table below shows the current conditions at the 3 main entrances to the park. Temperatures at the higher elevations can be 10-20 degrees cooler. Click on one of the entries below to get a complete forcast.
    Current Conditions
    Click for Gatlinburg, Tennessee Forecast Click for Townsend, Tennessee Forecast Click for Cherokee, North Carolina Forecast

    Spring weather is unpredictable. Snow often falls in the higher elevations in early spring. But highs can reach the 80s in mid to late spring. Rainfall is common in the spring.

    Summer is hot, hazy, and humid. Summer is a good time to visit higher elevations as temperatures are 10-20 degrees cooler. Highs are in the 80s and 90s and lows are in the 60s and 70s. Thunderstorms are common in the afternoons.

    Fall is warm during the day and cool in the evenings. Highs are in the 70s and 80s early fall and 50s and 60s by November.

    Winter is generally moderate, but can be cold at times. The higher elevations can be very cold and get more snow than lower elevations. Most snow falls in January, February, and early March, but may come anytime from late December to early May.

    The following table shows the average high and low temperatures (in degrees Fahrenheit) and average snowfall (in inches) in low elevations (Gatlinburg) compared to high elevations (Clingmans Dome).
    Gatlinburg Clingmans Dome
    Month High Low Snowfall High Low Snowfall
    January 5128 2.1 3519 18
    February 5429 2.3 3518 20
    March 6134 2.9 3924 26
    April 7142 trace 4934 5
    May 7950 0 5743 trace
    June 8658 0 6349 0
    July 8859 0 6553 0
    August 8760 0 6452 0
    September 8355 0 6047 trace
    October 7343 trace 5338 2
    November 6133 0.7 4228 5
    December 5228 1 3721 8

    Map of the Smokies

    Instructions for using the map:
  • Click [+] to zoom in and [-] to zoom out, or drag the slider
  • Click and drag to move the map or click on the directional arrows
  • Click [Map] to view normal map, [Satellite] to view satellite image, or [Hybrid] to show both the map and satellite views.
  • Double click on a spot to re-center the map at that point.
  • Press the browser reload button to reset the map to the original state
  • Lodging

    Lodging in the Smokies ranges from primitive campgrounds inside the national park to hotels and chalets in surrounding communities.
    • If you like to be close to nature, there are many places to camp inside the national park in a tent or an RV. These campsites are primitive by design.
    • If you want to camp, but prefer some ammenities like a swimming pool, hot showers, RV hookups, cable TV, internet access, etc, then look for campgrounds in the surrounding communities.
    • Many hotels are available in the surrounding communities. of Gatlinburg, Cherokee, Pigeon Forge, and Townsend.

    Communities around the Park

    There are a number of communities around the park in Tennessee and North Carolina which provide lodging, entertainment, and additional activities. These include:

    General Information

    The Great Smoky Mountians National Park is the most visited U.S. National Park. There is no admission fee to enter the park. Visitor centers are located at Sugarlands, Oconaluftee, and Cades Cove. More Information is available at:
  • Park Maps
  • Friends of the Smokies
  • Geographic Information

    For More Information

  • US National Parks
  • The Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Smoky Mountain Institute at Tremont
  • Geography Fair