Where are Smoky Mountains Located?!

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The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year. It is located in the south-east part of Tennessee and in North Carolina. In fact, you cross the border from Tennesee to North Carolina as you go up to Clingsman Dome if you are coming from Tennesse.  This area of Tennesse and North Carolina is a gorgeous wilderness. Forest after forest cascading hill after hill of breathtaking sights like Clingsman Dome, Mt. LeConte, Chimney Tops, and Newfound Gap. Without a doubt, you’ll love visiting the Great Smoky Mountains.

Over the next several minutes We’ll discuss where are Smoky Mountains located and why you need to visit. You’ll love the place. It is a refuge for over 11 million people who visit the park every year. Heck, I have visited the park so many times I don’t remember how many its been. We’ll discuss the best things to do, best sights to see, the best place to stay and other things.

The Smoky Mountains can be accessed from different areas depending on where you are coming from.  If you are coming from the north, you’ll go through Gatlinburg to the visitor center called Sugarland Visitor Center. The address is in Gatlinburg. If you are coming from the south, you’ll go through Cherokee, North Carolina to the visitor center called Oconaluftee Visitor Center. The address is in Cherokee, NC.  Stopping by the visitor centers at the Great Smoky Mountains can help give you so more insight on where to go. I use the visitor center as the main hub where all my adventures begin. There are several park rangers inside happy to help answer any of your questions.

Hiking at the Smokies

First, one of the best activities to do at the park is to hike the many different trails. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is known for the incredible sights and amazing trails. As you walk the trails you’ll see pristine creeks and streams. Hiking is a very popular activity at the Smokies with roughly 150 miles of trails including parts of the Appalachian Trail which is a staggering 2190 miles in total. It’s incredible to think people hike those distances. People do it today and it takes between 5 and 7 months to complete. However, only about 20% who begin actually complete it.

alum cave trail

The best hiking trails at the Smokies are any of the five that take you to Mt. LeConte. In my opinion, hiking up to see Mt. LeConte Lodge and the view up there is the best thing to do at the park. The five trails you can take to get to Mt. LeConte are the Alum Cave Trail (5 miles), the Boulevard Trail (5.4 miles), the Bullhead Trail (5.9 miles), the Rainbow Falls Trail (6 miles), and the Trillium Gap Trail (6.5 miles). All of these trails have unique features. For instants, the Rainbow Falls Trail obviously has Rainbow Falls. The Alum Cave Trail has a cave-like stairwell call Alum Rock. Check out the blog on the Alum Cave Trail. It goes into more detail about the trail and has an awesome video on it. Keep in mind when you hike these trails you will have to make it back. A minimum 5 miles there and 5 miles back is no easy hike. Make sure you plan accordingly. Definitely, bring enough water and a snack just in case you get hungry.  There are no vending machines or anything like that on top of Mt. LeConte.

alum Cave trail

There are many wonderful sights to see in the Great Smoky Mountains as you hike. To get an idea of the types of trails are at the Smokies check out the video below. As you go up the Alum Cave Trail you’ll some stunning views. I feel for the people who built these routes. Alum Cave Trail is basically a straight uphill hike. It is the shortest of the 5 trails going to Mt. LeConte and I believe it is the most extreme. It isn’t super hard but it does require some bravery at some points.

Once, you have reached Mt. LeConte, there are several places you can visit. There are awesome places like Cliff Tops and Mrytle Viewing Point. Cliff Tops is probably is the best view of the park.  Some would argue Chimney Tops or Clingsman Dome but I think after you put in the several hours of hiking to Mt. LeConte you’ll appreciate it more. Check out the video below of Cliff Tops. It is a little scary if you aren’t used to being up high like that.  Just remember the mountain isn’t going to move on you.  Mt. LeConte is 6,594 feet and it feels like it too. You’ll feel a tremendous joy once you reach the summit.

The best place to stay at the Great Smoky Mountains is Mt. LeConte Lodge. It is deep in mountains. It is the only hotel/cottages in the park. You’ll have to hike to get there.  You’ll bring your gear with you. Once I discovered the LeConte Lodge for myself I tell everybody how awesome it is.  Most people who visit the Smokies stay in Gatlinburg which is about 5 minutes away from the park. Gatlinburg is a great place to stay if you aren’t camping out at the park or staying at Mt. LeConte Lodge.  There are hundreds of hotels and motels in the area of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Finding a place to stay at the Great Smoky Mountains should be easy to do. If you want more information about the hotels around the area, check out this blog, Hotels near the Smoky Mountains.

The Smokies has so much to do including, fishing, camping, horseback riding, kayaking or canoeing, scenic driving, wildlife watching and more. It’s difficult to explain all the fun things to do at the park in just one blog. I’ll be posting more about the park later.

With springtime coming up it makes it the perfect time to start planning your trip. Even if you just go for the weekend you can get the full enjoyment of the Smokies if you do things right. It can be a really cheap vacation if you choose to camp out. Regardless of where you choose to stay, you’ll love visiting the Smokies!

Well, I hope this blog helped you understand how awesome the Great Smoky Mountains really is. Now you know where Smoky Mountains located and several of the best things at the park.

Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from ya! 🙂

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