Great Smoky Mountains
National Park


The Nation’s Most Visited National Park

With 9 million visitors a year, the nation’s most popular National Park is also one of the largest — more than 800 square miles of protected forest almost equally divided between Tennessee and North Carolina. The main North Carolina entrance into the National Park is on US 441 just north of Cherokee.

Mountain Farm Museum

In a field behind the Oconaluftee Visitors Center, the Park Service has recreated a late 19th century mountain farm with authentic log structures moved from their original locations throughout the National Park.

Clingmans Dome

At 6642 feet, the highest peak in the Smokies. From the parking lot, 7 miles west of Newfound Gap, walk the steep half-mile path to the 54-foot observation tower for a 360-degree view of the Park.

Elk Viewing

Elk are occasionally spotted grazing in the fields near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. But usually the best viewing is at Cataloochee, north of Waynesville. Once the largest settlement in the Smokies, this valley rivals Cades Cove with its beauty and its many preserved structures. It was there that Elk were re-introduced into the Park in 2001 and 2002.

Mingus Mill

In downtown Cherokee, the park is a great place for picnicking and playing in the shallow shoals of the Oconaluftee River.

Deep Creek

Just north of Bryson City, the Deep Creek recreational area of the Park offers camping, hiking, trout fishing and whitewater tubing. Deep Creek is probably best known for its three waterfalls — Juneywhank, Toms Branch and Indian Creek Falls. All are just a short walk from the parking area.

On Top of Old Smoky

At the peak of the Smokies, just above Cherokee. you can hike along the Appalachian Trail, and admire the vista from Newfound Gap, Clingmans Dome or Charlie’s Bunion (above), one of the most popular overlooks in the Smokies.

Oconaluftee Visitor Center

Don’t miss the new Visitors Center at the Cherokee entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A new museum focuses on the Smokies rich cultural history, from the Cherokee ‘early people’ to the European Settlers to the creation of the National Park.

You’ll find displays, maps, dozens of helpful publications and a staff of knowledgeable, helpful park rangers.

Hiking Trails

We’ve devoted an entire page to Hiking Trails in the Park.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park
107 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Phone: 865-436-1200

Website   Email

Friends of the Smokies
Main Office (TN)
399 Winnfield Dunn
Kodak, TN 37764 
Phone: 865-932-4794

Website   Email

Friends of the Smokies
North Carolina Office
160 South Main Street
Waynesville NC 28786
Phone: 828-452-0720
Fax: 828-452-0767

Website   Email

Great Smoky Mountains Association
Online Bookstore and Gift Shop

All purchases benefit Great Smoky
Mountains National Park. 
115 Park Headquarters Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Phone: 865-436-0120