One Day in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

One Day in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

One Day in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Image courtesy of Pixabay

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains and is situated along the Tennessee–North Carolina border in the southeastern United States. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park attracts over 11 million visitors each year and is the most visited national park in the United States. The mountains get their name from the constant cloud of fog that hangs over them, which is why they are commonly referred to as the ‘Smokies’. While spending more than one day in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is ideal, it’s absolutely possible to spend only one day in this amazing park.


Start your trip to the Smoky Mountains by visiting the Sugarlands Visitor Center. The center is home to a variety of exhibits and resources and is worth a visit while you’re close by. You can also use the center as a starting off point for several short hikes including Gatlinburg Trail, Cataract Falls, and Fighting Creek Nature Trail.


One of the main reasons people visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park is because of the hiking. There are 142 different moderate trails in the Great Smoky Mountains. These trails start at as little as 0.8 miles and go up to 32.7 miles. The trails also range from 1,055 feet to 6,646 feet above sea level. That means there is hiking for everyone’s needs.

When planning a hike, make sure you fully prepare by checking out your walking route before setting off. Be sure and take maps, a GPS, and dress appropriately for the walk.

Roaring Forks Motor Nature Trail

Located right outside Gatlinburg, Tennessee, explore the Smoky Mountains by car and drive along the Roaring Forks Motor Nature Trail. You’ll see old-growth forests and a range of historic buildings.

You’ll need to drive slowly as roads are quite narrow and it’s not an ideal route for every type of vehicle.

Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte

If you are feeling adventurous you may want to take a trip on this difficult trail. The elevation of the trail is 2,763 feet and will take you up to the top of a 6,593-foot summit, where you’ll see some of the best views in the entire park. The highlights of this route include the view of The Eye of the Needle and the namesake of the trail, Alum Cave.

Clingmans Dome

One of the most visited attractions in the national park is Clingmans Dome. Reaching the peak height of 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the tallest mountain east of Mississippi. The mountain offers stunning panoramic views which are absolutely breathtaking.

Synchronous Fireflies

This unique species of firefly can synchronize to create amazing flashing patterns of light. These patterns of light are part of the fireflies’ mating ritual. If you want to see this, the best time to visit is between late May and mid-June.

Click here for more information about what you can do when staying in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you’ve been to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, what are some of your favorite places to visit or things to do? Leave a comment below!

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One Day in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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One Day in Smoky Mountains National Park



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