11 Top places to explore in the great smoky mountains 

Protected by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the area has many diverse regions to explore.

The national park has four visitor centers. Stop by one first to obtain information about current conditions and ideas for your adventures when going to the park.

Visitor Centers

– Sugarlands Visitor Center: Gatlinburg,     Tennessee – Cades Cove Visitor Center: Townsend,    Tennessee – Oconaluftee Visitor Center: Cherokee,    North Carolina – Clingmans Dome Visitor Contact   Station:Cherokee, North Carolina

The most popular spots in the Great Smoky Mountains. It is a vast, lush valley surrounded by mountains. Visitors regularly see white-tailed deer.

Cades Cove


In the early mornings and late evenings, visitors regularly spot elk. You can find hiking trails and a primitive campground in the valley.



Known for hiking and mountain biking. Several loop trails lead to beautiful waterfalls.

Deep Creek


The highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains has an observation tower with a rewarding view in all directions.

Clingmans Dome


The tallest concrete dam east of the Rocky Mountains at 480 feet.

Fontana Dam


Newfound Gap Road connects Cherokee, North Carolina, and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, leading you through various forest ecosystems.

Newfound Gap


Roaring Fork is great if you enjoy trails that lead to waterfalls. – Rainbow Falls – Grotto Falls – Place of a Thousand Drips

Roaring Fork


Popular day hikes include Hen Wallow Falls and Sutton Ridge Overlook.



Famous for its spring wildflowers, Greenbrier offers fishing, casual hikes, and picnicking.



Named for an evergreen shrub that grows nearby, this is a popular destinations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Black bears are commonly active here.

Laurel Falls


This is a steep climb with an elevation gain of 1,400 feet and a gorgeous but strenuous wooded trail. Experienced hikers love the Chimney Tops Trail for its spectacular views.

Chimney Tops


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For more information on other things to explore and where to stay in the Great Smoky Mountains,

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