Smoky Mountains National Park Best Hikes: Top 4 Things to See

Smoky Mountains National Park Best Hikes: Top 4 Things to See

When it comes to hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains, the experience is much more than a casual stroll through the woods. No, here is where you and your family or group will discover an abundance of new and exciting sights and adventures that you never knew existed before. How do you narrow down these experiences to find out just what you can expect to find when you spend the day exploring the Smoky Mountains National Park best hikes? The answer is easy. All you have to do is read through our favorite hiking discoveries below! 1. Scenic Views It almost goes without saying, but it is hard to talk about all the amazing things you see when experiencing the Smoky Mountains National Park best hikes without mentioned the scenic views these trails offer. Whether you are on top of a mountain or relaxing in a bald, we can guarantee that you will not be disappointed in the natural beauty found along these trails. Our favorite hiking trails that feature scenic views include: Andrews Bald: A pretty easy 1.7 mile hike, Andrews Bald starts at the Clingmans Dome parking lot. The trail itself is very steep with a total gain in elevation at 900 feet. However, your hard work will pay off when you reach the end of the trail and get to experience the acres upon acres of grassy meadows and spectacular views found at the bald. We recommend you bring a blanket because this is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic. The Jump-Off: The Jump-Off refers to the 1,000-foot cliff that the trail runs along. This hiking...
Top 3 Smoky Mountains National Park Biking Trails with the Best Views

Top 3 Smoky Mountains National Park Biking Trails with the Best Views

Rather than enjoying the wonderful scenery of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by hiking or auto touring, you can rent a bicycle and take a ride on the Smoky Mountains National Park biking trails with some of the best views. Biking is a different way to explore some of the great wildlife and nature the park has to offer. There are a few trails available for biking, and you will want to have a look for yourself while visiting these 3: Cades Cove Loop Cades Cove Loop is the most popular biking area this side of the Smoky Mountains. If you aren’t familiar with the area, you may not know there are not trails designated for biking within the park because of steep terrain, vehicle traffic and other hazards. However, Cades Cove Loop is the one exception. During the months the area has its most visitors, May through September, the park closes the loop to automobile traffic on Wednesdays and Saturday mornings, so bikers and those traveling on foot can enjoy Cades Cove up close. The loop is an 11 mile one-way road that has plenty of history, wildlife and nature to show. When biking the Cades Cove Loop, you will get to see some of the area’s first major settlements, and you will also have the chance to see some native animals, such as the white-tailed deer, up close. Even though it is one of the most popular sights to see in the area, keep in mind the 11 mile loop is somewhat strenuous, and could take 2-4 hours to complete on a bicycle. Gatlinburg Trail If...
Top 5 Smoky Mountains National Park Backpacking Trails

Top 5 Smoky Mountains National Park Backpacking Trails

Backpacking is a unique hiking experience you can have in the Smoky Mountains National Park. Not only does this outdoor adventure introduce you to a whole new side of the national park, it also encourages you to push beyond your current boundaries and comfort levels. To get started on your next outdoor journey, read below to discover our favorite Smoky Mountains National Park backpacking trails! 1. Mount LeConte (12.6 miles) Mount LeConte is one of the most popular Smoky Mountains National Park backpacking trails. It is also one of the most scenic. Along this hike, you will experience many obstacles and challenges that make this hike worthwhile. From the rocky terrain to steep ridgetop turns, this almost 13-mile hike is perfect for any adventure seeker. Trust us when we say that the hike is well worth it when you reach the summit! One of the fun and unique features found at the top of Mount LeConte is that there is a mini hotel of sorts, as well as a place where you can pick up a picnic-style lunch to celebrate your accomplishment. Before you head back down the mountain, don’t forget to check out the llamas that transport goods to and from the base of this hiking trail. Reservations are required to stay at the Mount LeConte Lodge. 2. Spence Field Loop (12.5 miles) The Spence Field Loop is perfect for backpack hikers looking to enjoy a full day of exploring the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains National Park. At just over 12 miles, you can easily hike this trail in a long one-day trek, or you can stretch...
Top 3 Views From a Mt LeConte Webcam

Top 3 Views From a Mt LeConte Webcam

Viewing Mt LeConte by webcam is no comparison to the real sight of the Smokies, but it does help fill the void that the Smoky Mountains leave behind. Whether you’re wanting to check weather conditions or you just need a glimpse of the Great Smoky Mountains to start your day off right, take a look at a Mt LeConte webcam and see the unbelievable views of the Smokies. Here’s what you’ll find: Best Mt LeConte Webcam There are several organizations and individuals who have Mt LeConte cameras set up, and some are even on 24/7. We like the National Park Service’s Mt LeConte webcam the best! This webcam provides a great look at Mt LeConte, along with current information about the visual range of the view you’re seeing, as well as air quality. There are even tabs to help you identify landmarks and a map illustrating the range of the webcam. On a good visibility day, you can see 124 miles into the distance, giving you a stunning view of Mt LeConte on the horizon. On foggy days, the visibility is reduced to around 26 miles, but the view is still stunning! We’ve listed a couple sights you should definitely take note of below: 1. Stunning Sunsets and Sunrises Waking up with the sun is one thing, but being up and on the trail early enough to make it to a mountain summit high enough to observe Mt LeConte might be a little more difficult. Luckily, a Mt LeConte webcam enables you to take in breathtaking sunsets and sunrises with Mt LeConte in the distance without having to worry about achieving perfect timing. 2. Mt...
Is Mt LeConte Weather Seasonal?

Is Mt LeConte Weather Seasonal?

One of the most important things to consider when visiting and hiking Mt LeConte is the weather. Although the mountain is in a region that enjoys a mild climate with four distinct seasons, Mt LeConte weather conditions vary considerably depending on elevation and do not necessarily reflect the conditions of the city below due to the great difference in elevation. At 6,593 feet, Mt LeConte is the third highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. When measured from its immediate base to its highest point, however, Mt LeConte is considered to be the tallest mountain in the entire Eastern United States, rising 5,301 feet from its base near Gatlinburg. While the mountain does experience seasonal weather changes, and there may be better times to plan a hike than others, Mt LeConte weather has a climate  with cool summers and cold, snowy winters. The climate is significantly cooler and fairly wetter than Gatlinburg’s. The lowest temperature ever recorded was -32°F and the highest temperature recorded at Mt LeConte was 85°F. Month High Low Monthly Precipitation Monthly Snowfall Days of Precipitation Jan 35 19 7.0″ 18″ 12 Feb 35 18 8.2″ 20″ 12 March 39 24 8.2″ 26″ 12 April 49 34 6.5″ 5″ 10 May 57 43 6.0″ Trace Amounts 10 June 63 49 6.9″ 0 11 July 65 53 8.3″ 0 13 Aug 64 52 6.8″ 0 12 Sept 60 47 5.1″ Trace Amounts 8 Oct 53 38 5.4″ 2″ 8 Nov 42 28 6.4″ 5″ 9 Dec 37 21 7.3″ 8″ 10 Seasonal Mt LeConte Weather Spring – As with the surrounding area in lower elevations,...
The Only Great Smoky Mountain National Park Map and Guide You Need for Your Vacation

The Only Great Smoky Mountain National Park Map and Guide You Need for Your Vacation

As the most visited national park in the country, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is filled with all sorts of amazing things to see and do. While it is massive – 816 mi² to be exact – we want you to be excited about your adventure into the national park! That’s why we’ve put together the one and only Smoky Mountain National Park map and guide you’ll need for your visit. Print this handy guide or bookmark it on your phone, so you have it any time you visit the Smoky Mountains. You’ll have your map in-hand and adventure in your spirit, so you’ll be ready to go! It’ll take a few trips to see everything we’ve included here, so you better get started soon! Visitor Centers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Sugarlands Visitor Center Named for the abundance of sugar maple trees found when settlers arrived to the area in the early 19th century, Sugarlands Visitor Center is the best place to start your exploration of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Visitor Center offers special programs including ranger-led activities, a free 20-minute film about the park, natural history exhibits and a store. Located 2 miles south of Gatlinburg on US-441, Sugarlands Visitor Center is open every day except for Christmas. Their hours are as follows: January – February 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. March 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. April – May 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. June – August 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. September – October 8:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. November 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. December 8:00 a.m. –...