The Great Smoky Mountains are a majestic subrange of the Appalachian Mountains. Consisting of over 800 square miles, the mountain range is known for it’s majestic views, beautiful foliages, playful wildlife, and abundance of fun things to do.
However, with so much land to account for, it may be hard to determine where are Smoky Mountains exactly. For example, where do the Appalachian Mountains stop and the Smokies begin?
To help narrow down the location of our beloved mountain range, we have given you several resourced to use to identify where the Smoky Mountains are below.
The Great Smoky Mountains cover a wide area. In fact, there is a total of 187,000 acres or land that make up the mountain range. That is quite a chunk of land along the Tennessee–North Carolina border!
Along with being part of the Appalachian Mountain range, they also help form a section of the Blue Ridge Physiographic Province. Meaning, they are part of the Blue Ridge Mountain Range. These mountains release a high amount of an organic compound called isoprene into the air, which is where the fog and blueish tint of the mountains come from.
If you are looking at a map, you can easily identify where are Smoky Mountains by circling the range of mountains that stretch from the Pigeon River in the northeast to the Little Tennessee River in the southwest. The Tuckasegee River and both the Soco Creek and Jonathan Creek roughly outline the southern and southeastern borders of the mountains respectively.
Geography is not the only way to identify where are Smoky Mountains. Elevation can play a big part in the process too, especially with how many notable peaks are found within the Great Smoky Mountains.
For starters, you have Clingmans Dome. Located in the central section of the Smoky Mountains, this mountain is the highest peak within the Tennessee section of the Great Smoky Mountains and the third tallest in all of the Appalachian Mountains. It stretches up to 6,643 in elevation with a prominence of 4,503.
Although Clingmans Dome has the highest peak, it is not the tallest mountain in the Smoky Mountains. That title is reserved for Mt LeConte which is the tallest mountain from immediate base to summit in the mountain range.
3. Animal Life
A fun way to identify where are Smoky Mountains is to look at the unique wildlife that call the area home. In total, there are over 412 different types of species that live in the Great Smoky Mountains, not including plant life and insects. This number consists of 65 mammals, over 200 types of birds, 67 native fish, and over 80 reptiles and amphibians.
The animal life is so diverse here, it earned the Great Smoky Mountains National Park the honor of being named part of the International Biosphere Reserve, a program dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of ecosystems.
The American black bear is probably the most popular animal associated with the Smoky Mountains. Slightly smaller than other popular species, there is a total of 1,500 black bears found in the Smokies. A density which equates to roughly 2 bears for every square mile.
The Smoky Mountains are known for another interesting creature, the Salamander. In fact, the Smokies have a nickname of The Salamander Capital of the World thanks to the over 30 species of the amphibian found within its borders. With such a high number, this is the most diverse collection of salamanders in one area in the entire world.
Now that you know where are Smoky Mountains, it’s time to start planning your next trip to the area today! And what better way to do this than checking out The Only Great Smoky Mountain National Park Map and Guide You Need for Your Vacation?