Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located in the southeastern United States, along with Tennessee and North Carolina. This national park has some of the highest mountains in eastern North America including Mount Guyot, Clingmans Dome, and Mount Le Conte. The park stretches for about 522,419 acres and it is one of the most visited national parks in the United States. The perfect time to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is during summer and fall. And it is popular for its colorful trees in fall. It has more than 100 tree species that make the hills in bright oranges, reds, and yellows. You can drive or hike to the higher elevations to see the beautiful views of the park. Click this link to see the popular places to visit in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Entrances and how to reach the Great Smoky National Park
Townsend, TN entrance
From the north: From the interstate highway I-40 which is in Knoxville, you will have to take Exit 386B to US-129 South to reach Alcoa/Maryville. From Maryville, you will have to move on US-321 North/TN -73 East through Townsend. Then you will have to continue straight on TN-73 into the park.
From the south: From the interstate highway I-75, you will have to take Exit 376 to I-140 E to reach Oak Ridge/Maryville. Then you will have to move towards I-140 E through Exit 376B towards Maryville. Move towards US-129 South which is at Exit 11A and have to travel towards Alcoa. You will have to turn towards TN-35 and follow it to US-321 North. Follow US-321 North/TN -73 East via Townsend and continue straight on TN-73 to reach the park.
Gatlinburg, TN entrance
From the interstate highway I-40, you will have to take Exit 407 to TN-66 South. At the Sevierville intersection, you will have to continue straight towards US-441 South. Follow US-441 via Sevierville and Pigeon Forge to reach the park.
Cherokee, NC entrance
From the north: From the interstate highway I-40, you will have to take Exit 27 to US-74 West onto Waynesville. Turn towards US-19 and move via Maggie Valley to Cherokee. Then you will have to turn towards US-441 North at Cherokee to reach the park.
From the south: You will have to follow US-441/US-23 North. At Dillsboro, you will have to merge on with US-74 West/US-441 North. From Exit 74, merge towards US-441 and follow US-441 via Cherokee to reach the park.
- McGhee-Tyson Airport is located in Tennessee which is the nearest major airport and it is just south of Knoxville in Alcoa. The airport is almost 45 miles west of the Gatlinburg entrance to the national park.
- Asheville Regional Airport is located in North Carolina which is about 60 miles east of the Cherokee entrance to the national park.
Public Transportation is not available to this national park from the major cities. Commercial businesses operate in the small communities around the national park that offer transportation from a few cities like TN and Ashville, Knoxville, and NC to the park. Check out more information from Chambers of Commerce.