As the most-visited national park (by far), Great Smoky Mountains may seem like a place that’s impossible to find a slice of solitude. But with the right timing and strategy, your visit can be just as awe-inspiring as any less-frequented park.
During our five days here in November, we were able to avoid crowds by waking up early and staying out in the park through the evening, when other visitors had retreated to Gatlinburg for dinner. Weather got in the way of some of our bigger plans, but we were able to hike to see the highlights of Great Smoky Mountains and certainly create a reason to return.
- Where your planning begins: NPS Website
- Our article, Great Smoky Mountains and the AT: Friend or Foe?
- Our Video Highlights
- Our podcast episode, Weather Woes, ft. Great Smoky Mountains
- Our Facebook Photo Gallery
- Visit the historic Cades Cove area, but beware: it’s the most popular area.
- Hike to at least one of the gushing waterfalls. Our favorite was Ramsay Cascades!
- Get an overview of the Smokies by driving or hiking to a wide overlook, like Clingman’s Dome or Charlie’s Bunion
- Camp overnight along the Appalachian Trail in the trail’s established shelters
- Hike to LeConte Lodge — a backcountry lodge that is accessible only by foot.
Pin it for Later:
In August 2015 we left our jobs and our home to go on a tour of all 59 National Parks across the US during the NPS Centennial year. We spent a year immersing ourselves for about 5 days in each park as we tent camped, hiked, biked, backpacked, kayaked, and climbed our way through the challenge and adventure of our lifetime.
We are Cole and Elizabeth, twenty-something Missourians turned National Parks explorers - constantly seeking to find new adventure and ourselves. Follow our journey for pictures, videos, park tips, and stories - because after all, the Parks are for sharing.