20 Favorite Travel Photos From the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Written by
Jason Barnette
Posted on
October 1st, 2018
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These twenty photos are sure to inspire your next visit to the most-visited park in the country at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most-visited national park in the country for a good reason: millions of people live within a three hour drive of it. But it’s also because the national park has some beautiful scenic overlooks, exciting trails, old historic buildings, and provides that much needed escape from urban life to nature. It’s also a park the continues to give me something new every time I visit.

Here are 20 photos sure to inspire you to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

A one-lane paved road passes through a towering forest at the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
A one-lane paved road passes through a towering forest at the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is my favorite place to explore in the park; it’s a one-lane, one-way route through a beautiful area.

Heavy fog on the mountains above the rustic Mountain Farm Museum in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Heavy fog on the mountains above the rustic Mountain Farm Museum in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Mountain Farm Exhibit at the Oconafuftee Visitor Center in Cherokee is a great place to stretch your legs.

The small waterfall Grotto Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The small waterfall Grotto Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Grotto Falls in the summer is the perfect place to cool down as you walk behind the waterfall or dip into the grotto.

A narrow rustic footbridge made from a fallen tree crosses a small creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Rustic bridges like this are all over the park.

A dark tunnel passed through a mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Have you ever been to the Tunnel to Nowhere?

A small waterfall spills into Deep Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Tom Branch Falls in Deep Creek is a popular tubing place in the summer months.

Clouds begin to break apart during sunset across the mountain landscape at Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The only thing better than sunsets from Clingmans Dome…

A warm orange sunset spreads across the sky above the mountain landscape at the Morton Overlook in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

…are sunsets from the Morton Overlook.

A hidden stone bridge surrounded by a forest crosses a creek near Elkmont in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
A hidden stone bridge surrounded by a forest crosses a creek near Elkmont in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This stone bridge is hidden along a trail near Elkmont, but you can find it if you try.

A warm sunset across the low-lying landscape beyond the Foothills Parkway in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Foothills Parkway is a little-known section of the national park that offers some pretty spectacular views.

A bumblebee on a vibrant yellow flower in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Sure there are lots of black beer and deer in the national park, but there are also bees!

A gravel road in Cades Cove heads toward the mountains in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
A gravel road in Cades Cove heads toward the mountains in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cades Cove is a beautiful place to explore year-round.

A horse stuck its head through a fence to eat grass in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I guess this horse in Cades Cove decided to test the theory the grass is greener on the other side.

The spinning wheel of the Cable Mill in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Cable Mill is open to the public during the summer months and some weekends.

Water runs through the aqueduct to Mingus Mill in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Mingus Mill is tucked away near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in Cherokee.

Vibrant fall colors surround a rustic cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

When the colorful leaves fall from the trees it creates one of those carpet my great grandparents had in their house.

Water rushes around smooth rocks covered in fallen leaves in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Water rushes around smooth rocks covered in fallen leaves in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Fall is a great time to enjoy waterfalls.

Vibrant yellow fall colors surround the Cable Mill in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Vibrant yellow fall colors surround the Cable Mill in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

From Clingmans Dome to Cades Cove it takes about 2-3 weeks for the fall colors to pass through the national park.

Yellow fall colors contrast the deep green evergreens throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Yellow fall colors contrast the deep green evergreens throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Yellow is always the first color to appear in autumn; this is the view from the Morton Overlook.

Vibrant fall colors along Newfound Gap Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I could spend days driving Newfound Gap Road between Gatlinburg and Cherokee in the fall.

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