The Smokies – A peak outdoor adventure

Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountain National Park

One of our favorite places to spend time is in the mountains.  Any mountains.  While our trips to the Rocky Mountains have been breathtaking with gorgeous views of of their much younger, majestic peaks, there are different, breathtaking views and many adventures awaiting in the Smokies.

Cades Cove - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains are a mountain range spanning the border of North Carolina and Tennessee.   They are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains (pronounced a-puh-LATCH-un in the Carolinas and a-puh-LAY-chuhn elsewhere).  They are often referred to as the Smoky Mountains, or simply the Smokies.

Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains are well known for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the United States encompassing over 800 square miles and almost the entire Great Smoky Mountains.

Clingman's Dome - Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The highest peak in the Smokies is Clingmans Dome with a height of 6,643 feet and located in the heart of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It is easily accessed through a short half-mile, albeit steep, paved trail that ends at a concrete observation tower.

Great Smoky MountainsWith the nature of the Great Smoky Mountains, getting a good view of up to 100 miles can be difficult as clouds can quickly roll in with little warning.

Great Smoky MountainsGreat Smoky Mountain National Park is also well known for its wildlife from wild turkeys…

Great Smoky Mountainsto white-tailed deer, and all kinds of wildlife in between.

Great Smoky MountainsWho knows, they might be around the next bend in the road.

Great Smoky MountainsGreat Smoky MountainsWildlife is even more prevalent with the recent reintroduction of Elk to the fauna.

Great Smoky MountainsLocated throughout the Great Smoky Mountains are numerous bike trails and hiking trails.  The most notable hiking trail is The Appalachian Trail, a 2,200 mile adventure through the Appalachian Mountains from Georgia to Maine.

Great Smoky MountainsWhile navigating the trails, you can discover the beauty of the Smokies close up from the meandering rivers and streams…

Great Smoky Mountainsto awe-inspiring views of the Smokies.

Great Smoky MountainsWith careful planning, you may even catch one of the waterfalls like Toms Branch Falls,

Great Smoky Mountainsor Mingo Falls.

Great Smoky MountainsTo relax after a long day, you can take an inner tube ride down one of the cool mountain streams.  If you are more adventurous you can find numerous white water rafting centers in the area.

Great Smoky MountainsIn the Smokies you will also find numerous motor trails, allowing easy access (and some not quite so easy) with a motor vehicle.

Great Smoky MountainsAlong some of the trails are relocated or refurbished homesteads to expl0re…

Great Smoky Mountainsincluding some of the outbuildings that allowed the settlers to live relatively isolated…

Great Smoky Mountainswith scenery like no other.

Great Smoky MountainsThe question often asked is where did the Great Smoky Mountains get their name?

Great Smoky MountainsThe names comes from the natural fog that often hangs over and through the mountain range and is caused by the lush vegetation giving off volatile organic compounds.

Great Smoky MountainsThis fog is often seen as large plumes of what appears to be smoke from a distance.

Great Smoky MountainsNo story of the Great Smoky Mountains without mention of the Cherokee Native American tribe would be complete.  The Cherokee are a large Native American tribe who inhabited an enormous area of land primarily in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee encompassing the Great Smoky Mountains.  Like most Native Americans, they were forced off their land by the European settlers.

Great Smoky MountainsThe Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are primarily made up of descendants of the 800 remaining Cherokee who either hid from the government or became citizens of their respective states.  They occupy their own land of 100 square miles and headquartered in Cherokee, NC.  In Cherokee, you can find shops, museums, and historical shows celebrating their heritage.

Great Smoky MountainsWith summer right around the corner, plan your trip to the Great Smoky Mountains today!

Great Smoky MountainsYou certainly won’t be disappointed.

 

Happy camping!

 

The Smokies – A peak outdoor adventure was last modified on 06/13/2015 by Rick
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