Great Smoky Mountains

By: Nick Failla

Fun Facts

  • July is the busiest month of the smoky mountains with approximately 1.2 million visitors in the month.
  • In contrast, Grand Canyons National Park receives less than 5 million visitors annually.
  • In addition to the Appalachian Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park features more than 850 miles of hiking trails.
  • A total of 16 mountains within Great Smoky Mountains National Park reach elevations higher than 6,000 feet.
  • The Great Smoky Mountains were formed approximately 200-300 million years ago, making them the oldest mountains in the world.

How big is it?

The Smokys rise over 6,000 feet covering 293 sq miles of Tennessee and North Carolina. Clingmans dome is the second highest mountain in the USA rising 6,643 feet, which is only 21 feet shorter than mount McKinley.

Why is is being protected

The great Smoky Mountains are being protected because it stretches over 200,000 hectares providing a huge variety of plants. This beautiful park is home to more than 3,500 plant species including as many trees as in all of europe. There are at least 15 endangered species found in the mountains. 2 which are only found in the Smokies.

How is the weather?

Severe storms, occur in the park, especially during spring and summer. June through August: Summer in the Smokies means heat, haze, and humidity. Afternoon showers and thunderstorms are common. Temperatures increase through the period with July and August afternoon highs in the 90s in the lower elevations. Evening lows are usually comfortable with readings in the 60s and 70s. In the higher elevations, the weather is much more pleasant. On Mount Le Conte (6,593 elevation), temperatures above 80 degrees are extremely rare.

What kind of animals live there?

Protected in the park are some 65 species of mammals, over 200 varieties of birds, 67 native fish species, and more than 80 types of reptiles and amphibians. The smoky mountains are known for there outrageous amount of salamanders. The smoky mountains are nicknames salamander capitol. They support over 30 variety's of salamanders.

What is there to do there, and what is dangerous?

The smoky mountains are great for camping,hiking, and having a picnic. One of the attractions about the smoky mountains is that there is an amusement park surrounded by the Smokys called Dollywood. There is a railroad that brings you through the mountains with a great view,information, and you are sure to have a fun time.

Some of the dangers in the park are that yellow jacket wasps are especially aggressive in autumn. Allergic people should carry epi pens or other medications.

The Smoky Mountain Explorer - Clingmans Dome Trailer