Outbound Collective logo

15 Photos that will make you want to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee offers incredible views of mountains, ridges, and forests. This diverse landscape features thousands of trails across all difficulty levels. Hike up a ridge to see a decommissioned fire tower or drive the Blue Ridge Parkway to spot wildlife (black bears!) among summer wildflowers from a vehicle. Here are 15 photos that might convince you to add this area to your must-visit list.

1. Lonesome Pine Overlook

A greenery-covered mountain with green and blue mountain ridges in the distance and gray clouds in the sky.
Photo by Johnathan Duncan.

2. Deep Creek to Clingman's Dome Loop

A green pine forest in the foreground with blue mountains and white puffy clouds in the background.
Photo by Jessica Olson.

3. Fontana Lake to Clingman's Dome

Dark pine forest in the foreground and foggy mountains in the background.
Photo by Andrew Todd.

4. Andrews Bald

The view from a trail in a forest. The golden sun is peaking through in the distance.
Photo by Nathan Szwarc.

5. Forney Creek Loop

A fall image of yellow and red foliage with foggy mountains in the background.
Photo by Haresh Soorma.

6. Blue Ridge Parkway

The view from Blue Ridge Parkway of blue mountains in the background. A storm is moving through so there are grey clouds with rain on the right side.
Photo by Jenn Gonzalez.

7. Alarka Falls

A waterfall with a tree in the middle.
Photo by Johnathan Duncan.

8. Kephart Prong Trail

A waterfall with mossy rocks throughout the stream.
Photo by Joshua Contois.

9. Cowee Bald Fire Tower

The view from a fire tower of dark mountains, trees, and looming storm clouds.
Photo by Jared Beeler.

10. Chimney Tops

Looking down from a rocky mountain ridge at a sunrise or sunset. Orange rays peek from the dark clouds.
Photo by Mason Boring.

11. Charlie's Bunion

A large pine tree sits on the left with mountains and nearly clear skies.
Photo by Tyler Drake.

12. Myrtle Point via Alum Cave

A sunrise view from the top of a mountain.
Photo by John Sides.

13. Newfound Gap

A sunrise or sunset view from the ridge. The sky is blue, pink, and purple.
Photo by Ron Weaver.

14. Morton Overlook

A foggy view of a mountain ridge covered in trees.
Photo by Joshua Moore.

15. Wesser Bald Fire Tower

The view looking up at a fire tower at night time. The tower is illuminated from inside and the night sky has a lot of stars.
Photo by Nathan Szwarc.

Feature image by Mason Boring.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.


10 Things you need to do in Baja

wyld honeys

Journey to Wyoming’s premier snowmobiling destination: Togwotee Mountain Lodge

Samuel Brockway

Hiking in comfort: a review of Danner Mountain 600 Evo boots

Meghan White

A peek through God's window

Heather Arnold