Visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park Virtually

You don’t have to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park in person to experience its spectacular mountains, valleys and waterfalls.
Author:
Publish date:
Yellow sunset in the misty mountains of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Sunset in the misty mountains of Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Even if you can't travel to the park right now, you can still see, hear and experience what’s happening in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, thanks to some amazing technology. Here are some of our favorite ways to feel like we are in the park, even when we’re nowhere near it.

Fly to Great Smoky

See Cades Cove, check out Laurel Falls trail and see the falls themselves, the Sugarlands Visitor Center, Clingmans Dome and more amazing sights in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Via Google Earth, you’ll get a sense of just how forested the most-visited national park in the country is, especially compared to other top 10-visited parks located in the West. earth.google.com+

Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Google Earth

Toggle through 8 locations inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park by clicking in the lower right corner on Google Earth screen

Catch the Views Live from the Park’s East and West Sides

On the west end of the park, you can see a webcam trained on the eastern views from Look Rock. www.nps.gov/subjects/air/webcams.htm?site=grsm Look Rock is the highest point along the 18-mile Foothills Parkway.

On the park’s east side, you can see what’s happening from Purchase Knob, looking northwest. Purchase Knob is actually a mountain and it sits along the Cataloochee Divide. www.nps.gov/subjects/air/webcams.htm?site=grpk 

The webcams are updated every 15 minutes.

Get Immersed in Park Life

If you can’t visit the park and listen to a ranger program, these videos are the next best thing. The park staff has placed a number of videos online on diverse topics. Learn about the park’s spring wildflowers, effects of climate change on the red-cheeked salamander and how to make dinner bells at a junior ranger blacksmithing class. www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/photosmultimedia/multimedia.htm

Or visit a backcountry shelter, hike to Charles Bunion, a bare-rock summit in the park, and more in these great videos made by the Great Smoky Mountains Association, the nonprofit organization that supports the park. www.youtube.com/user/GreatSmokyMountains/

Related

An aerial view of Lake Fontana in North Carolina

Which Trail Should I Hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park?

Options for trails and what to expect on the hike, from a moderate walk to a waterfall to a strenuous hike to the top of a mountain.

The Tremont River in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Water Safety in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Water is everywhere in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Although the waterfalls and streams are beautiful, these waters can also be dangerous.

Sunset view at Newfound Gap in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Top 4 Vistas in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

If you want to feel like you are on top of the world, here are four fantastic views including a tower, a gap, and a sunrise-sunset hike.

The Sinks on the Little River

Most Popular Waterfalls in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Feel the mist on your face on one of these top trips to the park’s impressive cascades. Some are seen right from the road. Others require a hike.

Visitors walking down Thanksgiving Hall in Mammoth Cave National Park

Mammoth Cave National Park, a Half-Day Drive from Great Smoky

Steer away from the crowds at America’s most visited national park by going underground in nearby Kentucky.

Bull elk grazing near the Palmer Chapel in Cataloochee Valley in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

48 Hours in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

It’s our nation’s busiest park, so here are tips on how to see the best of Great Smoky in just two days. Make the most of your time by visiting some of our favorite spots in both the Tenn. and N.C. sides of the park.

Bike riding on the Cades Cove Loop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Biking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Bring your bicycle and mountain bike to the national park. Here's were you can ride.

Cades Cove Campground

Where to Camp in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Personalized guide to help you decide where to spend the night, from car camping paradise and remote backcountry sites to a slice of RV heaven.

The John Oliver Cabin in Cades Cove

Cades Cove Scenic Drive in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Take a photo tour of the Cades Cove historic community, its log cabins, churches, and grist mill, inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park.