Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Sunset atop Clingmans Dome at Great Smoky Mountains National Park Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the park, elevation 6,643 ft Waiting for the sun to set
Great Smoky Mountains is the most visited national park, more than double 2nd place. In 2011, 9 million people visited Great Smoky Mountains, with only 4.3 million visiting the Grand Canyon and 3.95 million visiting Yosemite. Sun rays Scroll to the bottom of the page for views from Clingmans Dome during the day
The Great Smoky Mountains were originally named for the mist-like clouds that were usually present. But now, it's at the top of the list of most polluted national parks, with summer visibility decreasing 80% compared to what it was in the 1940s. My guess is the smoky haze I saw was mostly pollution The viewing platform at Clingmans Dome
Main road through the park Leaves were turning color, which is why I ended up there during one of the busiest weeks of the year Fall foliage
Black bear Oh shit, he sees me He eventually got bored and walked away
Big snake No idea what species it is Shows how long he was
That's when I first saw it Red, orange, yellow, green Fall foliage
Abrams Falls trail Abrams Creek Fall foliage
Abrams Falls Abrams Falls Abrams Falls
Fall foliage Fall foliage Fall foliage
Small snake Abrams Creek Abrams Falls trail
Viewpoint near Fighting Creek Gap Laurel Creek Laurel Creek
Red & yellow Trees along the Laurel Falls trail Laurel Falls trail
Laurel Falls trail Laurel Falls Slower shutter speed
The upper part of Laurel Falls Yellow leaves Fall foliage
Fall foliage close-up Multi-colored ferns Probably should have timed the trip a couple weeks earlier... maybe those upper elevations would still have leaves instead of looking dead.
View from Newfound Gap, elevation 5,046 ft The North Carolina-Tennessee state line runs through the park, but most of the most popular stuff to see is on the Tennessee side. The Appalachian Trail runs through the park. Only 2,000 more miles to the end!
The Sinks The Sinks Cades Cove
Wild turkeys Dead trees on Clingmans Dome The dead trees are Fraser Fir, and dead ones are all over the top of Clingmans Dome (and throughout the park). They're killed by the balsam woolly adelgid, a small insect introduced from Europe around 1900 and is now wreaking havoc throughout the park.
View from Clingmans Dome View from Clingmans Dome All the dead Fraser Fir

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