The Great Smoky Mountains are located in North Carolina and Tennessee. Covering the largest mountain range on the East Coast, towns such as Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge sit within the Smoky Mountains. Tourists from all over flock to the Smokies to see nature at its finest, and in fact, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park boasted the highest visitation numbers of all 59 national parks in 2016 at 11.3 million people.
Dotted with mountains, scenic lakes, and camp sites scattered all over, the Smoky Mountains make for a great family vacation, no matter the season. Here are some interesting facts about this amazing mountain range that will inspire you to book your vacation right away!
- More than 17,000 species of plants and animals have been found and categorized in the park. There are even estimates that there are up to 80,000 more species living there just waiting to be discovered.
- The highest point in the entire mountain range is Clingmans Dove, which comes in at 6,643 feet high.
- The Smoky Mountains is known as the Salamander Capital of the World because it is home to 24 species of lungless salamanders. These interesting fish breathe through the lining of their mouths and through the walls of tiny blood vessels in their skin.
- Black Bears are everywhere in the Smokies. There are estimates that 1,500 bears live in the park, which represents about two bears per every square mile.
- There are over 70 historic structures found all throughout the park, anything from old, traditional churches, school houses, and old farms that are all protected.
- Geographically, the mountains are over 200 million years old! This means that they are one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, and were formed by glaciers in the last Ice Age.
- Even in the summer, it never gets too hot in the Smoky Mountains -- there has never been a temperature recorded on Mount LeConte over 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- There are over 800 miles of trails all over the park that are just ready for you to discover!
Do these interesting facts inspire you to book a trip right now to the Smoky Mountains? There are so many things to do and explore when down in this wonderful area, and our lodging can give you a great place to return to after a long day in the mountains.
Check out our lodge rentals and river hotels today and we'll help you pick out what one is the best for your family vacation!