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7 of Your Awesome Questions About the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Answered

A few days ago, we gave the Visit My Smokies Facebook fans an opportunity to ‘Ask us any questions about the Smoky Mountains!” In case you missed the Q&A session, we put together some of the highlights for you.

If you have any questions about the Great Smoky Mountains, feel free to scroll down and ask them in the comments section below this article. We would love to feature your questions in our next post!

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“I know why they are called the Smoky Mountains, but were there any other ‘names in the hat’ to draw from, so to speak?” (Ryan)

  • Before they were called the Smoky Mountains, they were known as the Great Iron Mountains. It’s strange because there was never much iron mined in our mountains. When the early settlers made their way to the area, they changed the name to the Smoky Mountains!

“How did all the mountains in the area get their names?” (Debra) Smoky Mountains fog in fall

  • Many of the mountains in the Smokies earned their names from the individuals who discovered them, typically scientists and geographers. For example, Clingmans Dome was named after Thomas Lanier Clingman who believed the Dome was the highest peak in all of New England. When measured by a geographer, Clingman was correct, so the mountain was given his name.

“Is there more than one visitor center I should visit when arrive to Gatlinburg?” (Zuzana)

  • Definitely! There are several visitors centers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We recommend visiting a national park visitor center at Sugarlands, Cades Cove or Oconaluftee. When you’re looking for answers about the national park, there are park rangers and staff members at these locations ready to answer all of your questions. They also sell many souvenirs and informational books about the area. You don’t want to miss it!

Waterfall on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail“Where can I find a book that has the waterfalls listed in it?” (Elaine)

  • When you visit the Smoky Mountains, you can stop by any of the visitor centers and explore all of the books and brochures available. With some brochures costing as little as $1, you are guaranteed to find some information about the waterfalls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

“Is Cades Cove a paved road or gravel?” (Sherry)Cades Cove Loop Road view

  • The main 11 mile Cades Cove Loop Road is paved, but there are some side roads and trails that have gravel.

“Can you visit the Cove at night?” (Henry)

  • Yes, you can definitely visit Cades Cove at night! Many people go to Cades Cove to see the sunset because it’s absolutely beautiful! Keep in mind that the national park officials close the main gate to Cades Cove every night at sunset. If you happen to be in the Cove after they close that gate, don’t worry, there’s other ways out!
  • Also, if you plan to go hiking, check out the 3 best night hikes in Cades Cove and choose one of those for a great evening hike in the mountains! Be careful if you’re in the national park after sunset because it can be dangerous. Be prepared with plenty of water, a flashlight with extra batteries and matches to start a fire, just in case.

Fall colors in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park“When will the leaves on the trees be the most beautiful in the Fall?” (Linda)

ASK US! We are looking forward to answering more of your questions about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so please post any questions you have in the comments section below this article!