What States Do The Smoky Mountains Run Through?

The Smoky Mountain park area is home to a fascinatingly bio-diverse set of mountains, rivers, and valleys. If you’re seeking information about this mountain range, then you’ve come to the right place!

In today’s article, not only will we explore “what states do the Smoky Mountains run through?”, but we’ll also answer some common questions and unravel a bunch of intriguing facts about these natural beauties.

What States do the Smoky Mountains Run Through?

The Great Smoky Mountains run through 2 states: Tennessee and North Carolina. 

The Smoky Mountains make up the western segment of the Appalachian Mountains, particularly extending across eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina in the United States. More closely, they reside between Knoxville, Tennessee, and Asheville, North Carolina, blending into the Blue Ridge Mountain.

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Why Are the Smoky Mountains called that?

The Smoky Mountain National Park during autumn season

The Smoky Mountains got their name from the mesmerizing mist or blue haze that envelopes the parameter of mountains, caused by the interaction between the thick vegetation and the moist environment of waterfalls and streams.

The Cherokee called the Smoky Mountains area “Shaconage” (Sha-co-na-qe), which means the “place of blue smoke”.

What Area do the Smoky Mountains Cover?

The National Park of the Great Smoky Mountains stretches over an area of about 245,000 acres in Tennessee and 277,000 acres in North Carolina. This adds up to a total of around 522,000 acres, which equals more than 800 square miles.

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What is the Highest Point in the Smoky Mountains?

The highest part of the Smoky Mountain resides inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site). It includes Clingmans Dome that extends to a height of 6,643 feet (2,025 meters) -which is the highest summit in Tennessee-, as well as Mounts Chapman, Guyot, Le Conte, Collins, and Kephart — all of which stand at elevations more than 6,000 feet (1,830 meters).

Roads and Hiking Trails in the Smoky Mountains

View of a family and the overlooking view of Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park features roadways of length about 400 miles, the majority of which are paved. One of the roads that pass through the mountains (32 miles long) represents a connection between Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Cherokee, North Carolina.

The Newfound Gap Road includes a variety of picnic areas, mountain streams, and scenic views. For hikers, more than 800 miles are available for exploration. The park has several round-trip hiking trails stretching anywhere from 3,000 feet to 16 miles.

Waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains

The Smoky Mountains and the park enclosing the area contain many waterfalls that you can drive or hike. Here are a few examples of the most impressive waterfalls you can see in the Smoky Mountain Area:

  • Abrams Falls
  • Grotto Falls
  • Hen Wallow Falls
  • Rainbow Falls
  • Ramsey Cascades
  • Indian Creek/Toms Branch Falls
  • Mouse Creek Falls
  • Juney Whank Falls
  • Mingo Falls
  • Laurel Falls

Are the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains the Same Thing?

The Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains are not the same thing. The Smoky Mountains are a subrange of the Blue Ridge Mountain system. More closely, the Smoky Mountains extend between Knoxville, Tennessee (west), and Asheville, North Carolina (east), blending into the Blue Ridge Mountain in North Carolina.

Which is Higher, the Smoky Mountains or the Blue Ridge Mountains?

The Blue Ridge Mountains are higher than the Smoky Mountains. In fact, they have the highest mountain in the Eastern United States, with the highest peak standing at 6,684 feet and known as Mount Mitchell.

Trivia Time: Which states do the Appalachian Mountains go through?

Are there Wolves in the Smoky Mountains?

View of a whitetail bucks in Smoky Mountains

Wolves are no longer native to the Great Smoky Mountains. In total, there are 65 species of mammals living in the Smoky Mountains. The largest species is the elk, weighing in at almost 700 pounds. The smallest mammal is the rarely-sighted pygmy shrew, which is a tiny animal that’s lighter than a dime.

Additionally, the Smoky Mountains are home to coyotes, bobcats, whitetail deer, red and gray squirrels, raccoons, chipmunks, otters, opossums, woodchucks, foxes, bats, and skunks.

Mammal species that are native to the area but no longer live there include gray wolves and bison.

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Is there Gold in the Smoky Mountains?

In Tennessee, also know as the Volunteer State, the majority of the gold is located in a narrow belt extending through Monroe and Polk counties where they touch the border of North Carolina. You can find placer gold deposits spread across a distance of about 50 miles in the streams flowing down from the Smoky Mountains.

That said, recent reports revealed that the central Smoky Mountains also contain gold found to the northeast of Knoxville.

Smoky Mountains Fun Facts

  • 16 peaks that stand higher than 6,000 feet within the Smoky Mountain range.
  • Currently known as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this area was once the home of the Native American Tribe “Cherokee”.
  • On the 6th of March, 2017, all the streams within the Smoky Mountains range were open for fishing, which marked the first time it ever happened.
  • The park has a remarkably rich wildlife variety, with over 10,000 animal and plant species calling the park home. Additionally, there are estimates of about 90,000 species in the park that are yet to be documented.
  • The park features more than 100 different species of trees.
  • The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited park in the United State, with more than 11 million people going down there every year.

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