North Carolina
Great Smoky Mountains National Park: An American Treasure
Summit to the top of Clingmans Dome, walk a section of the Appalachian Trail, learn about the region’s ecosystems and see for yourself what makes the Smoky Mountains so great.
Rating (4.71)
Program No. 20552RJ
6 days
Starts at
6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5B 4L 5D
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Getting There
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At a Glance

Join historians, naturalists and other local experts on an extraordinary adventure in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Learn about the human history and exploration of the Great Smokies on visits to Newfound Gap and Mingus Mill in the Oconaluftee River Valley. Gain insight into ongoing environmental conservation efforts at a National Park Service research station. Summit Clingmans Dome to look out from the highest point of the park, hear tales of the mountains, identify edible plants and much more as you soak up the majesty of nature in this spectacular park.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking between 2 and 4 miles most days over grassy, forest trails; some short stream crossings on narrow footbridges. Ability to choose your desired level of pace and difficulty on some days, with options for slightly more strenuous hikes available. Elevations above 5,000 ft.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Walk or hike along sections of the Kephart Prong and Appalachian Trails with our naturalist as we learn about the importance and formation of the park and its ecosystems.
  • Visit a historic Civilian Conservation Corp camp site which had been in use during the construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and learn the history of logging in the forest where portions of cables and rails remain.
  • Observe protected elk in Cataloochee Valley and search for salamanders at Purchase Knob on a Citizen Science Research Program.
Featured Expert
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Doris Gove
Doris Gove has written or co-authored several books about hiking and natural history in the southern Appalachians, including "50 Hikes in the Tennessee Mountains: Hikes and Walks from the Blue Ridge to the Cumberland Plateau." Doris has been an instructor at the University of Tennessee and a writer at the Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, and she brings a naturalist's love of wildlife to her hiking programs.
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Lee Knight
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Susan Sachs
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Doris Gove
Suggested Reading List
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