Lake Junaluska
Great Smoky Mountains National Park: An American Treasure
Visit a Cherokee living history museum, 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 (4.5)
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 a learning adventure in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, exploring not only the iconic destinations in the most visited park in the nation, but also the lesser-known gems the average visitor might miss. 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 an elk preservation project and a National Park Service research station. Summit Clingmans Dome to look out from the highest point of the park, Tennessee and the Appalachian Trail. 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
Walking up to four miles over uneven terrain. Elevations above 5,000 feet.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • See how the Cherokee lived 250 years ago on a visit to Oconaluftee Indian Village.
  • 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.
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.
Lee Knight
Susan Sachs
Doris Gove