Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Eastern Section (Metcalf Bottoms, the high country, The Sinks, NC area)

This gallery contains photos of Clingmans' Dome, Andrews Bald, Cataloochee, Mt. Leconte, and North Carolina section of the park.
Image Number Image (Click to Enlarge)CaptionImage Viewed
1 I took this group of ladies from the Summer Naturalist Week 2003 at Tremont on a hike to <strong>Andrews Bald</strong>. The trail begins at the Clingman's Dome parking lot. Andrews Bald is a large, open, grassy area. Be prepared for any kind of weather...

I took this group of ladies from the Summer Naturalist Week 2003 at Tremont on a hike to Andrews Bald. The trail begins at the Clingman's Dome parking lot. Andrews Bald is a large, open, grassy area. Be prepared for any kind of weather...

I took this group of ladies from the Summer Naturalist Week 2003 at Tremont on a hike to Andrews Bald. The trail begins at the Clingman's Dome parking lot. Andrews Bald is a large, open, grassy area. Be prepared for any kind of weather in the Smokies! 2626
2 Tremont staffer and bird expert, Charlie, points out a hawk circling over Andrews Bald. Summer Naturalist Week 2004 --- What a difference a year can make!

Tremont staffer and bird expert, Charlie, points out a hawk circling over Andrews Bald. Summer Naturalist Week 2004 --- What a difference a year can make!

Tremont staffer and bird expert, Charlie, points out a hawk circling over Andrews Bald. Summer Naturalist Week 2004 --- What a difference a year can make! 1967
3 View from Andrews Bald on a clear day. Wow, what a view! The day I led the Tremont Naturalist Week hike in July 2005 the Flame Azaleas were still in bloom, an extra treat! This is a moderate 2-mile (one-way) hike, a bit rocky, but definitely worth the ...

View from Andrews Bald on a clear day. Wow, what a view! The day I led the Tremont Naturalist Week hike in July 2005 the Flame Azaleas were still in bloom, an extra treat! This is a moderate 2-mile (one-way) hike, a bit rocky, but definitely worth the ...

View from Andrews Bald on a clear day. Wow, what a view! The day I led the Tremont Naturalist Week hike in July 2005 the Flame Azaleas were still in bloom, an extra treat! This is a moderate 2-mile (one-way) hike, a bit rocky, but definitely worth the walk when you get to enjoy views like this! 1750
4 <strong>Clingmans Dome</strong> is the highest point in Tennessee at 6,643 feet in elevation. It is a steep, but paved, half-mile walk to the top. There are many benches along the trail for the faint of heart or out-of-shape folks who need to rest. It ...

Clingmans Dome is the highest point in Tennessee at 6,643 feet in elevation. It is a steep, but paved, half-mile walk to the top. There are many benches along the trail for the faint of heart or out-of-shape folks who need to rest. It ...

Clingmans Dome is the highest point in Tennessee at 6,643 feet in elevation. It is a steep, but paved, half-mile walk to the top. There are many benches along the trail for the faint of heart or out-of-shape folks who need to rest. It is best to walk up on a clear day to see the distant mountains. Keep in mind that it is often 10 - 15 degrees cooler at the top than it is in Gatlinburg and other lower-elevation areas, so you might want to take along a jacket or sweater. The high temperature record here was hit in August 2007 at 72 degrees F! Don't go up on a bad air quality day, the ozone levels are often elevated on high pollution days. map... 1960
5 The view of Mt. Leconte (below the large cloud on the left) from Clingmans Dome is fabulous on a clear day. This was the day after a tropical storm came through and cleared out the smog. The Spruce Wooly Adelgid (an insect) killed the beautiful and fra...

The view of Mt. Leconte (below the large cloud on the left) from Clingmans Dome is fabulous on a clear day. This was the day after a tropical storm came through and cleared out the smog. The Spruce Wooly Adelgid (an insect) killed the beautiful and fra...

The view of Mt. Leconte (below the large cloud on the left) from Clingmans Dome is fabulous on a clear day. This was the day after a tropical storm came through and cleared out the smog. The Spruce Wooly Adelgid (an insect) killed the beautiful and fragrant trees at Clingman's Dome. It is sad to see the silvered skeletons of once-beautiful trees. 1706
6 There are many huge boulders above the Clingmans Dome parking lot.

There are many huge boulders above the Clingmans Dome parking lot.

There are many huge boulders above the Clingmans Dome parking lot. 1884
7 Dumb Tourist Trick #4
Some people can't seem to read signs! The man up on the rocks was encouraging the young boy to come up and join him.

Dumb Tourist Trick #4 Some people can't seem to read signs! The man up on the rocks was encouraging the young boy to come up and join him.

Dumb Tourist Trick #4 Some people can't seem to read signs! The man up on the rocks was encouraging the young boy to come up and join him. 2809
8 Does a bear **** in the woods? 
You bet it does! :) This is an important sign to recognize when you hike in the mountains! Bears are omnivores, they eat both plants (notice the seeds) and animals. Scat (the name scientists use for animal droppings) is...

Does a bear **** in the woods? You bet it does! :) This is an important sign to recognize when you hike in the mountains! Bears are omnivores, they eat both plants (notice the seeds) and animals. Scat (the name scientists use for animal droppings) is...

Does a bear **** in the woods? You bet it does! :) This is an important sign to recognize when you hike in the mountains! Bears are omnivores, they eat both plants (notice the seeds) and animals. Scat (the name scientists use for animal droppings) is an important sign of the animals found in the forest. 2548
9 We came across this young black bear as we hiked on the Trillium Gap trail. Some people hiking behind us nearly knocked us down as they ran from it. Even though it may be frightening to come across a bear, the worst thing you can do is run, it could tr...

We came across this young black bear as we hiked on the Trillium Gap trail. Some people hiking behind us nearly knocked us down as they ran from it. Even though it may be frightening to come across a bear, the worst thing you can do is run, it could tr...

We came across this young black bear as we hiked on the Trillium Gap trail. Some people hiking behind us nearly knocked us down as they ran from it. Even though it may be frightening to come across a bear, the worst thing you can do is run, it could trigger an attack response and they can run a LOT faster than you can! This bear mostly ignored all the commotion of the hikers who had gathered to watch it as it ate ferns and ripped open a decayed log searching for grubs and other insects. 1344
10 Old log cabin in the Fall.

Old log cabin in the Fall.

Old log cabin in the Fall. 1927
11 <strong>Purchase Knob</strong> is the newest addition to the National Park. The lodge at the top of the mountain is being used by the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI)researchers. In the ATBI, scientists are attempting to catalog every type of liv...

Purchase Knob is the newest addition to the National Park. The lodge at the top of the mountain is being used by the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI)researchers. In the ATBI, scientists are attempting to catalog every type of liv...

Purchase Knob is the newest addition to the National Park. The lodge at the top of the mountain is being used by the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI)researchers. In the ATBI, scientists are attempting to catalog every type of living organism in the park (down to the parasites on bats!). 1615
12 This is the view from an overlook along the road to Cataloochee. The fall trees were beginning to show their spectacular colors in early October 2009.

This is the view from an overlook along the road to Cataloochee. The fall trees were beginning to show their spectacular colors in early October 2009.

This is the view from an overlook along the road to Cataloochee. The fall trees were beginning to show their spectacular colors in early October 2009. 1147
13 The geology of the Smokies is incredible! There are areas of <em>sedimentary</em> shale and sandstone and <em>metamorphic</em> slate. It is not uncommon to find large <em>igneous</em> White Quartz boulders like this along the trails.

The geology of the Smokies is incredible! There are areas of sedimentary shale and sandstone and metamorphic slate. It is not uncommon to find large igneous White Quartz boulders like this along the trails.

The geology of the Smokies is incredible! There are areas of sedimentary shale and sandstone and metamorphic slate. It is not uncommon to find large igneous White Quartz boulders like this along the trails. 1963
14 <strong>Cataloochee</strong> is located on the North Carolina side of the park. The easiest way to get there is to get off at Exit 20 on I-40. The gravel road back to the cove is narrow in some areas, so it would be tricky to drive a large camper back ...

Cataloochee is located on the North Carolina side of the park. The easiest way to get there is to get off at Exit 20 on I-40. The gravel road back to the cove is narrow in some areas, so it would be tricky to drive a large camper back ...

Cataloochee is located on the North Carolina side of the park. The easiest way to get there is to get off at Exit 20 on I-40. The gravel road back to the cove is narrow in some areas, so it would be tricky to drive a large camper back there. This is a view of one of the grassy fields in the cove, this is where the elk come out to graze in the early morning and late afternoon. 1202
15 Cataloochee is famous for the elk herds that have been reestablished in the park. After being hunted to extinction in Tennessee and North Carolina in the 1800's, these magnificent animals were brought back from Land Between the Lakes in west TN in 2001...

Cataloochee is famous for the elk herds that have been reestablished in the park. After being hunted to extinction in Tennessee and North Carolina in the 1800's, these magnificent animals were brought back from Land Between the Lakes in west TN in 2001...

Cataloochee is famous for the elk herds that have been reestablished in the park. After being hunted to extinction in Tennessee and North Carolina in the 1800's, these magnificent animals were brought back from Land Between the Lakes in west TN in 2001. The herd is up to 109 animals as of Oct. 2009. It is amazing to come to the park from September to mid-October to hear the bulls bugle and defend their harem of cows from rival bulls. 1205
16 This is one of the transmitters used by park researchers to find out when an elk cow has given birth, it is expelled when the calf is born. All the women in the Tremont group cringed when this was shown! Fortunately for me, this one had not been used! ;)

This is one of the transmitters used by park researchers to find out when an elk cow has given birth, it is expelled when the calf is born. All the women in the Tremont group cringed when this was shown! Fortunately for me, this one had not been used! ;)

This is one of the transmitters used by park researchers to find out when an elk cow has given birth, it is expelled when the calf is born. All the women in the Tremont group cringed when this was shown! Fortunately for me, this one had not been used! ;) 1599
17 An Elk bull, cow and calf in Cataloochee.

An Elk bull, cow and calf in Cataloochee.

An Elk bull, cow and calf in Cataloochee. 1201
18 In the fall the roadsides in Cataloochee are lined with Elk watchers. We went on a beautiful October afternoon, fortunately, it was on a Thursday and wasn't too crowded, I can't imagine what a sunny Saturday would have been like!

In the fall the roadsides in Cataloochee are lined with Elk watchers. We went on a beautiful October afternoon, fortunately, it was on a Thursday and wasn't too crowded, I can't imagine what a sunny Saturday would have been like!

In the fall the roadsides in Cataloochee are lined with Elk watchers. We went on a beautiful October afternoon, fortunately, it was on a Thursday and wasn't too crowded, I can't imagine what a sunny Saturday would have been like! 1143
19 The <strong>Palmer Place</strong> is one of the old homesites that was preserved when the park service took over the area. Despite their isolation, the people who lived in the area were successful and self-reliant. The Palmers ran a post office and a b...

The Palmer Place is one of the old homesites that was preserved when the park service took over the area. Despite their isolation, the people who lived in the area were successful and self-reliant. The Palmers ran a post office and a b...

The Palmer Place is one of the old homesites that was preserved when the park service took over the area. Despite their isolation, the people who lived in the area were successful and self-reliant. The Palmers ran a post office and a boarding house out of this pretty cabin. It is much larger than it looks in this photo. 1207
20 This old newspaper was the original wallpaper in one of the upstairs bedrooms at the Palmer Place. I got a kick out of reading some of the advertisements, it just proves that people have been trying to sucker others out of their money for a long time! ...

This old newspaper was the original wallpaper in one of the upstairs bedrooms at the Palmer Place. I got a kick out of reading some of the advertisements, it just proves that people have been trying to sucker others out of their money for a long time! ...

This old newspaper was the original wallpaper in one of the upstairs bedrooms at the Palmer Place. I got a kick out of reading some of the advertisements, it just proves that people have been trying to sucker others out of their money for a long time! :) I never could find a date on any of the papers, but the clothing styles on some pages appeared to be from the very early 1900's. 1266
21 The pretty little Palmer Chapel Methodist church is located in Cataloochee cove. It is possible to ring the bell in the foyer. I was confused why it faced away from the main road, perhaps long ago there was another road in front of the church.

The pretty little Palmer Chapel Methodist church is located in Cataloochee cove. It is possible to ring the bell in the foyer. I was confused why it faced away from the main road, perhaps long ago there was another road in front of the church.

The pretty little Palmer Chapel Methodist church is located in Cataloochee cove. It is possible to ring the bell in the foyer. I was confused why it faced away from the main road, perhaps long ago there was another road in front of the church. 1571
22 The little Cataloochee school is one of the original buildings that was left in the park. It is open and can be enjoyed by visitors.

The little Cataloochee school is one of the original buildings that was left in the park. It is open and can be enjoyed by visitors.

The little Cataloochee school is one of the original buildings that was left in the park. It is open and can be enjoyed by visitors. 1172
23 A view of the inside of the old Cataloochee school. No computers or Smart Boards here!

A view of the inside of the old Cataloochee school. No computers or Smart Boards here!

A view of the inside of the old Cataloochee school. No computers or Smart Boards here! 1206
24 <strong>Chimney Tops</strong> in the fall.

Chimney Tops in the fall.

Chimney Tops in the fall. 1709
25 This trail is short but very steep, don't let the small number on the milage fool you!

This trail is short but very steep, don't let the small number on the milage fool you!

This trail is short but very steep, don't let the small number on the milage fool you! 1755
26 Chimney Tops Trail info

Chimney Tops Trail info

Chimney Tops Trail info 1746
27 The view really is worth the hard climb, especially in the fall! This is not a good trail for small children, it is steep, and can be slick and dangerous at the top.

The view really is worth the hard climb, especially in the fall! This is not a good trail for small children, it is steep, and can be slick and dangerous at the top.

The view really is worth the hard climb, especially in the fall! This is not a good trail for small children, it is steep, and can be slick and dangerous at the top. 1604
28 Unusual tree bark along the Chimney Tops Trail.

Unusual tree bark along the Chimney Tops Trail.

Unusual tree bark along the Chimney Tops Trail. 1745
29 A lovely cascade in the creek along the Chimney Tops Trail.

A lovely cascade in the creek along the Chimney Tops Trail.

A lovely cascade in the creek along the Chimney Tops Trail. 1647
30 One of the bridges along the Chimney Tops Trail.

One of the bridges along the Chimney Tops Trail.

One of the bridges along the Chimney Tops Trail. 1626
31 A fern shadow on the slate at the top of the Chimneys. Slate is metamorphosed from shale (mudstone).

A fern shadow on the slate at the top of the Chimneys. Slate is metamorphosed from shale (mudstone).

A fern shadow on the slate at the top of the Chimneys. Slate is metamorphosed from shale (mudstone). 1527
32 The Chimney Tops trail is <u>very</u> heavily traveled (and damaged in some areas). It is amazing that this tree has not been killed from the loss of soil around its' roots. The summit is visible in the distance between the two trees.

The Chimney Tops trail is very heavily traveled (and damaged in some areas). It is amazing that this tree has not been killed from the loss of soil around its' roots. The summit is visible in the distance between the two trees.

The Chimney Tops trail is very heavily traveled (and damaged in some areas). It is amazing that this tree has not been killed from the loss of soil around its' roots. The summit is visible in the distance between the two trees. 1508
33 A view from the Chimneys on a late September day. The white stripe in the middle is  Highway 441 where I took the picture of the Chimneys.

A view from the Chimneys on a late September day. The white stripe in the middle is Highway 441 where I took the picture of the Chimneys.

A view from the Chimneys on a late September day. The white stripe in the middle is Highway 441 where I took the picture of the Chimneys. 1657
34 This is the uplifted slate crest of the Chimney Tops. This is NOT a good place to bring small children or foolhardy daredevils, people have died from falls here!

This is the uplifted slate crest of the Chimney Tops. This is NOT a good place to bring small children or foolhardy daredevils, people have died from falls here!

This is the uplifted slate crest of the Chimney Tops. This is NOT a good place to bring small children or foolhardy daredevils, people have died from falls here! 1722
35 Highway 441 goes over the mountains to Cherokee, NC. The Smokies gets pretty crowded on nice weekends in the fall.

Highway 441 goes over the mountains to Cherokee, NC. The Smokies gets pretty crowded on nice weekends in the fall.

Highway 441 goes over the mountains to Cherokee, NC. The Smokies gets pretty crowded on nice weekends in the fall. 1551
36 Enjoy the water in the Smokies, but be careful of swift currents and hidden underwater rocks. Kayakers have a great time running the rapids on this creek.

Enjoy the water in the Smokies, but be careful of swift currents and hidden underwater rocks. Kayakers have a great time running the rapids on this creek.

Enjoy the water in the Smokies, but be careful of swift currents and hidden underwater rocks. Kayakers have a great time running the rapids on this creek. 1754
37 The <strong>Sinks</strong> are a popular swimming area in the summer. There is a deep hole that people jump into from the high boulders (which is an activity <u>not</u> approved by the National Park Service).

The Sinks are a popular swimming area in the summer. There is a deep hole that people jump into from the high boulders (which is an activity not approved by the National Park Service).

The Sinks are a popular swimming area in the summer. There is a deep hole that people jump into from the high boulders (which is an activity not approved by the National Park Service). 2175
38 Wild Boars are like "hooved roto-tillers," plowing up roots and tubers of plants as they search for food. They also carry diseases and foul the water in streams.

Wild Boars are like "hooved roto-tillers," plowing up roots and tubers of plants as they search for food. They also carry diseases and foul the water in streams.

Wild Boars are like "hooved roto-tillers," plowing up roots and tubers of plants as they search for food. They also carry diseases and foul the water in streams. 1682
39 <strong>A bear trap</strong>

Do <u>not</u> feed the bears!  Bears that learn to associate food with people may have to be trapped and moved to a more distant area of the park. Bears that continue to be a problem usually have to be killed. "A fed bea...

A bear trap Do not feed the bears! Bears that learn to associate food with people may have to be trapped and moved to a more distant area of the park. Bears that continue to be a problem usually have to be killed. "A fed bea...

A bear trap Do not feed the bears! Bears that learn to associate food with people may have to be trapped and moved to a more distant area of the park. Bears that continue to be a problem usually have to be killed. "A fed bear is a dead bear!" The smaller chain-link cage is a wild hog trap. 1748
40 The old cabins at <strong>Elkmont</strong> have stirred many emotions over whether they should be torn down to let nature reclaim the land or if they should be restored for their historical value. These vacation homes were enjoyed by generations of fam...

The old cabins at Elkmont have stirred many emotions over whether they should be torn down to let nature reclaim the land or if they should be restored for their historical value. These vacation homes were enjoyed by generations of fam...

The old cabins at Elkmont have stirred many emotions over whether they should be torn down to let nature reclaim the land or if they should be restored for their historical value. These vacation homes were enjoyed by generations of families from the 1920's up until 1999 when the lease on the land expired with the Park Service. 1817
41 The <strong>Walker Sisters Cabin</strong> is a popular destination via a short and easy hike from Metcalf Bottoms. Five unmarried sisters lived in this cabin during the 1900's. They were famous for their remarkable self-sufficiency and their knowledge ...

The Walker Sisters Cabin is a popular destination via a short and easy hike from Metcalf Bottoms. Five unmarried sisters lived in this cabin during the 1900's. They were famous for their remarkable self-sufficiency and their knowledge ...

The Walker Sisters Cabin is a popular destination via a short and easy hike from Metcalf Bottoms. Five unmarried sisters lived in this cabin during the 1900's. They were famous for their remarkable self-sufficiency and their knowledge of medicinal herbs. 1851
42 An interesting door latch at the Walker Sisters Farm.

An interesting door latch at the Walker Sisters Farm.

An interesting door latch at the Walker Sisters Farm. 1446
43 The <strong>Little Greenbriar School</strong> is reached by an easy hike from Metcalf Bottoms or it can be reached by car on a gravel road. This tiny one room schoolhouse was used by numerous mountain children for many years until they had to leave due...

The Little Greenbriar School is reached by an easy hike from Metcalf Bottoms or it can be reached by car on a gravel road. This tiny one room schoolhouse was used by numerous mountain children for many years until they had to leave due...

The Little Greenbriar School is reached by an easy hike from Metcalf Bottoms or it can be reached by car on a gravel road. This tiny one room schoolhouse was used by numerous mountain children for many years until they had to leave due to the formation of the park. Those kids really did have to hike five miles (give or take a few) in the snow to get to school! The graveyard has headstones from many of the families who lived in the bottoms. 1530
44 My friends Jamie and Terri at the Little Greenbriar school. Terri is a teacher, so she had a great appreciation for what teaching in this little school must have been like one hundred years ago!

My friends Jamie and Terri at the Little Greenbriar school. Terri is a teacher, so she had a great appreciation for what teaching in this little school must have been like one hundred years ago!

My friends Jamie and Terri at the Little Greenbriar school. Terri is a teacher, so she had a great appreciation for what teaching in this little school must have been like one hundred years ago! 1638
45 These tubes reminded me of big black flowers as people carried them up the road. The <strong>Deep Creek</strong> area of the park is popular for groups wanting to tube in the creek. Businesses rent tubes just outside the park entrance. Tubers have to b...

These tubes reminded me of big black flowers as people carried them up the road. The Deep Creek area of the park is popular for groups wanting to tube in the creek. Businesses rent tubes just outside the park entrance. Tubers have to b...

These tubes reminded me of big black flowers as people carried them up the road. The Deep Creek area of the park is popular for groups wanting to tube in the creek. Businesses rent tubes just outside the park entrance. Tubers have to be willing to schlep their tubes a mile or so up the trail to get a ride. It looked like fun when they were bouncing along down the river! It might look "geeky", but people would be well advised to wear helmets, shoes, and even knee and elbow pads while tubing, it could help save them from serious injury. 1575
46 Some people either can't read or they just foolishly choose to ignore the signs! See next photo...

Some people either can't read or they just foolishly choose to ignore the signs! See next photo...

Some people either can't read or they just foolishly choose to ignore the signs! See next photo... 1621
47 Dumb tourist trick #3 
<strong>Indian Creek Falls</strong> at Deep Creek on the North Carolina side of the park is a magnet for risk takers. This group of guys came here (ignoring the "No Tubing Beyond this Point" sign just down the trail <u>and</u> r...

Dumb tourist trick #3 Indian Creek Falls at Deep Creek on the North Carolina side of the park is a magnet for risk takers. This group of guys came here (ignoring the "No Tubing Beyond this Point" sign just down the trail and r...

Dumb tourist trick #3 Indian Creek Falls at Deep Creek on the North Carolina side of the park is a magnet for risk takers. This group of guys came here (ignoring the "No Tubing Beyond this Point" sign just down the trail and ruining my photography opportunity!) to take a chance with their lives for a quick thrill. People like this help keep rangers and EMS workers busy! 2036
48 Dumb tourist trick #3 continued!

Dumb tourist trick #3 continued!

Dumb tourist trick #3 continued! 1790
49 <strong>Juneywhank Falls</strong> is found in the Deep Creek section of the park on the North Carolina side. I led a hike here in August for the Great Smoky Mountains Association (GSMA). It was the first time my husband and I had been to this part of t...

Juneywhank Falls is found in the Deep Creek section of the park on the North Carolina side. I led a hike here in August for the Great Smoky Mountains Association (GSMA). It was the first time my husband and I had been to this part of t...

Juneywhank Falls is found in the Deep Creek section of the park on the North Carolina side. I led a hike here in August for the Great Smoky Mountains Association (GSMA). It was the first time my husband and I had been to this part of the park. I read that this waterfall was named for a local settler, Junaluska ("Juney") Whank, who is said to be buried near the falls. 1507
50 The Smokies are beautiful in all kinds of weather! This lovely view was taken from Hwy. 441 on the way to Newfound Gap.

The Smokies are beautiful in all kinds of weather! This lovely view was taken from Hwy. 441 on the way to Newfound Gap.

The Smokies are beautiful in all kinds of weather! This lovely view was taken from Hwy. 441 on the way to Newfound Gap. 1510
51 The <strong>Oconoluftee Visitors Center</strong> is located just outside Cherokee, NC. The center has an interesting "living farm" complete with pigs, sorghum plants, old farm equipment and even...

The Oconoluftee Visitors Center is located just outside Cherokee, NC. The center has an interesting "living farm" complete with pigs, sorghum plants, old farm equipment and even...

The Oconoluftee Visitors Center is located just outside Cherokee, NC. The center has an interesting "living farm" complete with pigs, sorghum plants, old farm equipment and even... 1505
52 Chickens!

Chickens!

Chickens! 1415
53 These horseshoe door-hinges were found on one of the old historic buildings at the Oconoluftee Visitors Center.

These horseshoe door-hinges were found on one of the old historic buildings at the Oconoluftee Visitors Center.

These horseshoe door-hinges were found on one of the old historic buildings at the Oconoluftee Visitors Center. 1739
54 A beautiful view of the Smokies from the <strong>Blue Ridge Parkway</strong> just above Cherokee, NC. Joe Pye Weed and Goldenrod add a splash of color in late August. I'd love to come back here in October!

A beautiful view of the Smokies from the Blue Ridge Parkway just above Cherokee, NC. Joe Pye Weed and Goldenrod add a splash of color in late August. I'd love to come back here in October!

A beautiful view of the Smokies from the Blue Ridge Parkway just above Cherokee, NC. Joe Pye Weed and Goldenrod add a splash of color in late August. I'd love to come back here in October! 1375
55 These picnic tables at the <strong>Balsam Mountain picnic area</strong> reminded us of a scene from the Flintstones! :) The tables are made of solid sheets of metamorphic rock and the benches are made of split logs. They didn't appear to have been used...

These picnic tables at the Balsam Mountain picnic area reminded us of a scene from the Flintstones! :) The tables are made of solid sheets of metamorphic rock and the benches are made of split logs. They didn't appear to have been used...

These picnic tables at the Balsam Mountain picnic area reminded us of a scene from the Flintstones! :) The tables are made of solid sheets of metamorphic rock and the benches are made of split logs. They didn't appear to have been used much! There were more modern tables in another part of the picnic area too! 1955
56 <strong>Blueberries</strong> are one of the great treats to be found in the Smokies during the late summer and early autumn. They are delicious to nibble on along the trails in the high elevations, just be sure to leave a few for the bears!

Blueberries are one of the great treats to be found in the Smokies during the late summer and early autumn. They are delicious to nibble on along the trails in the high elevations, just be sure to leave a few for the bears!

Blueberries are one of the great treats to be found in the Smokies during the late summer and early autumn. They are delicious to nibble on along the trails in the high elevations, just be sure to leave a few for the bears! 1464
57 A little bit of snow can be a great treat, especially for tourists visiting from Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and other southern states.

A little bit of snow can be a great treat, especially for tourists visiting from Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and other southern states.

A little bit of snow can be a great treat, especially for tourists visiting from Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and other southern states. 1400
58 The <strong>Bud Ogle cabin</strong> is located very near Gatlinburg. I enjoyed seeing it dusted with snow! The temperatures were rising when I was there and the snow dripped off the trees like rain!

The Bud Ogle cabin is located very near Gatlinburg. I enjoyed seeing it dusted with snow! The temperatures were rising when I was there and the snow dripped off the trees like rain!

The Bud Ogle cabin is located very near Gatlinburg. I enjoyed seeing it dusted with snow! The temperatures were rising when I was there and the snow dripped off the trees like rain! 1371
59 Signs along the <strong>Laurel Falls trail</strong> warn of the dangers of mountain trails. This is one of <u>the most</u> popular trails in the Smokies because it leads to lovely waterfall, it is not too steep, and it is paved. The parking lot for thi...

Signs along the Laurel Falls trail warn of the dangers of mountain trails. This is one of the most popular trails in the Smokies because it leads to lovely waterfall, it is not too steep, and it is paved. The parking lot for thi...

Signs along the Laurel Falls trail warn of the dangers of mountain trails. This is one of the most popular trails in the Smokies because it leads to lovely waterfall, it is not too steep, and it is paved. The parking lot for this trail is almost always overflowing! 1955
60 <strong>Laurel Falls</strong>

Laurel Falls

Laurel Falls 1288
61 A view from the lower section of Laurel Falls. This angle required an "interesting" hike to the bottom.

A view from the lower section of Laurel Falls. This angle required an "interesting" hike to the bottom.

A view from the lower section of Laurel Falls. This angle required an "interesting" hike to the bottom. 1418
62 We are going to take a 4-mile hike to Charlie's Bunion. This part of the Appalachian trail begins at Newfound Gap.

We are going to take a 4-mile hike to Charlie's Bunion. This part of the Appalachian trail begins at Newfound Gap.

We are going to take a 4-mile hike to Charlie's Bunion. This part of the Appalachian trail begins at Newfound Gap. 1465
63 The <strong>Appalachian Trail</strong> trail goes over Newfound Gap. This fence is at the beginning of the trail in that area.

The Appalachian Trail trail goes over Newfound Gap. This fence is at the beginning of the trail in that area.

The Appalachian Trail trail goes over Newfound Gap. This fence is at the beginning of the trail in that area. 1519
64 The Appalachian Trail (a.k.a. AT) has some challenging spots. My friend Terri climbs up some of the large rocks in the middle of the trail. Sturdy boots are a must for this trail!

The Appalachian Trail (a.k.a. AT) has some challenging spots. My friend Terri climbs up some of the large rocks in the middle of the trail. Sturdy boots are a must for this trail!

The Appalachian Trail (a.k.a. AT) has some challenging spots. My friend Terri climbs up some of the large rocks in the middle of the trail. Sturdy boots are a must for this trail! 1576
65 The <strong>Icewater Spring shelter</strong> is "home away from home" for many Appalachian Trail through hikers. It provides a dry roof and a fireplace. Nearby there are cables strung between the trees to hang backpacks from to prevent bears from getti...

The Icewater Spring shelter is "home away from home" for many Appalachian Trail through hikers. It provides a dry roof and a fireplace. Nearby there are cables strung between the trees to hang backpacks from to prevent bears from getti...

The Icewater Spring shelter is "home away from home" for many Appalachian Trail through hikers. It provides a dry roof and a fireplace. Nearby there are cables strung between the trees to hang backpacks from to prevent bears from getting a midnight snack! They also prevent the bears from becoming acclimated to people food and becoming nuisance bears. 2156
66 A 5-star hotel, the Icewater Spring shelter is not! It offers a dry place for hikers to rest their weary heads and a warm fireplace. At least the "double-decker" bunks are made of wood now, 30 years ago the sleeping surface was made of heavy guage fenc...

A 5-star hotel, the Icewater Spring shelter is not! It offers a dry place for hikers to rest their weary heads and a warm fireplace. At least the "double-decker" bunks are made of wood now, 30 years ago the sleeping surface was made of heavy guage fenc...

A 5-star hotel, the Icewater Spring shelter is not! It offers a dry place for hikers to rest their weary heads and a warm fireplace. At least the "double-decker" bunks are made of wood now, 30 years ago the sleeping surface was made of heavy guage fencing wire. I remember feeling mice run over my sleeping bag one night! That was creepy!!! 2118
67 "When ya gotta go, ya gotta go"! And you <u>really</u> gotta go to use this one! The Icewater Spring toilet is a "moldering" toilet. See the next photo to see what makes it "molder"!
(photo by Terri)

"When ya gotta go, ya gotta go"! And you really gotta go to use this one! The Icewater Spring toilet is a "moldering" toilet. See the next photo to see what makes it "molder"! (photo by Terri)

"When ya gotta go, ya gotta go"! And you really gotta go to use this one! The Icewater Spring toilet is a "moldering" toilet. See the next photo to see what makes it "molder"! (photo by Terri) 1792
68 These two 5-gallon buckets contain mulch! Signs instruct the user to throw a handful in the toilet after use. The broom is used to sweep up any loose mulch. The worst part of using this toilet was hearing the sound hundreds of huge flies buzzing below!...

These two 5-gallon buckets contain mulch! Signs instruct the user to throw a handful in the toilet after use. The broom is used to sweep up any loose mulch. The worst part of using this toilet was hearing the sound hundreds of huge flies buzzing below!...

These two 5-gallon buckets contain mulch! Signs instruct the user to throw a handful in the toilet after use. The broom is used to sweep up any loose mulch. The worst part of using this toilet was hearing the sound hundreds of huge flies buzzing below! :-O 1847
69 This is the Icewater Spring that the shelter is named for. This pipe empties onto the Appalachian Trail just below the Icewater Springs shelter. Fortunately, it is on the <u>other side</u> of the mountain from the toilet! Despite how cold, clean and te...

This is the Icewater Spring that the shelter is named for. This pipe empties onto the Appalachian Trail just below the Icewater Springs shelter. Fortunately, it is on the other side of the mountain from the toilet! Despite how cold, clean and te...

This is the Icewater Spring that the shelter is named for. This pipe empties onto the Appalachian Trail just below the Icewater Springs shelter. Fortunately, it is on the other side of the mountain from the toilet! Despite how cold, clean and tempting the water in the Smokies may appear, don't drink directly from the streams or springs! All water in the park must be boiled, filtered, or chemically treated to kill bacteria, viruses, and parasites such as Giardia. 1814
70 Our friends, Rod and Terri, hiked to Charlie's Bunion with us. We are about half-way at this point.
(photo by a fellow hiker)

Our friends, Rod and Terri, hiked to Charlie's Bunion with us. We are about half-way at this point. (photo by a fellow hiker)

Our friends, Rod and Terri, hiked to Charlie's Bunion with us. We are about half-way at this point. (photo by a fellow hiker) 1612
71 This sign lets you know you have arrived at <strong>Charlies Bunion</strong>. Like the Chimney Tops, it is not a good place to bring small children!

This sign lets you know you have arrived at Charlies Bunion. Like the Chimney Tops, it is not a good place to bring small children!

This sign lets you know you have arrived at Charlies Bunion. Like the Chimney Tops, it is not a good place to bring small children! 1579
72 This trail is the final approach Charlies Bunion.

This trail is the final approach Charlies Bunion.

This trail is the final approach Charlies Bunion. 1760
73 Terri, Rod, Ken and I made it the 4 miles to Charlies Bunion! What a great place to enjoy our lunch and a spectacular view. We feel so blessed to live so close to the Smokies!
<a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/mm?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=35.696619,-83.3961...

Terri, Rod, Ken and I made it the 4 miles to Charlies Bunion! What a great place to enjoy our lunch and a spectacular view. We feel so blessed to live so close to the Smokies!

Terri, Rod, Ken and I made it the 4 miles to Charlies Bunion! What a great place to enjoy our lunch and a spectacular view. We feel so blessed to live so close to the Smokies! map... 2544
74 Many of the trees on Charlies Bunion have branches growing on just one side due to the strong, nearly constant winds that blow at this high elevation.

Many of the trees on Charlies Bunion have branches growing on just one side due to the strong, nearly constant winds that blow at this high elevation.

Many of the trees on Charlies Bunion have branches growing on just one side due to the strong, nearly constant winds that blow at this high elevation. 1616
75 The <strong>Mountain Myrtle</strong> was in full bloom at Charlie's Bunion when were there in late May. The views from the top are spectacular!

The Mountain Myrtle was in full bloom at Charlie's Bunion when were there in late May. The views from the top are spectacular!

The Mountain Myrtle was in full bloom at Charlie's Bunion when were there in late May. The views from the top are spectacular! 1585
76 <strong>Mt. Leconte</strong> is the second highest peak in the Smokies. It can be reached from the Boulevard Trail off the Appalachian Trail. This view is from a side trail near Charlie's Bunion.

Mt. Leconte is the second highest peak in the Smokies. It can be reached from the Boulevard Trail off the Appalachian Trail. This view is from a side trail near Charlie's Bunion.

Mt. Leconte is the second highest peak in the Smokies. It can be reached from the Boulevard Trail off the Appalachian Trail. This view is from a side trail near Charlie's Bunion. 1525
77 The high elevation spruce - fir forests in the Smokies are like being in Canada. I love the fragrant aroma of the Balsam firs! Unfortunately, acid rain and the  adelgid, a sap-sucking aphid-like insect, have taken a toll on the trees of these forests. ...

The high elevation spruce - fir forests in the Smokies are like being in Canada. I love the fragrant aroma of the Balsam firs! Unfortunately, acid rain and the adelgid, a sap-sucking aphid-like insect, have taken a toll on the trees of these forests. ...

The high elevation spruce - fir forests in the Smokies are like being in Canada. I love the fragrant aroma of the Balsam firs! Unfortunately, acid rain and the adelgid, a sap-sucking aphid-like insect, have taken a toll on the trees of these forests. These thick, dark forests seem like they could have gnomes, sprites, fairies, or some other little forest spirits hiding in them! 1900
78 The <strong>Alum Cave trail</strong> is one of the very popular trails in the Smokies. It is the shortest, but steepest, route to Mt. Leconte. One sign says it is 5 miles, another says 5-1/2. I'd rather go for the bigger number, it sounds more impressi...

The Alum Cave trail is one of the very popular trails in the Smokies. It is the shortest, but steepest, route to Mt. Leconte. One sign says it is 5 miles, another says 5-1/2. I'd rather go for the bigger number, it sounds more impressi...

The Alum Cave trail is one of the very popular trails in the Smokies. It is the shortest, but steepest, route to Mt. Leconte. One sign says it is 5 miles, another says 5-1/2. I'd rather go for the bigger number, it sounds more impressive to say you've hiked 11 miles than 10 when you get back! 1583
79 The Alum Cave trail takes an interesting, but steep and narrow, detour when it goes through <strong>Arch Rock</strong>. The trail follows Alum Cave creek up to this point and then it starts the steep terrain.

The Alum Cave trail takes an interesting, but steep and narrow, detour when it goes through Arch Rock. The trail follows Alum Cave creek up to this point and then it starts the steep terrain.

The Alum Cave trail takes an interesting, but steep and narrow, detour when it goes through Arch Rock. The trail follows Alum Cave creek up to this point and then it starts the steep terrain. 1403
80 Two hikers make their way up <strong>Arch Rock</strong>.

Two hikers make their way up Arch Rock.

Two hikers make their way up Arch Rock. 1518
81 Be happy when you reach these steps, you are nearly to Alum Cave!

Be happy when you reach these steps, you are nearly to Alum Cave!

Be happy when you reach these steps, you are nearly to Alum Cave! 1508
82 Alum Cave smells like gunpowder due to the minerals found in the rock. It is dry as a bone because the overhanging cliff doesn't allow any rainfall to reach underneath. Some of the minerals include: potash alum, epsomite, melanterite and apjohnite. We ...

Alum Cave smells like gunpowder due to the minerals found in the rock. It is dry as a bone because the overhanging cliff doesn't allow any rainfall to reach underneath. Some of the minerals include: potash alum, epsomite, melanterite and apjohnite. We ...

Alum Cave smells like gunpowder due to the minerals found in the rock. It is dry as a bone because the overhanging cliff doesn't allow any rainfall to reach underneath. Some of the minerals include: potash alum, epsomite, melanterite and apjohnite. We were in the clouds during much of our hike. 1960
83 Alum Cave is nearly half-way for hikers going to Mt. Leconte, otherwise, it is a nice destination to enjoy then go back to the car. It is very dry and dusty.

Alum Cave is nearly half-way for hikers going to Mt. Leconte, otherwise, it is a nice destination to enjoy then go back to the car. It is very dry and dusty.

Alum Cave is nearly half-way for hikers going to Mt. Leconte, otherwise, it is a nice destination to enjoy then go back to the car. It is very dry and dusty. 1657
84 The rocks on the cliff above Alum Cave are lots of different colors due to the various minerals.

The rocks on the cliff above Alum Cave are lots of different colors due to the various minerals.

The rocks on the cliff above Alum Cave are lots of different colors due to the various minerals. 1661
85 Only 2.8 miles to go to Mt. Leconte!

Only 2.8 miles to go to Mt. Leconte!

Only 2.8 miles to go to Mt. Leconte! 1547
86 The trail starts to get interesting past Alum Cave! Be prepared to hike on narrow slate ledges. Many parts of the trail have cables as hand holds. It is not good for people who are afraid of heights! Don't try this trail in the winter, it can be very icy.

The trail starts to get interesting past Alum Cave! Be prepared to hike on narrow slate ledges. Many parts of the trail have cables as hand holds. It is not good for people who are afraid of heights! Don't try this trail in the winter, it can be very icy.

The trail starts to get interesting past Alum Cave! Be prepared to hike on narrow slate ledges. Many parts of the trail have cables as hand holds. It is not good for people who are afraid of heights! Don't try this trail in the winter, it can be very icy. 2136
87 These steps are made of 2 large logs with asphalt on them. 
(photo by Ken Light)

These steps are made of 2 large logs with asphalt on them. (photo by Ken Light)

These steps are made of 2 large logs with asphalt on them. (photo by Ken Light) 1470
88 Landslides are common on the steep mountainsides in the high areas of the park. This is just part of one that can be seen along the Alum Cave trail.

Landslides are common on the steep mountainsides in the high areas of the park. This is just part of one that can be seen along the Alum Cave trail.

Landslides are common on the steep mountainsides in the high areas of the park. This is just part of one that can be seen along the Alum Cave trail. 1617
89 <strong>Fir trees</strong> are found in the high elevations of the Smokies. The way to tell the difference between firs and spruces is to look at how the needles grow on the branches --- firs are flat on the bottom, spruce needles grow all the way arou...

Fir trees are found in the high elevations of the Smokies. The way to tell the difference between firs and spruces is to look at how the needles grow on the branches --- firs are flat on the bottom, spruce needles grow all the way arou...

Fir trees are found in the high elevations of the Smokies. The way to tell the difference between firs and spruces is to look at how the needles grow on the branches --- firs are flat on the bottom, spruce needles grow all the way around the branch. 1668
90 The first time I saw <strong>Grass of Parnassus</strong> was 9 years ago along this trail. I had looked for it for 10 years up to that point! Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera with me at that time. This plant grows only in the highest elevations of...

The first time I saw Grass of Parnassus was 9 years ago along this trail. I had looked for it for 10 years up to that point! Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera with me at that time. This plant grows only in the highest elevations of...

The first time I saw Grass of Parnassus was 9 years ago along this trail. I had looked for it for 10 years up to that point! Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera with me at that time. This plant grows only in the highest elevations of the park. 1528
91 I was excited to see this beautiful Linear-leaved Gentian blooming along the trail at around the 6,000-foot elevation area. One small, grassy field was full of this plant and Grass of Parnassus.

I was excited to see this beautiful Linear-leaved Gentian blooming along the trail at around the 6,000-foot elevation area. One small, grassy field was full of this plant and Grass of Parnassus.

I was excited to see this beautiful Linear-leaved Gentian blooming along the trail at around the 6,000-foot elevation area. One small, grassy field was full of this plant and Grass of Parnassus. 1459
92 There are 5 trails that lead to Mt. Leconte, Alum Cave Trail is just one of them. The others are: Bullhead, Rainbow Falls, Boulevard, and Trillium Gap. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday a team of llamas bring supplies up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium G...

There are 5 trails that lead to Mt. Leconte, Alum Cave Trail is just one of them. The others are: Bullhead, Rainbow Falls, Boulevard, and Trillium Gap. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday a team of llamas bring supplies up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium G...

There are 5 trails that lead to Mt. Leconte, Alum Cave Trail is just one of them. The others are: Bullhead, Rainbow Falls, Boulevard, and Trillium Gap. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday a team of llamas bring supplies up to Mt. Leconte on the Trillium Gap trail. The trail to the left will take us back to the car at the Alum Cave trailhead, the trail to the right goes to Bullhead and Rainbow Falls. Rainbow Falls trail is very rocky and difficult. 1696
93 We finally made it to the Leconte Lodge! Unfortunately, we don't have much time to enjoy ourselves for long, we have to hike back down! For information about the lodge, contact: www.lecontelodge.com
This is a unique lodge because the only way to get t...

We finally made it to the Leconte Lodge! Unfortunately, we don't have much time to enjoy ourselves for long, we have to hike back down! For information about the lodge, contact: www.lecontelodge.com This is a unique lodge because the only way to get t...

We finally made it to the Leconte Lodge! Unfortunately, we don't have much time to enjoy ourselves for long, we have to hike back down! For information about the lodge, contact: www.lecontelodge.com This is a unique lodge because the only way to get there is to hike up! Rates in 2007 will be $93 per person to stay one night in a 4-person cabin. The lodge will be open March 19 through November 20, 2007. The rate includes breakfast and dinner. When you enjoy that hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate, you'll really appreciate those llamas! 1627
94 The rocking chairs on the deck of Leconte Lodge are a welcome sight after hiking 5-1/2 miles! Ken is pulling out our lunch in this photo, but we ended up eating inside the lodge because it was breezy and cool. The temperature is usually 10 - 15 degrees...

The rocking chairs on the deck of Leconte Lodge are a welcome sight after hiking 5-1/2 miles! Ken is pulling out our lunch in this photo, but we ended up eating inside the lodge because it was breezy and cool. The temperature is usually 10 - 15 degrees...

The rocking chairs on the deck of Leconte Lodge are a welcome sight after hiking 5-1/2 miles! Ken is pulling out our lunch in this photo, but we ended up eating inside the lodge because it was breezy and cool. The temperature is usually 10 - 15 degrees cooler up there, so a jacket is good to have even in the summer. It was 64 degrees when were there on Sept. 1. 1582
95 The Leconte Lodge has no electricity, so it is very rustic. A sign on the door asks the last person out each evening to blow out the kerosene lamps. Once a year a helicopter delivers large supplies that the llamas can't carry up the mountain, such as t...

The Leconte Lodge has no electricity, so it is very rustic. A sign on the door asks the last person out each evening to blow out the kerosene lamps. Once a year a helicopter delivers large supplies that the llamas can't carry up the mountain, such as t...

The Leconte Lodge has no electricity, so it is very rustic. A sign on the door asks the last person out each evening to blow out the kerosene lamps. Once a year a helicopter delivers large supplies that the llamas can't carry up the mountain, such as tanks of natural gas for the stove in the dining hall. 1577
96 This map in the Leconte Lodge attests to its popularity.

This map in the Leconte Lodge attests to its popularity.

This map in the Leconte Lodge attests to its popularity. 1533
97 These are the 4-person Cabins at Mt. Leconte. They have 2 bunk beds, so be prepared to possibly share a cabin. They probably wouldn't make good honeymoon suites! ;)

These are the 4-person Cabins at Mt. Leconte. They have 2 bunk beds, so be prepared to possibly share a cabin. They probably wouldn't make good honeymoon suites! ;)

These are the 4-person Cabins at Mt. Leconte. They have 2 bunk beds, so be prepared to possibly share a cabin. They probably wouldn't make good honeymoon suites! ;) 1609
98 There are also 2 and 3-bedroom lodges available for large groups.

There are also 2 and 3-bedroom lodges available for large groups.

There are also 2 and 3-bedroom lodges available for large groups. 1458
99 The Dining Hall at Leconte Lodge serves dinner and breakfast. Diners eat their meals by kerosene lamps.

The Dining Hall at Leconte Lodge serves dinner and breakfast. Diners eat their meals by kerosene lamps.

The Dining Hall at Leconte Lodge serves dinner and breakfast. Diners eat their meals by kerosene lamps. 1288
100 The Leconte dining lodge serves delicious meals!

The Leconte dining lodge serves delicious meals!

The Leconte dining lodge serves delicious meals! 1487
101 A short side hike to Cliff Tops is a must! The view from the top is incredible, especially when the fog rolls up the mountainside. If you are up at Mt. Leconte for a sunrise or sunset, be sure and go up to Cliff Tops.

A short side hike to Cliff Tops is a must! The view from the top is incredible, especially when the fog rolls up the mountainside. If you are up at Mt. Leconte for a sunrise or sunset, be sure and go up to Cliff Tops.

A short side hike to Cliff Tops is a must! The view from the top is incredible, especially when the fog rolls up the mountainside. If you are up at Mt. Leconte for a sunrise or sunset, be sure and go up to Cliff Tops. 1881
102 The <strong>Cliff Tops</strong> must be spectacular in early summer when the Sand Myrtle and Dwarf Rhododendron are in bloom! The clouds in the left of this photo quickly covered the mountainside after I took this picture.

The Cliff Tops must be spectacular in early summer when the Sand Myrtle and Dwarf Rhododendron are in bloom! The clouds in the left of this photo quickly covered the mountainside after I took this picture.

The Cliff Tops must be spectacular in early summer when the Sand Myrtle and Dwarf Rhododendron are in bloom! The clouds in the left of this photo quickly covered the mountainside after I took this picture. 1645
103 <strong>Baskin Falls</strong> with a rainbow. This trail is located off the Roaring Fork Motor Trail behind Gatlinburg. It is a short, but steep, hike to get to the falls.

Baskin Falls with a rainbow. This trail is located off the Roaring Fork Motor Trail behind Gatlinburg. It is a short, but steep, hike to get to the falls.

Baskin Falls with a rainbow. This trail is located off the Roaring Fork Motor Trail behind Gatlinburg. It is a short, but steep, hike to get to the falls. 1332
104 This rock foundation is all that is left of an old mountain cabin near Baskin Falls.

This rock foundation is all that is left of an old mountain cabin near Baskin Falls.

This rock foundation is all that is left of an old mountain cabin near Baskin Falls. 1165
105 <strong>Dumb Tourist Trick #5</strong>. Not only did this family break the law by vandalizing this cabin in 1981, they came back in 1983, '87, and '90 and did it <u>again</u>! What a great impression they made on their young son! I hope the rangers wer...

Dumb Tourist Trick #5. Not only did this family break the law by vandalizing this cabin in 1981, they came back in 1983, '87, and '90 and did it again! What a great impression they made on their young son! I hope the rangers wer...

Dumb Tourist Trick #5. Not only did this family break the law by vandalizing this cabin in 1981, they came back in 1983, '87, and '90 and did it again! What a great impression they made on their young son! I hope the rangers were able to find the Coots family and pay them a visit (and hopefully slapped a major fine on them!). It's not too smart to write your full name and your kids' names when you vandalize! That's a big "duh"! 1489
106 <strong>Ephraim Bales Place</strong>

Ephraim Bales Place

Ephraim Bales Place 1500
107 The tiny <strong>Ogle cemetery</strong> is located on a side trail off the Baskin Falls trail. The homemade headstones were made from sandstone slabs.

The tiny Ogle cemetery is located on a side trail off the Baskin Falls trail. The homemade headstones were made from sandstone slabs.

The tiny Ogle cemetery is located on a side trail off the Baskin Falls trail. The homemade headstones were made from sandstone slabs. 1363
108 A headstone in the Ogle cemetery.

A headstone in the Ogle cemetery.

A headstone in the Ogle cemetery. 1323
109 <strong>The Place of a Thousand Drips</strong> is a beautiful stop along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail behind Gatlinburg.

The Place of a Thousand Drips is a beautiful stop along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail behind Gatlinburg.

The Place of a Thousand Drips is a beautiful stop along the Roaring Fork Motor Trail behind Gatlinburg. 1329
110 John Ownby Cabin - inside view

John Ownby Cabin - inside view

John Ownby Cabin - inside view 1493
111 The John Ownby Cabin (why were the cabins were always named after the men?!) is located on the Sugarlands Trail behind the main Visitor Center in the park.

The John Ownby Cabin (why were the cabins were always named after the men?!) is located on the Sugarlands Trail behind the main Visitor Center in the park.

The John Ownby Cabin (why were the cabins were always named after the men?!) is located on the Sugarlands Trail behind the main Visitor Center in the park. 1836
112 A view from behind the John Ownby Cabin

A view from behind the John Ownby Cabin

A view from behind the John Ownby Cabin 1401
113 Cataract Falls is a short walk from the Sugarlands Visitor Center. I took this photo in mid-June 2007 during the drought.

Cataract Falls is a short walk from the Sugarlands Visitor Center. I took this photo in mid-June 2007 during the drought.

Cataract Falls is a short walk from the Sugarlands Visitor Center. I took this photo in mid-June 2007 during the drought. 1343
114 This is one of the old houses in the Elkmont area of the park.

This is one of the old houses in the Elkmont area of the park.

This is one of the old houses in the Elkmont area of the park. 1345
115 These Firefly watchers had a great spot set up to watch the famous Synchronous Fireflies (Photinus carolinus) at Elkmont. These tiny insects put on quite an amazing show in mid-June each year. I set up next to a creek near one of the old houses. I had ...

These Firefly watchers had a great spot set up to watch the famous Synchronous Fireflies (Photinus carolinus) at Elkmont. These tiny insects put on quite an amazing show in mid-June each year. I set up next to a creek near one of the old houses. I had ...

These Firefly watchers had a great spot set up to watch the famous Synchronous Fireflies (Photinus carolinus) at Elkmont. These tiny insects put on quite an amazing show in mid-June each year. I set up next to a creek near one of the old houses. I had never seen this spectacular show before. I have seen the Ghost Fireflies at Tremont, they keep their light going and float slowly through the air. The Synchronous Fireflies flash together in groups. These fireflies are different than the greenish ones we have in our backyard, they are much smaller and have a bluish light. 1479
116 These Firefly watchers are waiting for the sun to set and the "show" to start. This event has become so popular that the park service has a shuttle ($1) to bring people from the Sugarlands Visitor Center on the weekends. The only problem is it doesn't ...

These Firefly watchers are waiting for the sun to set and the "show" to start. This event has become so popular that the park service has a shuttle ($1) to bring people from the Sugarlands Visitor Center on the weekends. The only problem is it doesn't ...

These Firefly watchers are waiting for the sun to set and the "show" to start. This event has become so popular that the park service has a shuttle ($1) to bring people from the Sugarlands Visitor Center on the weekends. The only problem is it doesn't get dark until nearly 10:00 PM and it is hard to tear yourself away before an hour or so of watching the mesmerizing light show. The line to get on the return shuttle was an hour-long wait, I didn't enjoy driving down the dark, curvy Little River Road at midnight! 1211
117 This very strange Doghobble gall was located along the Sugarlands Nature trail.

This very strange Doghobble gall was located along the Sugarlands Nature trail.

This very strange Doghobble gall was located along the Sugarlands Nature trail. 1327
118 This feral Rose is a remnant from the earlier times at Elkmont.

This feral Rose is a remnant from the earlier times at Elkmont.

This feral Rose is a remnant from the earlier times at Elkmont. 1277
119 The Sugarlands trail has an unusual hollow tree near one of the footbridges.

The Sugarlands trail has an unusual hollow tree near one of the footbridges.

The Sugarlands trail has an unusual hollow tree near one of the footbridges. 1227
120 This section of the Sugarlands Nature trail takes visitors to Cataract Falls.

This section of the Sugarlands Nature trail takes visitors to Cataract Falls.

This section of the Sugarlands Nature trail takes visitors to Cataract Falls. 1240
121 This part of the Sugarlands Nature trail goes under the road!

This part of the Sugarlands Nature trail goes under the road!

This part of the Sugarlands Nature trail goes under the road! 1227
122 Sugarlands trail

Sugarlands trail

Sugarlands trail 1178
123 Hemlock arm span

Hemlock arm span

Hemlock arm span 1259
124 Quartz blue conglomerate

Quartz blue conglomerate

Quartz blue conglomerate 1254
125 Rainbow Falls trail steps

Rainbow Falls trail steps

Rainbow Falls trail steps 1162
126 <strong>Rainbow Falls</strong> is one of the most popular hikes in the park. It is a challenging hike due to all the rocks on the trail, but it is worth the effort when you reach the beautiful waterfalls. The trail is one of several that can be taken t...

Rainbow Falls is one of the most popular hikes in the park. It is a challenging hike due to all the rocks on the trail, but it is worth the effort when you reach the beautiful waterfalls. The trail is one of several that can be taken t...

Rainbow Falls is one of the most popular hikes in the park. It is a challenging hike due to all the rocks on the trail, but it is worth the effort when you reach the beautiful waterfalls. The trail is one of several that can be taken to reach Mt. Leconte. 1306
127 Rainbow Falls seen from the side
<a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/mm?hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=35.924645,-83.449402&spn=0.572714,1.251068&t=p&z=10&om=1&msa=0&msid=111048428162997367442.000442ab878ce9d8ecdbb"> map... </a>

Rainbow Falls seen from the side map...

Rainbow Falls seen from the side map... 1521
128 <strong>Fern Falls</strong>
is located on the Porter's Creek trail.

Fern Falls is located on the Porter's Creek trail.

Fern Falls is located on the Porter's Creek trail. 1255
129 This stream is the namesake of the Porter's Creek trail.

This stream is the namesake of the Porter's Creek trail.

This stream is the namesake of the Porter's Creek trail. 1273
130 The <strong>Smoky Mountains Hiking Club cabin</strong> was built in 1936. It is no longer used for overnight camping. A group of students were inside with a park ranger getting a history lesson while we were there, their lunch baskets were left outside.

The Smoky Mountains Hiking Club cabin was built in 1936. It is no longer used for overnight camping. A group of students were inside with a park ranger getting a history lesson while we were there, their lunch baskets were left outside.

The Smoky Mountains Hiking Club cabin was built in 1936. It is no longer used for overnight camping. A group of students were inside with a park ranger getting a history lesson while we were there, their lunch baskets were left outside. 1081
131 One of the log bridges along the Porters Creek trail. After we crossed this bridge we were astounded at the masses of wildflowers we saw along the trail!

One of the log bridges along the Porters Creek trail. After we crossed this bridge we were astounded at the masses of wildflowers we saw along the trail!

One of the log bridges along the Porters Creek trail. After we crossed this bridge we were astounded at the masses of wildflowers we saw along the trail! 1173
132 The Porter's Creek trail is famous for its wildflower displays. This hillside was carpeted in Spring Beauty and Sharp-lobed Hepatica on March 18, 2009.

The Porter's Creek trail is famous for its wildflower displays. This hillside was carpeted in Spring Beauty and Sharp-lobed Hepatica on March 18, 2009.

The Porter's Creek trail is famous for its wildflower displays. This hillside was carpeted in Spring Beauty and Sharp-lobed Hepatica on March 18, 2009. 1187
133 <strong>Grotto Falls</strong> is another popular hiking destination in the Smokies. It is accessed from the Trillium Gap trail off the Roaring Fork Motor trail near Gatlinburg. It is often very crowded on nice weekends, such as the day we went there in...

Grotto Falls is another popular hiking destination in the Smokies. It is accessed from the Trillium Gap trail off the Roaring Fork Motor trail near Gatlinburg. It is often very crowded on nice weekends, such as the day we went there in...

Grotto Falls is another popular hiking destination in the Smokies. It is accessed from the Trillium Gap trail off the Roaring Fork Motor trail near Gatlinburg. It is often very crowded on nice weekends, such as the day we went there in July 2009. If you keep hiking beyond the falls, the crowds thin out considerably. 1035
134 The Trillium Gap trail is used twice a week by the llamas that take the supplies up to Mt. Leconte. This area of the trail is their "potty section", watch your step!

The Trillium Gap trail is used twice a week by the llamas that take the supplies up to Mt. Leconte. This area of the trail is their "potty section", watch your step!

The Trillium Gap trail is used twice a week by the llamas that take the supplies up to Mt. Leconte. This area of the trail is their "potty section", watch your step! 994
135 Our destination on this hike was <strong>Brushy Mountain </strong>. It has spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and mountains.

Our destination on this hike was Brushy Mountain . It has spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and mountains.

Our destination on this hike was Brushy Mountain . It has spectacular views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. 1181

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