Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The third and last national park we went to on our trip was Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Jeb had been here several times before but for me it was my first time. We got up early to get to all of the places we wanted to see, especially since everything is so far apart in the park. Our first stop was at the Sinks, the picture below.

We then did a couple smaller hikes. I think we are a little spoiled because we were expecting more spectacular views than this. We had to get adjusted to the fact that while the views were still beautiful they weren’t nearly as large or grand as what we have become accustomed to!

I always like the look of the lines the layers of mountains in the distance makes. If only I could figure out how to capture this better on a hazy day!

We saw lots of pretty wildflowers on our hikes. I love the way wildflowers photograph and almost always stop for the picture!

Our next hike was the alum cave trail. This smaller cave actually isn’t the main one, but it was neat how the trail went through it. You had to first cross the bridge and then continue on the stone stairs up through the cave.

View from the top of the trail.

So it’s not really what I would call a true cave… but it was still really neat looking. Plus “caves” always stay cooler in them, and even this partial cave was like 10 degrees cooler than the area around it.

On this hike we encountered this woman that was super grouchy that people were passing her. People weren’t being rude or anything when they passed her but she was very displeased about it. She was pretty heavy and very out of shape, so it was confusing to me why she was even surprised by this. I get passed by people all of the time, but I’m not mad at the people that pass me…weird.

Supposedly according to Jeb there was a bear there. I took a picture of the area because we “saw” a bear lol, but honestly I have no clue where it is in this picture or if it is even possible to see it. 🙂

While in the park we were fortunate enough to capture a really pretty sunset. These pictures don’t do it justice completely, but it was very spectacular!

We definitely had to pull over on the drive back to our campground to take a few pictures! I’m glad we stopped when we did, because as we headed down lower and more into the trees, there wouldn’t have been another good opportunity to get pictures.

Once I got used to the fact that the Smokies are no comparison in terms of size to the Rocky Mountains, I was then able to just appreciate the different type of charm they offer! Jeb has always wanted to bring me here, so I was glad to get to go with him. 🙂

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