Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park
IUCN Category II (National Park)
Cherokee, NC entrance sign to Great Smoky Mtn. Nat. Park IMG 4905.JPG
Entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, from Cherokee, North Carolina
Location Counties in North Carolina and Tennessee, USA
Nearest city Cherokee, North Carolina and Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Coordinates 35°41′0″N 83°32′0″W / 35.683333°N 83.533333°W / 35.683333; -83.533333Coordinates: 35°41′0″N 83°32′0″W / 35.683333°N 83.533333°W / 35.683333; -83.533333
Area 522,419 acres (211,415 ha)[1]
Visitors 9,008,830 (in 2011)[2]
Governing body National Park Service
Type: Natural
Criteria: VII, VIII, IX, X
Designated: 1983 (7th session)
Reference #: 259
State Party:  United States
Region: North America

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a national park in the United States. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is along the Great Smoky Mountains, which are part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is the most visited national park in the United States.[3]

There are many elevations in the park. The lowest place is Abrams Creek at 876 feet (267 m). The highest point is Clingmans Dome at 6,643 feet (2,025 m). Sixteen mountains in the park reach higher than 6,000 feet (1829 m).[4]

Park officials say there are more than 200 species of birds, 66 species of mammals, 50 species of fish, 39 species of reptiles, and 43 species of amphibians, including many lungless salamanders. The park has about 1,500 black bear[5] In 2001 elk were brought to the park.

Over 100 species of trees grow in the park. The lower forests are mostly deciduous leafy trees. At higher altitudes, there are more coniferous trees. The park has over 1,400 flowering plant species and over 4,000 species of non-flowering plants.

There are 850 miles (1,368 km) of trails and unpaved roads in the park for hiking. The park also offers backpacking and camping.

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