Supporting Great Smoky Mountains
National Park since 1953

Photo by Michele Sons

The latest from Smokies LIVE

Newborn calves weigh about 35 pounds and can stand within minutes of birth, nursing for anywhere from one to seven months before transitioning to an adult diet. Photo provided by Doug Dearinger.

DNA study yields new estimate of Smoky Mountain elk population

Over the decades since the transfer of 52 elk marked the reintroduction of the species to Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Cataloochee Valley in 2001 and 2002, wildlife biologists have longed for a statistically accurate count of the population in Western North Carolina. While one might assume that, relatively speaking,

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Great Smokies

Welcome Center

Hours of Operation

(subject to change)

Open year round (closed December 25)

January - February

Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

March - November

Open Daily 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Open Daily 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

The Great Smokies Welcome Center is located on U.S. 321 in Townsend, TN, 2 miles from the west entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors can get information about things to see and do in and around the national park and shop from a wide selection of books, gifts, and other Smokies merchandise. Daily, weekly, and annual parking tags for the national park are also available.

Physical Address

7929 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway Townsend TN 37882


865.436.7318 Ext 320