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Author Topic: Great Smokey Mountains  (Read 4486 times)

2jbourret

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Great Smokey Mountains
« on: September 30, 2013, 10:30:20 PM »

I'm planning a cross country road trip beginning around Oct 12 from Idaho to the Great Smokey mountain area (provided the National Park hasn't been shut down), then heading north to east-central Ohio before heading back to Idaho.
Can anyone make suggestions for a good route thru the park, and for other locations worth visiting?
Also, any reports on the progress of fall color this year would be appreciated.

Thanks,

 

Mike Sellers

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Re: Great Smokey Mountains
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2013, 04:23:52 AM »

There is Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northern Ohio and The Hocking Hills State Park in southern Ohio for fall color.The trees are just starting to turn so they should be prime by the time you get thru here. This website is good for a progress report http://consumer.discoverohio.com/autumnadventures/FallColorReport.aspx
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Gulag

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Re: Great Smokey Mountains
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2013, 02:21:24 AM »

Check out this great guide book: the Smoky Mountains Photographer's Guide by Bill Campbell and Nye Simmons.
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dhancock

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Re: Great Smokey Mountains
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2013, 04:20:10 PM »

There is Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northern Ohio and The Hocking Hills State Park in southern Ohio for fall color.The trees are just starting to turn so they should be prime by the time you get thru here. This website is good for a progress report http://consumer.discoverohio.com/autumnadventures/FallColorReport.aspx

Cuyahoga Valley National Park might be closed, but Hocking Hills State Park is AMAZING. I would highly recommend you go there for 2 days. There are some nice locations at CVNP, but that also might be out of your way. If you do go, make sure you check out Blue Hen Falls, and keep Brandywine falls lower on your priority list - despite its size. The overlooks are quite nice in several areas of the park also.
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2jbourret

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Re: Great Smokey Mountains
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2013, 12:00:27 AM »

Thanks for the suggestion on Hocking Hills SP. Looks like a good spot for a day or two on my way up to Gambier, where my daughter is in school. However, on the hope that the NPS is reopened in time, I'd still like suggestions for places to check out in Great Smokey NP. I'll have a few days, and if it is open, I can plan on going either before or after the weekend of Oct. 18/19, depending on peak color. Any thoughts?

Jamie

Ken Bennett

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Re: Great Smokey Mountains
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2013, 08:35:16 AM »

There's not a huge amount of vehicle access to the Smokies: there is one main road that crosses the park (US441). It's very popular in leaf season, though I expect you'll be there after the peak tourist time (and driving up on weekdays will help.) That road hits Newfound Gap, with a large parking area and access to the Appalachian Trail. A side road, if it's open, goes to Clingman's Dome, which is worth a visit just for the view from the tower. There are turnouts on 441 with overlooks that might provide decent photos, depending on the time of day.

Cades Cove is one of the best spots in the Smokies for photography. There is a loop road, with plenty of places to stop for photos, plus some original settlements. Cataloochee is an interesting place to visit, too, though it's somewhat hard to drive there from the rest of the park. There is a "pioneer farmstead" at the Oconaluftee visitor center on the NC side of the park, which may offer some nice images in good light.

Fall color begins at the peaks (over 6000 feet) fairly early, then marches down into the valleys. I've made some nice images even in early November with full fall color in the lower valleys, looking down from the higher overlooks. It really depends on the year, though. The attached image is from a November hike, shot on 11/12/08 with a crappy p+s camera (not a photo trip....), just to give you an idea of what it might look like.
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Scott O.

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Re: Great Smokey Mountains
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2013, 08:12:00 PM »

From what I have read, in parks with through roads are allowing travel. You just can't stop. For instance, in Grand Canyon they are barricading viewpoints! With someplace like the Smokies, with a zillion people "driving through" and checking out the fall colors, I can't imagine citations being issued. Talk about writers cramp...

Les Sparks

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Re: Great Smokey Mountains
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2013, 05:59:00 PM »


Cades Cove is one of the best spots in the Smokies for photography. There is a loop road, with plenty of places to stop for photos, plus some original settlements. Cataloochee is an interesting place to visit, too, though it's somewhat hard to drive there from the rest of the park. There is a "pioneer farmstead" at the Oconaluftee visitor center on the NC side of the park, which may offer some nice images in good light.


Cataloochee is also the home to the park's elk herd and you can get some great wildlife photos there.
Les
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espressogeek

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Re: Great Smokey Mountains
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2013, 05:31:24 PM »

Has anyone found out for sure if you can stop and take photos in the smokies? I'll be in Bryson City at the end of October. I'm curious if I can find some great waterfalls and overlooks for sunrise and sunset during the government "shutdown ".
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2jbourret

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Re: Great Smokey Mountains
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2013, 09:44:28 PM »

Thanks folks. Still hoping for a breakthrough before its too late... But my backup plan is to visit parks in Ohio, including Hocking Hills S.P., mentioned earlier. Any other suggestions are welcome!

Thanks,

Jamie

Colorado David

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Re: Great Smokey Mountains
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2013, 10:22:07 PM »

Rocky Mountain National Park in CO is open due to a deal between the state and the feds.  The state funds the park operation for a while.  It's happening in other states as well.  You might check on the status of the Smokies.

2jbourret

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Re: Great Smokey Mountains
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2013, 10:50:45 PM »

Yep. I have. No mention yet regarding any deals to open Great Smokey.
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