Great Smoky Mountains Visitor Centers

The Smoky Mountains are truly one of the most beautiful places to visit on earth. Here you can witness nature, wildlife and see the smoke rise in the morning. A place where great memories are made everyday.

Great Smoky Mountains Visitor Centers
  • Its a good idea to begin your exploration of the park at a visitor center. At the smoky mountains visitors center you can grab a park map or newspaper, have your questions answered by a ranger, and purchase books and guides to the park.
  • There are four visitor centers that are located within the national park at Cades Cove, Oconaluftee, Sugarlands and Clingmans Dome. In addition, four information centers are located outside the park in the communities of Gatlinburg, Sevierville, and Townsend.
  • Two historic grist mills are open seasonally in the park. Both provide demonstrations of corn meal milling.
The following is a year round calendar of Visitor Center Hours of operation:

Cades Cove Visitor Center
Open every day except Christmas Day.
January 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
February 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
March 9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
April 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
May – July 9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
August 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
September – October 9:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
November 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
December 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Location
Inside the park near the mid-point of the 11-mile, one-way Cades Cove Loop Road.

Special Programs
Ranger-led programs are conducted seasonally. Check at the visitor center for times.

Exhibits
Indoor and outdoor exhibits of Southern Mountain life and culture. Includes Cable Mill, a grist mill which operates spring through fall, the Becky Cable house, and other historic structures.

Available Facilities
Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop. Public restrooms.

Oconaluftee Visitor Center
Open every day except Christmas Day
January – February 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
March 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
April – May 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
June – August 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
September – October 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
November 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
December 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Location
Inside the park, 2 miles north of Cherokee, NC, on US-441.

Special Programs
Ranger-led programs conducted seasonally. Check at the visitor center for location and times.

Exhibits
Visitor center museum exhibits tell the story of life in these mountains from native Americans and early European settlement time periods through the Civilian Conservation Corp and the development of the national park. The adjacent Mountain Farm Museum contains a fascinating collection of log structures including a farmhouse, barn, smokehouse, applehouse, corn cribs and others. Demonstrations of farm life are conducted seasonally.

Available Facilities
Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop. Public restrooms. Soda and water machines.

Learn about the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center’s green design!

Sugarlands Visitor Center
Open every day except Christmas Day.
January – February 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
March 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
April – May 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
June – August 8:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
September – October 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
November 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
December 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Location
Inside the park, 2 miles south of Gatlinburg on US-441.

Special Programs
Ranger-led programs conducted seasonally. Check at the visitor center for locations and times.

Exhibits
Free admission to 20-minute film about the park. Extensive natural history exhibits.

Available Facilities
Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop. Public restrooms. Soda and water machines. Backcountry Information Office.

 

Clingmans Dome Visitor Contact Station
April – June 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
July 10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
August – October 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
November 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Location
At the Clingmans Dome trailhead, 7 miles off US-441 on the Clingmans Dome Road.

Available Facilities
Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop. Park information. Public restrooms in parking area.

Historic Grist Mills

Cable Mill in Cades Cove
Open daily late-March through October, and on weekends (Friday-Sunday) in November
Hours: 9:00-5:00

Location
Inside the park near the mid-point of the 11-mile, one-way Cades Cove Loop Road.

Exhibits
Water-powered grist mill.

 

Mingus Mill near Oconaluftee
Open daily mid-April through October, and on weekends (Friday-Sunday) in November
Hours: 9:00-5:00

Location
Inside the park, 2 miles north of Cherokee, NC, on US 441.

Exhibits
Turbine-powered grist mill.

Make sure to bring your camera and binoculars!