Visitor Centers in the Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offer activities for visitors of various ages and interests. Recommended activities include camping, hiking, picnicking, sightseeing, fishing, horseback riding, and nature viewing. There are also opportunities for ranger-guided programs. Smoky Mountain visitor centers are a great place to grab informational pamphlets and even learn more from park rangers.

Clingmans Dome

Smoky Mountains Visitor Centers Hours

Most Smoky Mountains visitor centers located within the national park are open 9:00 am - 5:00 pm for most of the year with the exception of Clingmans Dome. During the winter months (December 1 - February 28) when visitor centers close a bit early with hours of 9:00 am - 4:30 pm. For the most up to date and relevant information on hours, see the national park's website.

Sugarlands Visitor Center

Normal Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

This visitor center is located just 2 miles inside the Gatlinburg entrance to the park on US-441. Open year round, Sugarlands offers public restrooms and telephones, a free 20-minute video, exciting plant and animal exhibits, the Natural History Association’s bookstore and gift shop, backcountry permit station, snack machines, seasonal ranger-led programs, and a wonderful information desk with friendly volunteers!

Cades Cove Visitor Center

Normal Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

This visitor center is located near the mid-point of the 11-mile loop in Cades Cove. It is open year round and offers a bookstore, public restrooms, seasonal ranger-led programs, and both indoor and outdoor exhibits of Southern Appalachian life.

Cades Cove

Clingmans Dome Visitor Center

Normal Hours: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Clingmans Dome Visitor Contact Station is located at the Clingmans Dome trailhead, 7 miles off US-441 on the Clingmans Dome Road. Facilities include a Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop with park information. Public restrooms are available in the parking area. This location is closed in the winter (December through early April).

Clingmans Dome

Great Smokies Welcome Center

Normal Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

As of December 2023 the Great Smoky Mountains Association has moved into a new space in Townsend located at 7929 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway. Here you can purchase a daily, weekly or annual parking pass for the national park as well as other books, gifts and novelties. The new location has twice the floor space for visitors to enjoy, and you can meet the staff for any questions you might have.

Oconaluftee Visitor Center

Normal Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Oconaluftee is located just two miles from Cherokee, NC on US-441 and is also open year round. Adjacent to the visitor center, Mountain Farm Museum contains a farmhouse, barn, smokehouse, applehouse, corn cribs and other buildings. Oconaluftee also offers public restrooms and telephones, snack machines, backcountry permits, seasonal ranger-led programs, and an information desk with helpful volunteers.

Townsend Visitor Center

Normal Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Townsend Visitor Center is located just outside the border of the national park; you will pass it at 7906 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway on your way to the Townsend Wye. This is a great place to stop and grab some helpful info about the history and cultural traditions of our local mountain communities.

Gatlinburg Welcome Center

Gatlinburg Welcome Center

Normal Hours: 8:30 am - 7:00 pm

The Gatlinburg Welcome Center is located on the spur between Pigeon Forge and the Gatlinburg city limits at 1011 Banner Road, Gatlinburg TN 37738. You will pass it heading south on the parkway from Pigeon Forge to the national park. This welcome center's winter hours (November through March) are 8:30 am - 5:30 pm; it is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Questions regarding the status of temporary weather-related road closures cannot be answered in a timely manner using email. Please call (865) 436-1200 extension 631 for updated information about road conditions. The best resource for up to date information on road closures and seasonal status is by following Smokies Road Info on Twitter.

A detailed weather forecast for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is available by dialing 865-436-1200. View in-depth weather details and charts showing average conditions in Gatlinburg versus the higher altitudes in the national park. Take note of a trail's elevation before departing, and always be prepared for rain or snow. This park is a temperate rainforest; it rains quite often!

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