Welcome to our Photo Gallery
of Smoky Mt. Spring Wildflowers.
<-- To see photos click thumbnails/links on the left
We had a exciting vist to the park finding wildflowers in profusion along the roads and along the trails. We visited the park between April 16 and April 30, 2011 and caught part of the Wildflower Pilgramage at the end. Fortunately, we arrived before the Pilgrimage because the wildflowers bloomed early this year. On the Pilgrimage, we were pleased to meet several of the authors who wrote authoritative books on the vegetation of the area and we were able to benefit from their expertise.
The purpose of this pictorial guide is to allow the budding botanist or outdoors enthusiast to easily find and identify 50 or more commonly encountered spectacular native wildflowers on easy to hike well maintained trails within the park. If you can hike a moderately difficult trail (rise of 500 feet) for 4 miles a day you can easily meet a quota of 50 species of wildflowers within 14 days if your timing is good and if weather conditions permit. However, if you are in good physical condition and are not photographing everything in sight a one week visit would probably allow you to see most of the spring wildflowers. We will tell you where to find all the common wildflowers and the best news for many of you is that they are found within 2 miles of the trailheads. So grab a camera and pack your hiking shoes!
This guide is limited only to the park proper and is only useful for the peak of the spring wildflower season April 10th to May 10th. The best week for viewing wildflowers will vary depending on weather conditions. The park rangers can probably provide you with updates. Trail maps are available on the park website. This guide is not intended to replace the well illustrated printed reference books; we suggest that serious enthusiasts purchase one or more of the references listed below.
We would like to share our photographs of the wildflowers we saw and where they were found.
We hiked these trails in our wildflower safari :
Ash Hopper Trail
Porter Creek Trail
Chimney Tops Trail
Hardwood Cove Trail
Spruce Fir Nature Trail
Chestnut Top Trail
Schoolhouse Gap Trail
Baxter Creek Trail
Cosby Nature Trail
Abrams Falls Trail
Lower Mt Cammerer Trail
Deep Creek - Indian Creek Loop Trail
Kephart Prong Trail
Applachian Trail - between Newfound
Gap and Indian Gap
Oconaluftee River Trail
Kanati Fork Trail
We kept a look out on roadsides and parking areas:
Newfound Gap Road
Little River Road
Laurel Creek Road
Clingman's Dome Road
Great Smoky Mountains Wildflowers, 5th Edition, C. Campbell, W. Hutson, and A. Sharp, Windy Pines Publishing, Northbrook, IL, ISBN 0-9643417-3-5
Wildflowers of Tennessee, J Carmen, Highland Rim Press, Tullohoma, TN, 2001, ISBN 0-9708418-0-9
Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas, A. Radford, H. Ahles, C. Bell, U of NC Press, Chapel Hill NC, 1969, ISBN 0-8078-1087-8