Bears have been seen wandering hillsides, resting at the tops of trees and foraging for berries, so keep your eyes open because they could be anywhere! March Through December. Not only is Cades Cove one of the most popular spots in the Smokies, but it’s also one of the most... 2. Cades Cove One of the top places to see bears in the Smoky Mountains is at Cades Cove, a broad valley surrounded by mountains that offers some of the best opportunities for wildlife viewing in the national park! This scenic, 5.5 mile-long, one-way, loop-road in the national park that begins and... 3. White Tailed Deer One of the reasons it’s such a popular area for bears is because there are a lot of berries and nuts in the area. Cades Cove is also great for seeing other Smoky Mountain wildlife, like white-tailed deer, wild turkey, coyotes and more. The Cades Cove Loop Road is open to visitors during the summer months from sunrise to sunset each day. Sometimes bears can be seen at the Roaring Fork Motor Trail’s densely forested areas as well. The two best places to sight bears are in Cades Cove, which is on the western side of the park, and Cataloochee Valley, which is on the park’s east side. Not only is Cades Cove one of the most popular spots in the Smokies, but it’s also one of the most popular places to see bears! Summer is a great time to see wildlife out and about in the area too, like white-tailed deer and black bears! This verdant valley is home to many mast-producing... 2. What makes Cades Cove a hot spot for black bears? .property-box{min-height: 200px; border-radius: 8px; position: relative;} Running from it can trigger the bear’s instinct to chase you. It’s an 11 mile loop to circle the cove, you will see … It is especially important to keep your distance when viewing elk because these are the largest park wildlife, reaching up to 700 pounds each. Another one of the best places to see Smoky Mountain wildlife is at the Ober Gatlinburg Wildlife Encounter! This privately funded zoo offers up close viewing of native wildlife in a safe environment. All About The Bears Of The Smoky Mountains. Bears in the Smokies are unusual in that they often den high above the ground in standing hollow trees. While you’re there, check out everything else Three Bears has to offer. Don’t bother looking for black bears during the heat of the day because they usually rest during the warmest hours of the day and are more active during early morning or late evening around 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. The best way to explore the area is to … Another great place to see Smoky Mountain wildlife, particularly black bears, is the Three Bears General Store! Laurel Falls is another one of the top places to see in the Smoky Mountains. Occasionally, a bear will venture out in the heat when hungry, but it is rare. We recommend looking around Cades Cove or the valley near the Sugarlands Visitor Center. This is an unthreatening movement to the bear and will allow you to keep an eye on it. … Bears do … The black bear is kind of like the mascot for the Smokies, you see black bears on everything you can buy or rent. According to numerous sources, the best place to see black bears is in Cades Cove, a few miles from Gatlinburg and Townsend, Tennessee. One of the best places to see black bears in the Smoky Mountains is at the Wildlife Encounter at Ober Gatlinburg. A big reason Cades Cove is so popular is its spectacular wildlife viewing. The key to spotting a black bear along this road is to keep an eye on the trees. With more than 1,500 bears roaming the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, there’s a good chance you’ll see one if you visit during the right times. The best thing to do is to move away slowly and sideways. Cades Cove. Each of the three bears has its own individual den that is kept cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Here are the top 3 places to visit to see bears in the Smoky Mountains: 1. The family consists of Minnie and BJ, as well as their now grown 5 year olds Holly and Chief. If you are looking to spend the day in the Smoky Mountains, make sure you visit Cades Cove or the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail for the best wildlife sightseeing in the Smokies! Any time you visit the Smoky Mountains in hopes of seeing a black bear, it’s important to follow these tips to ensure both you and the bears’ safety: Stay at least 50 yards away at all times: The National Park Service requires people to stay at least 50 yards away from black bears and other wildlife at all times. 4. Where are the best places to see a bear in Gatlinburg? .property-detail .property-feature{color:#fff;} This exhibit was created to provide visitors with the opportunity to get an up-close viewing of the native animals in a safe environment. https://www.amazingviewscabinrentals.com/blog/best-places-see-bears-wildlife Here’s where you should go: Where to See the Smoky Mountain Black Bears Of course, Cades Cove is known for the historical structures that bring the old history of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to life. Here you can see a family of black bears! This popular souvenir shop is also home to a live bear habitat. They’re best seen in the Cataloochee Valley and near Cherokee, North Carolina outside the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. Sevierville, TN 37876, Find a Cabin in the Smokies – Your home away from home in the Smoky Mountains, © Copyright 2020 Amazing Views of the Smokies, LLC • A Tennessee Licensed Vacation Lodging Service (VLS) License ID Number 356 |, Best Places to See Smoky Mountain Bears and Other Wildlife, Cabins between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, 5 Easy Steps to a Flawless Smoky Mountain Family Reunion, Wave Goodbye to 2013 with Three Jimmy’s in Gatlinburg, 5 Reasons to Have Your Family Reunion at Our Large Cabins in the Smoky Mountains, The 4 Best Indoor Things to Do in Gatlinburg, 7 The Island in Pigeon Forge Rides You Should Experience, Top 5 Pigeon Forge Kid Attractions Your Family Will Love. Don’t feed the bear: This is one of the most important safety tips. To prepare you for your visit, here are a few things to know about where and when to spot Smoky Mountain bears and other native Smoky Mountain wildlife. The Roaring Fork Motor Trail. During the summer, an adult male weighs about 250 pounds, and adult females weigh a little over 100 pounds. They travel in flocks, so, if you see one, don’t be surprised to see a group nearby. Drive around the 11-mile loop road for the opportunity to see the black bears from the comfort of your car! Black bears love Cades Cove for its ecosystem and the abundance and variety of food sources. Crowding the bear is extremely dangerous for both you and the bear because it can cause the bear to feel threatened, possibly leading to an attack. Not only will you very likely see black bears roaming around, but also many other wildlife. Dens are usually hollow stumps, tree cavities, or wherever there is shelter. Don’t run from the bear: Although your first instinct when you see a bear may be to run from it, it’s important not to make any sudden moves. One of the best places to see bears in the Smoky Mountains is in Cades Cove because of the high density of trees and berry bushes, including blackberry, huckleberry and blueberry. In this huge region, visitors will find a wealth of activities, from outdoor hiking trails up mountains and beneath waterfalls, to … Keep in mind that this road closes for the winter season. It is a way to preserve the farming history of the park. Bears are beautiful and intriguing creatures and seeing one is an unforgettable experience. Cades Cove. Cades Cove. This means their behavior can be unpredictable and lead to possible attacks. Some bears that have been found have weighed more than 600 pounds! Laurel Falls is accessible via a lovely 2.6-mile roundtrip hike that takes about 2 … 4 of the Best Places to Spot Bears in the Smoky Mountains 1. If you visit the park there is a very good chance you will encounter one. One of the most exciting parts about visiting the Smoky Mountains is getting the chance to see some wildlife, especially black bears. Bears usually like to search for food in the morning (6 – 10 a.m.) and the late afternoon (3 – 7 p.m.). The most popular animal people want to see is a black bear. This area is where the most dense population of black bears live. With its wide open spaces, this gorgeous valley is a great place to spot black bears. If you want to be sure to spot black bears in the Smoky Mountains, visit Ober Gatlinburg’s Wildlife Encounter! Be sure to look up as well because black bears have curved claws that are great for climbing trees. The black bear is by far the most beloved animal in the Great Smoky Mountains! After spending time exploring the Great Smoky Mountains, you’ll love having a place to rest and relax right outside the national park. The Wildlife Encounter is home to a black bear family, which includes Minnie and BJ and their two grown 6 year olds, Holly and Chief. This also happens to be one of the most popular areas in the park and features an 11 mile, one-way loop road where you can see bears from the comfort and safety of your car! Another great place to catch sight of bears is Newfound Gap Road on U.S. Route 441. Just by entering the park, you have a great chance of seeing native wildlife. Wild turkeys spend a great deal of time searching the ground for insects, berries and nuts. Have You Found the Old Steam Engine in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Every year, thousands of vacationers see black bears in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, mostly on the Tennessee side. There are a few spots that are best for seeing wildlife and black bears in the Smoky Mountains. Keep in mind that elk are only found in the North Carolina side of the Smokies, about a 2-hour drive from Gatlinburg. If you want to increase your chances of seeing a bear, you need to be up and moving before the sunshine. White-tailed deer live throughout the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and are one of the easiest animals to catch sight of. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in January. To help you out, we’ve made a list of 4 of the best places to spot bears in the Smoky Mountains. They can be 6 feet in length and up to 3 feet high at the shoulder. Due to the openness of Cades Cove, there are fantastic views. Some of the best places to see bears are along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, the Little River Auto Tour and the 11-mile loop around Cades Cove. Bears, especially cubs, love playing around in the trees. The best time of the year (and the most crowded with visitors) to see elk in the Smoky Mountains is the fall. Also, make sure to throw away any trash you have. One common location is Cades Cove. 21, 2019 After a rich 24-hours of mountain-coaster riding, Parkway strolling, and Gatlinburg sightseeing, there is no better way to end a day in the Heart of the Smokies than with a picturesque sunset and someone special. Most bears are only interested in protecting food, cubs and their space. The Smoky Mountains offer a glimpse into the wildlife within the park that includes bears, deer, elk, turkey and more. Black Bears in the Smoky Mountains. 5 Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains Before the Year Ends. This beautiful 80-foot high waterfall takes its name from the mountain laurel, an evergreen shrub that grows around the falls in May. .remove-padding-left{padding-left: 0 !important;}, Amazing Views of the Smokies These animals prefer open, grassy fields and valleys in areas such as Cades Cove and Cataloochee. Black bears aren’t the only wildlife you can spot in the Smokies. Other animals you have the chance to see are river otters, raccoons, skunks, bobcats, Birds of Prey and more. If you’re on the lookout for bears, be sure to slow down on the Loop Road around the denser areas where there is thick tree coverage. Best Places to See a Sunset in Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains By Marci Claude on Jun. Getting closer than 50 yards means you can face fines or even arrest. .bottomMargin20{margin-bottom: 20px;} Aside from the winter, black bears remain out and about throughout the year, with late spring and early fall being especially good times for bear viewing. Book your tickets online for the top things to do in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee on Tripadvisor: See 28,984 traveler reviews and photos of Great Smoky Mountains National Park tourist attractions. However, they can also be dangerous if they are threatened and they decide to attack, so make sure that you give … 1628 Articles to Help You Plan & Better Experience the Smoky Mountains. You even have the chance to take your own black bear home with you when you make one in the Make-UR-Bear Factory! Not only can you see the bears, but you can feed them too! Cades Cove. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. They can live 12–15 years or longer. Your best chance to see all the beautiful animals at this attraction is to visit in the spring, summer or fall before temperatures get too cold. Grotto Falls is one of the best hikes to do in the Smoky Mountains in the summer! When you visit Cades Cove, you can go for a hike, enjoy the scenic drive, and see historic structures like old homesteads and churches! If you make the Cades Cove loop and have yet to see a bear, you might consider exiting along Rich Mountain Rd which brings you into Townsend.We've done this 3 times and spotted bears on two occasions. Best Places to See Bears in the Smoky Mountains Attracting over 2 million people each year, Cades Cove is the most visited section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. https://ramblearoundtheworld.com/smoky-mountains-black-bears The best places to go to possibly see black bears include Cades Cove, Roaring Fork Motor Trail, and along hiking trails. Pasquale Mingarelli Because there are just under 2,000 bears living in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the likelihood you will see a bear in the park is very high. Besides catching a glimpse of black bears, seeing elk in the Smokies is the second-best wildlife treat you can have in the park. Bears can be found in all parts of the park, so keep an eye out when you visit! Most hikers and motorists see bears during the hours close to sunrise and sunset. Black bears in Gatlinburg are corpuscular animals, which means they are most active at dawn and at dusk. Book your cabin today and start planning your vacation. Many people see black bears in this area. The best time to see Smoky Mountain bears is during summer because their hibernation season is from November through April. The animals in the Smoky Mountains can be found, without a doubt, at these two locations, so be sure to plan a day to do some wildlife sightseeing!. There are many places because they are literally all over the place. Best Things To Do in Great Smoky Mountains National ... about the beautiful waterfalls and mountain scenery on this motor trail said this is a must-see and a great place to spot bears … One of the top places to see bears in the Smoky Mountains is at the Ober... 2. This unique attraction has 2 floors full of entertainment for the whole family to enjoy! Bears are most likely spotted in the early mornings and late evenings when traffic is light. 1440 Upper Middle Creek Rd Ste 204 The ONLY site you need to plan your Smoky Mountain vacation. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park currently holds 120 elk after reintroducing 20 into the habitat in 2001. There is an estimated number of 1,500 black bears in the Smoky Mountains, which is about 2 bears every square mile! Smoky Mountain Photos from Visit My Smokies, “Where and When to Spot Your Favorite Smoky Mountain Wildlife.”, 4 Reasons to Book a Stay in Gatlinburg Cabin Rentals in the New Year, New Shop in the Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts Community: Fallen Desires Tattoo Shop & Oddities, All You Need to Know About the Gatlinburg SkyLift, 6 of the Best Views of the Smoky Mountains in the Winter, All You Need to Know About Cinnaholic in Pigeon Forge. Millions of visitors come to Gatlinburg, TN each year to catch a glimpse of these amazing critters. Roaring Fork Bears by R. Neal / CC BY 2.0. With over 800 square miles, the Smoky Mountains offer a unique view of Tennessee and North Carolina. You can spend a whole day exploring everything that Cades Cove has to offer. The best part by far is the live bear habitat that features black bears that were rescued from a nearby hunting farm. We have reviews of the best places to see in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. That’s why our cabins are the perfect place to stay! We have cabin rentals in Gatlinburg that are a nature lover’s dream with stunning outdoor views and a convenient location. 2. Bears choose a denning site with the coming of cold weather. Being an early riser definitely has advantages in the Smoky Mountains. While bears can be found throughout Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cades Cove is one of the best places to spot them due to its wide, open valley. The openness of Cades Cove makes it easier to spot black bears in the distance. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a 5.5-mile, one-lane road that takes you through downtown Gatlinburg to Roaring Fork in less than an hour. If you have food with you, be sure to keep it secured and never leave it unattended. There are about 1,500 black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While there are exceptions, bears are usually not that active during the heat of the day. Where To See Black Bears in the Smoky Mountains? .property-detail{position: absolute;bottom: 0;padding:5px;} For additional information on Smoky Mountain bears, see the National Park Service website. Black bears are most easily spotted in open areas and valleys throughout Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the surrounding areas. The Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a 5.5-mile, one-lane road that takes you... 3. Best Times To See Black Bears in the Smoky Mountains. Cades Cove is a popular scenic drive that has a ton of open fields and wooded areas you can drive through. There is ice cream, a fudge shop, an arcade, Christmas decorations and more. Feeding the bears cause them to lose their sense of fear of humans. See you in the Smokies! The Great Smoky Mountains are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains, which run down most of the East Coast of the United States.They ride the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, and are largely the home of Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Early Morning And Twilight. During the rut season, male elk present the biggest antlers and it is during this time of year when bulls challenge one another while fighting for dominance of a territory and females. You’ll have the chance to see river otters playing at the underwater viewing area, bobcats and birds of prey in the enclosed aviary, and a family of black bears! Like Cades Cove, the best times to spot the black bears are in the early mornings, late afternoons and evenings. If you’re hoping to spot a black bear when you visit the Smokies, there are a few places you should go. Another place you’re sure to spot black bears is the Three Bears General Store in Pigeon Forge. This hike is a little less than 3 miles roundtrip, and takes you to a 25-foot-high waterfall. Roaring Fork is, as mentioned, another likely place. With roughly 1,600 bears in the national park (around two bears per square mile), there are lots of opportunities for seeing these popular Smoky Mountain residents. 1. The two-level facility offers a great observation area! The bears were rescued from a hunting farm nearby and have been cared for for more than 25 years. This record number of elk can be seen in the early mornings or late evenings around the Cataloochee Valley. Turkeys inhabit most areas of the park, but they prefer lower elevations. If you plan on trying to see some wildlife when you visit, read our blog, “Where and When to Spot Your Favorite Smoky Mountain Wildlife.”, 4 of the Best Places to Spot Bears in the Smoky Mountains. You can walk inside some of the buildings like the famous churches, or hike to Abrams Falls. However, by fall, bears can double their weight. Ober Gatlinburg Wildlife Encounter Other things you can expect to see along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail are mountain streams, an old-growth forest, log cabins, grist mills and other historic buildings. While there’s no guarantee you’ll see any black bears in the Smoky Mountains, there are a few places you can check out where they are frequently spotted. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has the largest protected bear habitat in the East. Now that you know the best places to see bears in the Smoky Mountains, we have a few tips for viewing other Smoky Mountain wildlife. Outside of the three we’re highlighting, the park is also home to turtles, snakes, raccoons, moles, bats, foxes, lizards, chipmunks and many more. Bears are most active during the summer, spring and fall months. If you’re wondering whether you’ll catch a glimpse of wildlife while in the Smokies, the answer is a definite, “Yes!” With a diverse population of wildlife including Smoky Mountain black bears, deer, wild turkeys and more, these hills are a sanctuary for more than 66 species of mammals. To help with your vacation, we’ve put together a list of the best photography spots in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In summer, they are roaming in search of food after a long semi-hibernation. Grotto Falls. .property-detail .property-name{color:#fff; font-weight: bold; font-size: 16px;} Deer are often seen on foggy mornings and afternoons and are known to graze right after a rain shower. Wildlife viewing is a popular activity for many people visiting the Smoky Mountains. To get an up-close viewing of native wildlife in a safe environment,. An arcade, Christmas decorations and more and have been found have weighed more 600. 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