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Am I Too Spoiled By YNP To Enjoy The Smokies?

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Am I Too Spoiled By YNP To Enjoy The Smokies?

Post by SteveFinMd on Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:20 pm

We have made trips to Yellowstone for the past three years, and our whole family loves it there. Since we live in Maryland we would like to have somewhere that is closer to home between trips to YNP. Here is our quandry..........have we been too spoiled by our trips to YNP, and all the wildlife sightings there, to enjoy any where else? Thoughts and opinions please.
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Re: Am I Too Spoiled By YNP To Enjoy The Smokies?

Post by Photomac on Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:46 pm

if you go expecting an elk, bear, bison, or wolf around every corner like it seems in YNP, than you might.
Smokies are different and there is a ton to do. What do you like to do in YNP? GSMNP offers lots of hiking, fishing, kayaking/rafting, camping and more. It all depends on what you like and your expectations.

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Re: Am I Too Spoiled By YNP To Enjoy The Smokies?

Post by SteveFinMd on Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:29 am

Mainly I pursue photo opportunities, both scenic and wildlife. Due to leg surgery my hiking options are limited. A good friend recently returned from a tour of the region through VA, NC, SC, GA, TN, KY and WV. His opinion was that the GSNP was crowded and the folks drive WAY too fast. I am keeping an open mind and not letting his perception cloud my options. I guess we will have to drive down and see for ourselves. Thanks for your reply.
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Re: Am I Too Spoiled By YNP To Enjoy The Smokies?

Post by don on Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:20 pm

I visit Yellowstone every year and there is nothing like it outside Alaska. However, the Smokies has its own unique character. It is a big weekend park because so many people live just a few hours from one of the gateway towns - avoid visiting the park Friday thru Sunday.

Wildlife can be plentiful depending on when and where you go. I just got back from a trip and saw over 20 bears in 3 days. At one point there were 8 bears within 200 yards from where I was photographing.

I hope to get photos posted to the forum in the next few days.

There are several drives off the beaten path in the park to avoid people and enjoy the mountains. Also the Blue Ridge Parkway that connects Shenandoah NP to the Smokies is a great drive with a lot less people.

Let me know when you're planning a trip and I'll make some suggestions. I visit the Smokies at least once a month April thru November.
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Re: Am I Too Spoiled By YNP To Enjoy The Smokies?

Post by cashe on Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:24 pm

yup... the smokies pretty much suck. there's all these people there, and they're driving -- fast, sometimes. they actually made it a national park just to steal the land from logging companies and poor mountain folk (political enemies).

the Greater Smoky Mtn Association just released some poll data and the No. 1 reason cited for "why are the smokies so unenjoyable?" was "because we went to Yellowstone first".

...better just stick with YNP

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Re: Am I Too Spoiled By YNP To Enjoy The Smokies?

Post by grey ghost on Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:10 am

This thread is a bit stale but to this I have to respond.

Comparing YNP to GSMNP is comparing apples to oranges.

YNP wins is wild, vibrant, in your face nature. You cant miss it, it is in the road in front of you and you will hit it if you do not stop and look. The Smokies are older and slower, you have to look and be patient. you have to get well off the road and get the dirt under your fingernails and wake up beside a rumbling creek. You have to feel the seasons, watch the progression of Gregory bald azaelas, Deep Creek rhodedendron and Kephart mountain laurel, the tiny blood roots and trillium the hundreds of tiny fagile flowers that make up an Appalachain spring and summer. Wait for the fall color and always watch the smoke drift across the Blue Mountains. The Smokies take patience, YNP is immediate gratification. Slow down and you will see. I love them both in different ways.

As to the People driving fast and bad -- well that is why we have national parks is for us, and some of us I dont like, but there are pro football teams with smaller crowds than Old Faithful on a summer day. People is the price of admission and also what pays for both.

So, I will return, I hope to YNP, the Tetons, Glacier, Yosemite, Olympics, and visit others I have yet to see, but compare them at your peril. Each of these is as different from the others as can be, and each wonderful in its way.

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