Spring Wildflowers in the Great Smoky Mountains

Rhododendron along Kephart Prong
Rhododendron along Kephart Prong

Spring Wildflowers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park draw flora lovers from near and far. The display of early blooms takes place from March through June as the park is transformed into a garden rivaling Eden.

But all of Nature’s artistry does not manifest itself at once. Several factors determine when and where flowers will be blooming.

Elevation plays a key role in when and where the flowers will be blooming. March is perfect for the low elevations and June brings profuse flowers in the high elevations.

My personal favorite places to see Spring Wildflowers early are the Deep Creek area near Bryson City North Carolina, any of the trails in the Smokemont region and the Cove Hardwood Nature Trail.

May brings the Rhododendron along the banks of the rivers and streams of the park. The whites and pinks contrast wonderfully against the green canvas of leaves.

Flame Azalea
Flame Azalea

In June I like to make the Short Trek to Andrews Bald to see the azaleas exploding in the meadow. Gregory Bald is also very popular but it takes a lot more effort to get there, both driving and hiking.

In any case, except for the dead of Winter you can always find something blooming somewhere in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Some species are rarer than others, and some more sedate rather than profuse. Part of the fun is discovering the treasures underfoot.

I like to explore and discover where the best blooms are on my own, but if your time is limited a stop at one of the Visitor’s Centers can provide you with information as to where to find the best flowering during your visit to the Park.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located in Tennessee and North Carolina.


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