bears in the great smoky mountains

Black Bear Great Smoky Mountains 3

Black Bear Great Smoky Mountains 3

A black bear in the Cherokee Orchard section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo by Richard Weisser.

How to Find Bears in Great Smoky Mountains

How to Find Black Bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Black Bear near Roaring Fork
Black Bear near Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

When visitors are asked why they come to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park there are many common answers.

They come for the incomparable mountain views, the over eight hundred miles of hiking trails, the historic structures, the crystal clear streams, rivers and waterfalls and of course the wildlife…

Especially black bears!

Unfortunately many would-be bear spotters have unrealistic expectations when it come to seeing bears in the Smoky Mountains. Although current populations are at historically high numbers, black bears are reclusive and tend to avoid contact with humans. So the odds of actually seeing a bear during a casual visit are not very good. Continue reading

Great Smoky Mountains Black Bear 002

Great Smoky Mountains Black Bear 002

A black bear in  the Cherokee Orchard section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park just outside of Gatlinburg Tennessee.

Black Bears climbing a tree in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Black bears frequently climb trees in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Sometimes to see them, you need to look up!