Back to the Smoky Mountains

Last weekend, October 5-7 I made a return visit to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  I knew I was early for peak fall color but due to other travel plans I knew I couldn’t be there for peak color but I decided to go early rather than not at all.  Great Smoky Mountains National Park is beautiful any time of year, but is especially beautiful in the fall.  Fall had definitely arrived at the upper elevations of the park but at lower elevations the trees were only showing a hint of color.

Friday evening I was treated to a beautiful sunset on Clingman’s Dome.  There had been nice clouds in the sky about an hour before sunset but unfortunately they had mostly dissipated by the time sunset arrived and only a thicker layer of clouds with a few breaks for the sun to shine through was left.  The image below was taken about 10 minutes after sunset after the sun sank into the thicker layer of clouds.  The oranges, reds, and yellows in the sky made for a beautiful sight above the vanishing ridgelines of the Smoky Mountains.

Clingman’s Dome Sunset – Click image to enlarge

Saturday morning started with a sunrise from the Foothills Parkway West.  On the way to the parkway it started to rain, but I still hoped for a nice sunrise.  By the time I arrived at the parkway overlook, the rain had stopped and the valleys were filled with fog.  The photography was great, and the sun broke through some breaks in the clouds shortly after sunrise.

Sunrise, Foothills Parkway West – Click image to enlarge

After shooting the sunrise and getting some breakfast, fog and drizzle arrived by mid-morning which created almost perfect conditions to photograph various stream scenes around the park.  The Tremont area is a quiet and beautiful place to photograph on a foggy, misty day so I spent the rest of the day working my way along the Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River.  After passing the Smoky Mountain Institute, the road turns to gravel and ends after about 3 miles.  The image below was taken about 100 yards from the end of the road.

Middle Prong Cascade – Click image to enlarge

You can see more of my Smoky Mountains photography in my gallery here.

If you have any questions about this website or my photography, I’d love to hear from you.  Please click here to email me.

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