Top 10 US National Parks
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Nearly 10 million people flock here annually to hike the countless trails, see the array of flora and catch a glimpse of the wildlife. The name "Great Smoky" derives from the patches of fog that settle over the range. This haze is produced by the vegetation that releases water and hydrocarbons into the atmosphere covering the area in mist. The Great Smoky Mountains are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains and the park has made great efforts to protect its history. Seventy-eight historic structures are preserved, including churches, cabins and farmhouses of the people that migrated to the area during the late 18th century. Visitors can take in the view from the observation deck atop Clingmans Dome, the highest point in Great Smoky, at an elevation of 6,643 feet. On a clear day, you can see hundreds of miles into the distance.