Great Smokey Mtn NP Info help

Greetings NPN’rs,

I may have the chance to visit GSMNP this spring. Sadly for me, this isn’t a dedicated photo trip, but a 3-guys-just-turning-60 adventure where I hope to get in a little photography, but will respect it’s just not about me… :wink: :roll_eyes: :innocent:

Looking for thoughts and opinions for anyone who is familiar with the region.

  1. Best “gateway” or base for visiting the park? Looking at Gatlinburg?
  2. Thinking of flying to Nashville, doing the Opry or something touristy there, then drive to GSMNP. Is there a better fly-to location?
  3. We’re interested in some moderate/easy hiking and/or historical and other places of interests.
  4. Best time this spring in April, May? Flowers, spring foliage, Trillium, rhodies?
  5. Suggestions for areas/hikes with fewer crowds - see #4 above… I suppose like anything else, peak spring time will be the most crowded. How’s the hike to Tremont?

What would you do or recommend if you were traveling with some family or a couple of old buddies?

Any thoughts, recommendations, “must see” or “steer clear…” advice?

Much appreciated.