Where to View Smoky Mountain Wildlife

It’s no secret that the Great Smoky Mountains are home to a wide variety of wildlife. In fact, there are 65 types of mammals in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The question is, will you be able to see all of these animals when visiting? The answer is no. However, there are so many spots where you can enjoy the different wildlife species throughout the park and today, we’re sharing our three favorites below. 


Cades Cove

While viewing wildlife in the Smoky Mountains can be tricky, Cades Cove is definitely the exception to this rule. This area is filled with wide open fields, lush waterfalls and dense rain forests. The most common wildlife animals you can see in Cades Cove are the White-Tailed Deer, Black Bears and turkeys. However, you can definitely spot many more, especially during the winter months. We recommend bringing binoculars so you can see these animals for afar as well!


Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trails is a 5.5 mile loop road that is one of the best places to see Smoky Mountain wildlife in the National Park. What makes this spot so unique to all the others, is that you’ll be able to see the wildlife from the comfort of your own vehicle. Remember to bring binoculars to see the wildlife from far away, and keep in mind this road is closed during the winter!


Wildlife Encounter at Ober Gatlinburg

The Wildlife Encounter at Ober Gatlinburg is a zoo located in Ober Gatlinburg that provides people with an up close viewing of native wildlife in a safe environment. When you visit you’ll be able to see river otters, bobcats, raccoons, flying squirrels, snakes and turtles. Also, this wildlife encounter is known for the black bear family they have that you can see! However, please keep in mind that all animals may not be available during every season. So if you are looking for a specific animal to see, we recommend calling ahead to see if they are hibernating or not!


At Alpine Mountain Chalets, we have a variety of cabin rentals in the Great Smoky Mountains and on the outskirts of the national park. If you’re looking for wildlife, don’t be surprised if you see some wandering around your cabin at night or in the early morning hours as some of the cabin rentals are nestled deep within the Smoky Mountains.