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Are The Appalachian Mountains The Same As The Smoky Mountains?

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Are The Appalachian Mountains the same as The Smoky Mountains? Today in this Smoky Mountains vacation guide, we’ll be discussing this very popular question.

If you’re confused between the two mountain ranges, don’t worry. You’re not alone. In fact, even some of the locals get them confused at times!

Are The Appalachian Mountains The Same As The Smoky Mountains
Are The Appalachian Mountains The Same As The Smoky Mountains

The Appalachian Mountains and the Smoky Mountains are two of the most popular mountain ranges in the US, but are they the same? Scroll down to find out the answer.

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Are The Appalachian Mountains The Same As The Smoky Mountains?

The answer is both yes and no. The Appalachian Mountains are a much larger mountain range that extends from Newfoundland all the way down to Alabama. The Smoky Mountains are a subrange of the Appalachian Mountains that are located in Tennessee and North Carolina.

So while they are technically part of the same mountain range, they are distinct enough to be considered separate.

Are The Appalachian Mountains The Same As The Smoky Mountains
Are The Appalachian Mountains The Same As The Smoky Mountains

The Smokies are also more popular with tourists than the Appalachian Mountains as a whole. This is because the Smoky Mountains offer more opportunities for activities like hiking, camping, and skiing. The Appalachian Mountains are mostly used for forestry and mining purposes.

So if you’re planning a trip to the mountains, the Smoky Mountains are the better option. But if you want to explore the entire Appalachian Mountain range, you’ll have to do some more research to figure out which parts are open to the public.

Are Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains The Same?

No, Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains are not the same. The Great Smoky Mountains are a subrange of the Blue Ridge Mountain System. Thus, the Great Smokies are the Blue Ridge Mountains, but not all of the Blue Ridge Mountains are Great Smoky Mountains.

The Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains

The Blue Ridge stretches 615 miles from Carlisle, Pennsylvania southwestward into Mount Oglethorpe, Georgia. Within their boundaries are two national parks (Shenandoah and the Great Smoky Mountains) and eight national forests, including the Cherokee, Pisgah, Nantahala, and Chattahoochee.

How Many Miles of the Appalachian Trail are in the Smoky Mountains?

The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180+ mile long footpath that stretches from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine.

Of the trail’s total length, approximately 71 miles run through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, including the highest peak along the trail, the 6,643′ Clingmans Dome.

smoky mountains appalachian trail
Are The Appalachian Mountains The Same As The Smoky Mountains?

Where Does The Smoky Mountains Start And End?

According to The Encyclopedia Britannica: The Smoky Mountains start in Knoxville (just to the west), Tennessee and end in Asheville, North Carolina (just to the east).

The Great Smokies lie between these two cities, blending into the Blue Ridge escarpment to the east in western North Carolina.

Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary

I understand how difficult it can be to plan a trip, especially if it’s your first time going. That’s why I created this 7-day itinerary for the Smoky Mountains. It outlines all of the best places to go in the area and comes with insider tips that will save you a lot of stress–trust me, they saved me when I was planning my own trip!

  • Our 7-day itinerary takes you to the best places in the Smoky Mountains.
  • You’ll get to see all the best sights and attractions with driving directions
  • The itinerary is designed to show you the most scenic routes.
  • Packing Checklist for every season.
  • You’ll have everything you need to make the most of your trip.
  • Insider Tips!

Here’s a quick overview of our Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary.

  • Day 1: Cades Cove Loop
  • Day 2: Rich Mountain Road
  • Day 3: Cataloochee Valley
  • Day 4: Newfound Gap Road
  • Day 5: Roaring Fork Motor Trail
  • Day 6: Little River Road
  • Day6: Foothills Parkway

Get This FREE Smoky Mountains Checklist Now!

Related Smoky Mountain Resources


Are you dreaming of visiting the Smoky Mountains someday? Before you make your plans make sure to read our guide about the Best Time To Visit Smoky Mountains.

And to make things more exciting, try this national park scavenger hunt idea that is perfect for the kids!

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