Springtime In The Smoky Mountains

Spring is a wonderful time for landscape photography in the Smoky Mountains. The temperatures are perfect for rambling around, the flowers and Dogwood trees are in bloom and it’s not at all crowded.

In previous years, I spent a fair amount of time on the main road that crosses the mountains (US 441) photographing overlooks such as Newfound Gap or Clingman’s Dome. I had not spent much time in the west end of the park.

This time, I based myself in Wears Valley, a small rural community that provided the best and fastest access to the west end of the park. This gave me convenient access to the west end of the Little River, the Tremont area with the Middle Prong of the Little River and, of course, Cades Cove.

I felt there was much that I had not accomplished in this area, and although it would take much more effort than going to overlooks, I would be rewarded with a variety of quality images. That’s exactly what happened.

Spring brings bright green colors in the trees overhanging the Little River. I searched around for the best locations to show the beauty of the river and came up with the following images.

Tennessee, River, Little River, Smoky Mountains, Bridge, Stone Bridge
Stone Bridge : Prints Available

Smoky Mountains, Spring, River, Trees
Spring Flow : Prints Available

Tennessee, Smoky Mountains, Footbridge, River
Mystery Bridge : Prints Available

Smoky Mountains, River, Cascades, Spring
Spring Cascades : Prints Available

Smoky Mountains, Litte River, Spring
Spring Arrival : Prints Available

Smoky Mountains, River, Tremont, Dogwood, Tree
Tremont Spring : Prints Available

A trip to the Smoky Mountains just wouldn’t be complete without going to Cades Cove. This valley was inhabited by over 600 settlers from the early 1800’s to early 1900’s before being taken over by the government to be part of the National Park. There are a handful of the old houses and barns still standing today, which make great photographic subjects.
Smoky Mountains, Cades Cove, John Oliver, Cabin
John Oliver Cabin : Prints Available

Smoky Mountains, Cades Cove, Barn, Spring
Spring Barn : Prints Available

Smoky Mountains, Cades Cove, Sparks Lane, Spring
Morning At Sparks : Prints Available

Tennessee, Smoky Mountains, Tree, Cades Cove
Cove Tree : Prints Available

The Spring bloom of the flowers and Dogwood trees were a challenge to capture and convey their beauty. To the eye, the Dogwoods would look great, but turn out thin and unimpressive on images. It was frustrating, but I managed to capture a few good examples.
Smoky Mountains, Spring, Blue, Phlox, Flowers
Color In The Smokies : Prints Available

Smoky Mountains, Flowers, White, Spring
White Spring : Prints Available

Smoky Mountains, Little River, Dogwood Tree, Spring
Spring Dogwoods : Prints Available

Smoky Mountains, Litte River, Dogwood, Tree
River Dogwoods : Prints Available

Tennessee, Smoky Mountains, Dogwood, Trees, Forest
Forest Dogwoods : Prints Available

It was a surprisingly successful trip adding some very nice images to the portfolio. I’ll be meeting up again with my good friend Jess Lee, www.jessleephotos.com, soon for an expedition to the Big Sur Coast of California and Yosemite National Park.

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