What a great long weekend (4 days)! First time we've stayed at a park with no water or electric at the sites. Wasn't too sure about no showers but ... it was fine. Weather was cool to quite cool (40s-70s).
The first day we went to the other side of the park to do Cades Cove Loop, then took an 8 mile (off-road) trail thru the woods - over areas where the water was running across the track - to connect with Tail of the Dragon. What a great ride! We'd done the Tail of the Dragon before and just wanted to do it again. The track out of Cades Cove was a little scary in my non-4 wheel drive jeep but we made it!
Second day we went to Clingman's Dome - 6643' elevation. Phew! I had a hard time breathing that last 1/2 mile climb to the top. Unfortunately it was all socked in -
|Clingman's Dome (in the clouds)|
The elk were incredible! We saw them twice - a herd of at least 12! The "bull" was pretty impressive! And he came out of the woods - after all the females - walking like a king. Not hard to tell he was in charge.
The fall colors were about peak, I'd say. Higher elevations a lot of the leaves were half gone. This picture is at an old mill in the park - about 1200-1500' elevation. (Molly was afraid (initially) of the leaves blowing around on the ground!)