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The natural beauty and majesty of nature overwhelm many people when they visit national parks. Others, however, have a . . . less enthusiastic response. One visitor to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee left a review that fell into the latter category:

“Park staff, including volunteers, actively keep you away from the wild life so you can’t get a look at anything. They boast about their elk but they usher you away from the elk and don’t allow you in the areas of the park where the elk are so you don’t get to enjoy them.”

The opportunity to view wildlife in nature is one of the most magical parts of visiting national parks. However, it seems that some visitors–like the one mentioned above–forget that these animals aren’t cute, domesticated creatures. They’re wild animals, best observed from afar. Park staff are trained to keep visitors safe because no one wants to get gored by an elk or mauled by a bear; it’s a one way ticket to the hospital and a ruined vacation.

Great Smoky Mountains: America’s Most Visited Park

Great Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains along the border of North Carolina and Tennessee preserves the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. It’s home to abundant wildlife (elks included) and visitors can spend their time camping under the stars and hiking through incredible forests. This national park is also home to incredible flora. No matter what time of year, you can find something beautiful and blooming within the park’s boundaries.

Great Smoky Mountains flowers flora

As with all national parks, be careful around the wildlife. Unlike the reviewer above did, trust that if park staff is keeping you from wild animals, it’s for your own safety. But, of course, smart travelers like you already knew that!

Ready to plan a trip to one of New Mexico’s national parks? Contact us today!