Elk Viewing, The Sinks, and Amazing Views in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

While most people know about the great hiking, camping, and biking in the Smokies, one activity we found out about was Elk Viewing. We decided to make the hour and a half drive from our campground, over the mountains on the winding Little River Road to Cherokee, North Carolina. We parked at the  Oconaluftee Visitor Center, where we could literally see the elk coming out of the forest to graze in the fields about an hour before sunset .

We actually saw a few on the side of the road coming into the area as well. While people were getting out of their cars on the side of the road to take pictures, the National Parks Service advises against this. We took our pictures from a safe distance.


I’m not the best videographer in the world, but here’s what it’s like to drive through them!

On our way back to the campground, we stopped by The Sinks. The Sinks is an area is where the Little River makes an S-turn which creates the natural pools between two large river boulders. It’s a beautiful little waterfall that you don’t have to hike to!

While many people like to swim in the cool water, once again the National Parks Service advises against it. The swirling water can be very unpredictable, and unfortunately there have been drownings in the past. As with most of Mother Nature’s beauty, it’s best to admire it from a safe distance.

Besides the elk and swirling water of the Little River, the views along the way are equally spectacular!

Our little adventure to see the Elk turned out to be a wonderful evening of viewing Mother Nature in all her glorious splendor. We highly recommend this little excursion the next time you visit Great Smoky Mountain National Park!

Jennifer Skinnell is also the author of the Hope Springs Romance Series available on Amazon. Click here for all the details.

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