Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Spring

Spring is an incredible time to photograph the most visited National Park in America.  With 1600 plant species, over 60 mammals, and one of the highest black bear densities in North America; the Great Smoky Mountains is one of the best locations in the Southeast to capture spring at its finest.  As the flowers in the lower elevations begin to bloom; deer, birds, and the predators come to life.  Spring is a fantastic time to capture the essence of this National Park as the rivers rise, waterfalls roar and mammals begin to show off their young.  Your guides have spent significant time in the Smoky Mountains in both Spring and Fall and know the exact locations to capture stunning landscapes, trails to hidden falls, and predictable wildlife engagement. We also work on photographing deserted buildings and churches which give unique perspectives against the right lighting and flora backdrops. We beat the sweltering heat and humidity of summer and get our clients into key places where weather is mild and animals are active, a perfect combination.  We stay near the entrance of the park which ensures we get in and out at the best times to capture nature without hassling potential crowds.  


Objectives for the Trip:

  • Create a learning environment where we get both you and your camera ready for the many types of wildlife and nature photography opportunities we will experience. There will be several working sessions in the field to help you improve your photography skills and practice anticipating and reacting to both animals and the environment in which you are shooting.  
  • Visit locations that place our photographers in the best viewing areas to capture animals in their natural habitat. This includes: Deer, Bear, Turkey, Horses, Birds, and other animals if presented. Horses are free ranging in the first mile of the park.   
  • There may be short walks involved in this excursion. Water and landscape photography opportunities are abundant.  The maximum walk (on paths) are no more than 1 mile round trip.  
  • We are authorized park permittees in all government regulated locations we visit, this includes National Parks and Wildlife Refuges. We follow all park regulations and uphold the values established to protect you and the park we are visiting. Be careful booking any trip with travel companies that cannot provide proper documentation, it can end your trip very quickly. 


Important Details

Weather:  Avg. day temps: low 70’s.  Evening temps: low 40’s.  Weather can dramatically change with little notice.  We start our days early, and may end in some cases after sunset.


Clothing:  Dress in Layers, bring winter coat, hiking boots, gloves, beanie and light jacket. 


Equipment: DSLR or Mirrorless Camera, Wide Angle and Zoom Lenses. Tripod, Monopod, protective case to store your equipment. Bring enough Memory and back-up batteries to last a full day of shooting, it is not uncommon to shoot over a 1000 photos a day on our trips. Always bring weather proofing protection for your camera and lens.  Optional, ND filters to freeze water or achieve specific effects to landscape photos.


Activities: We will be driving to several locations. Most photgraphy opportunities occur outside of our vehicle. Walking on this trip will be no more than 1 mile round trip.  Hiking Boots, and layers are recommended.  


Meals: We will be eating breakfast at the hotel or local establishment.  Lunches at a local establishment or picnic.  Dinners will be at a local restaurant that has a variety of options.  If you have a specific meal requirement, please let us know on the registration form. 


Lodging: We will be staying at a hotel close to the entrance of the park. 


Safety: Your guides are certified in First Aid and CPR.  We also carry a Satellite phone as many locations we venture into have unreliable to no cell service.  We follow all rules, regulations, and laws in all locations we visit.  This helps keep you and the wildlife safe while preserving the beautiful nature around us for the next generation to experience. Bear Spray is carried by both guides at all times when in the park. If you would like to carry your own bear spray, this is optional.  Tripod Travelers has a no Firearm Policy, guides and clients are not authorized to carry personal firearms at any time.

Great Smoky Mountains, Spring April 15-19 2020

Payment Options
  • Trip Highlights

    Dates: April 15 – 19,  2020
    Origin: April 15: Knoxville, TN Airport, land before 3p
    Departure: April 19: Knoxville, TN Airport, depart after 1p
    Total Photographers: 6
    Ground Transportation: 10 Person Touring Van
    Hotel Cities: Townsend, TN
    Photography Subjects: Wildlife and Landscape
    Key Learnings: Capturing Wildlife, Subjects in Motion, Composition, Landscapes, Exposure, Shutter Speeds, Aperture, ISO, Depth of Field, Histogram, Raw vs. JPEG, Camera Settings, Presets, Post Processing, and more.

    April 15: All Travelers meet at Hotel by 5p. Tripod Travelers will pick up all clients flying in to the airport. Orientation, dinner, meet and greet at local establishment.  


    April 16: 6a breakfast, drive to key locations to photograph sunrise, continue in park to photograph wildlife. 12p, lunch in the park. Continue photography. Dinner 430p, return to park for wildlife, sunset in the park


    April 17: 6a breakfast, sunrise in the park drive to key locations to photograph wildlife. Lunch outside of Park. 430p enter park return to wildlife locations and photograph through 8p, capture sunset.  Dinner outside the Park. Picture review, post processing discussions before 4p.


    April 18: 6a breakfast.  Wildlife and Landscape against sunrise lighting. 12p lunch outside the park, break until 3p. Picture review and post processing discussions at the lodge.  Early dinner then return to park for late afternoon wildlife and sunset.


    April 19: 8a breakfast, photo reviews and post processing.  Check out of hotel by 11a, return flying travelers back to Knoxville airport, flights after 1p

    If you have any questions please contact us at

If you have questions regarding the

Checkout Process, please Call us, anytime.


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