We visited the Great Smoky Mountains NP in October, 2011. We stayed five days in the park campground and it worked out very well. It did get cold a few nights and the trees were just starting to turn for us. We traveled and hiked throughout the park and saw more black bears than any other time during our travels. We also spent some time sites seeing the local area and visiting Asheville, NC and went to see the Biltmore Estate.