Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Flame Azaleas approaching peak bloom on Gregory Bald

Just a reminder for those wishing to see one of the greatest sites in the Smokies: the flame azaleas atop Gregory Bald should be nearing peak bloom within the next week or two.

Tom Harrington, a volunteer for the Great Smoky Mountains who provides regular wildflower updates for the Great Smoky Mountains Association, recently stated:

"I checked my diary back to 1995, and the middle of June has been the peak for the Flame Azalea blooms on Gregory Bald during those years. When I have gone during the third full week of June the blooms have been past peak. With the extreme heat they likely will peak early."

This is one of my all time favorite hiking destinations. If interested in making the hike, the two most common ways of reaching Gregory Bald are via the Gregory Ridge Trail off of Forge Creek Road, and the Gregory Bald Trail off the one-way Parson Branch Road. You can also reach Gregory Bald (via Wolf Ridge Trail or Long Hungry Ridge Trail) from the more remote Twentymile trailhead in North Carolina as well.


Jeff
HikingintheSmokys.com

6 comments:

Erin @ Brownie Bites said...

We'll be headed up there this weekend - hoping to see some good color! We use your site frequently for choosing our weekend hikes. Here's a recent photo post from the Charlie's Bunion trail if you want to see: Hike to Charlie's Bunion

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

Erin, glad you find my site useful!

Great photos - looks like there were quite a few people up there that day.

On your upcoming Gregory Bald hike, please let us know how close the azaleas are to peak bloom. Also, feel free to post a link to any photos you might take.

Jeff

Jeff said...

Hi Jeff. I saw some great flame azalea on the Art Loeb Trail in the Shining Rock Wilderness along The Narrows ridge last week. The whole trio of mountain laurel, rhododendron, and flame azalea were blooming along the trail. I managed to grab this pic without falling over the edge.

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

Jeff - great photo! Thanks!

lauravw said...

Hi Jeff -
Any hints on the peak weekend for the Gregory Bald azaleas in 2012? The early and warm spring has made most of our wildflowers bloom early this year. Just wondering if you have any idea about GB?
Thanks,
Laura

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

Laura,

According to a past issue of Smokies Life Mag, peak bloom for azaleas on GB usually occurs between June 13 and June 24. I've been wondering myself if they will be peaking earlier than normal this year. I would certainly think that it would be within the earlier part of that range. I would keep an eye out on the Wildflower Report on the GSMA website for the latest updates.

Jeff