5 Places to Go in the Smoky Mountains That Will Make You Want to Visit Immediately

Autumn trees lining a road through the Great Smoky Mountains
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Are you trying to decide which places to go in the Smoky Mountains that everyone must see? Look no further! We have all of the places you need to see, right here. Take a look at these popular spots in the national park:

(TELL US! Do you have a favorite place in the national park? Scroll to the bottom of this post and tell us your favorite spot it in the comments section!)

1. Cades Cove

Probably one of the most popular areas in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cades Cove hosts millions of visitors every year. When people visit the Smokies, they think of Cades Cove and its historical buildings andRoad leading to Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains land.

Years ago, before Cades Cove became part of the national park, it was home to a community of people who farmed the land, built buildings and grew crops. With the creation of the national park, the people of Cades Cove were forced to leave their home and make a home elsewhere.

Recently, national park crews have been working to restore the Cades Cove area. Check it out in our recent blog, “National Park Crews Working to Save Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains.”

Clingmans Dome observation tower in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park2. Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome is not only the highest place in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but also the highest point in Tennessee. Standing 6,643 feet above sea level, visitors can stand outside and see a panoramic view of the Smoky Mountains.

To hike to Clingmans Dome, you can park at the Clingmans Dome parking area. Be prepared for a steep half-mile walk. Kids and adults can make the walk, but be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes.

3. Newfound Gap Roadiew from Newfound Gap Road

Having been named one of ‘America’s Best Winter Drives,’ Newfound Gap Road is definitely a beautiful route to take through the Smokies.

When you drive along Newfound Gap Road, from Gatlinburg, TN or Cherokee, NC, you will reach an elevation of about 3,000 feet. There are pull-offs located along the road, so there’s plenty of opportunities to step out of the car and enjoy the Smoky Mountains while taking a few photos. If you plan to make stops along the road, it may be a good idea to bring a light jacket. Even in the summertime, the higher elevations can be a little chilly.

For more information about Newfound Gap Road, check out our blog: “The Truth About Newfound Gap Road and Driving Through the Smoky Mountains

Small log cabin on the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail4. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

One of the most popular motor nature trails is Roaring Fork. It is located at traffic light #8 in Gatlinburg, and you will travel into the mountains from there.

Roaring Fork is one of the largest and fastest-flowing streams in the national park, which can be seen from the motor trail. If you want to slow down and enjoy the beauty of the national park and the historic buildings, this 6-mile trail may be just the place for you.

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is only open seasonally due to the winter snow and ice conditions. The trail is open through November 30 and reopens in early-mid April each year.

For more information about the motor nature trail, visit the National Park Service page here: https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/placestogo.htm

5. Sugarlands ValleySmoky Mountains in the fall with leaves changing colors

The Sugarlands Valley trail is perfect for anyone who wants to learn a little bit more about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Sugarlands Valley trail can be found near Sugarlands Visitor Center. At Sugarlands Visitor Center, you can stop in and talk to visitor center staff and park rangers about the area. They have the most knowledge of the national park, and will be able to answer any questions you may have about the Sugarlands Valley trail (or other trails in the national park). You can also pick up a Great Smoky Mountains National Park trail map while you’re at the visitor center, so you can easily navigate through the not yet

The trail is only about a half mile in distance and will only take about 45 minutes to complete, at most. Along the trail, visitors will notice the diversity of the entire national park–in one spot. With everything from historic sites, streams, flowers and old roadways.

Tell Us Your Favorite in the Blog Comments Below of things you must see!

Where are your favorite places to go in the Smoky Mountains? Scroll to the bottom of this post and let us know in the comments section!

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10 thoughts on “5 Places to Go in the Smoky Mountains That Will Make You Want to Visit Immediately

  1. fiddler1861 says:

    My favorite spot is paddling up Hazel Creek from Fontana Lake. I usually go at sunrise.

    • Emily Arnwine says:

      That’s a great place to visit! It’s beautiful! When’s your next trip to Hazel Creek?

  2. Ronda Claire says:

    I love the (right word?) pull out, lookout of the Mountains not far from . . . you know what? I have no clue where it is!!! But now my favorite is Clingmans Dome – parking lot! I cannot imagine my going up that path (I walk w/a walker) but I’m just fine seeing the tops of the mountains coming up through those clouds! OMG. Is that about 4,000 feet up?

    I am thinking that first one is not a long way from Cherokee, NC? That’s where I came in last year and I was on 441, I believe.

    • Emily Arnwine says:

      You’re probably thinking of the pulloffs on Newfound Gap Road. There are some beautiful places to stop and look at the beautiful mountains! Clingmans dome is 6,643 feet in elevation, so the parking lot is still a pretty good ways up! We’re glad you can enjoy the mountains..even from the parking lots! Are you planning a visit again sometime soon?

      • Ronda Claire says:

        Hi Emily!

        I am sure you are correct 🙂

        I do know I can find it when I an there. And I do plan an October visit!

  3. Kimber Rose says:

    My favorite place is Cataloochee…primitive camping at its best…nature galore, Elk and Deer grazing in the early morning and late evening…visit the old church or school house…take picnic along…you can get lost in the beauty there.

  4. Alan Thomas says:

    We have visited Cade’s Cove each fall for the last 5 years. So beautiful and full of history. The wildlife and huge deer herds there are amazing and can be seen grazing in the early mornings and evenings. We love driving the loop road. Plan to be there October 23rd and spend the day with a picnic lunch. Profile pic is taken there.

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