7 of the Best Places to See a Sunrise in the Smoky Mountains
Nothing beats seeing a beautiful sunrise when you visit the Smoky Mountains! The area is full of incredible spots for you to hike or drive to where you can see the gorgeous scenery unfold. To guarantee you get the best views while you’re in the Smokies, we’ve put together a guide of the best places to see a sunrise in the Smoky Mountains.
1. Clingmans Dome
At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This makes it come as no surprise that it’s one of the best places to see the sunrise! The hike from the parking lot to the observation tower is short but steep, and the 360-degree views of the mountains make the hike more than worth it.
2. Foothills Parkway
The Foothills Parkway offers more great opportunities to watch a sunrise in the Smoky Mountains! The Parkway has several areas where you can pull off to admire the views. One of the best spots along the Foothills Parkway is Look Rock, which has an observation tower that offers panoramic views. This is the highest point along the Parkway and is only about a half-mile hike from where you have to park.
3. Newfound Gap Parking Area
The Newfound Gap Parking Area is another top spot to catch the sunrise. The parking area is the midway point of the road and offers open views of both the east and the west. This is a great option for watching the sunrise if you don’t want to have to get out of the car and walk anywhere. Be sure to bring your camera with you because this is the perfect place to snap a picture of the scenery.
4. Myrtle Point – Mount LeConte
Mount LeConte is the third highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The best place to see the sunrise on Mount LeConte is Myrtle Point. Myrtle Point is just a short hike from LeConte Lodge. Once you reach the summit, sit back and enjoy the show! This is the perfect sunrise spot for hikers staying at LeConte Lodge.
5. Deck of Smoky Mountain Cabin
If you want a relaxing spot to watch the sunrise, just head out to the deck of your Smoky Mountain cabin! If you’re staying at a cabin with mountain views, you won’t have to go anywhere to take in picture-perfect views of the Smokies. Grab a fresh cup of coffee before relaxing on your deck as the sun rises above the mountaintops in the distance.
6. Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook
To see the sunrise over downtown Gatlinburg, head to the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook! This spot offers gorgeous views of downtown with the mountains in the background. The overlook is located on the Gatlinburg Bypass between the Gatlinburg Spur and the national park. You’ll be able to see the entire town of Gatlinburg! Be sure to learn more about why you should visit the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook during all times of year, but especially in the upcoming fall season.
7. Little River Road
Little River Road is another one of the best places to see a sunrise in the Smoky Mountains. This road connects Gatlinburg with Cades Cove. The drive begins at the Sugarlands Visitor Center and follows along the Little River. There are numerous pullouts along the road between Laurel Falls and the visitor center that are prime locations for watching the sunrise!
Now that you know all of the best places to see a sunrise in the Smoky Mountains, it’s time to start planning your visit! Browse a selection of the best Smoky Mountain cabins and book your stay today.