If you’d like to see the gorgeous views of the Smokies, but don’t feel like hiking to get to them, don’t worry! There are hundreds of miles of Smoky Mountain scenic drives for you to explore from the comfort of your vehicle. Just be sure to check for road closures online before your visit. To help you plan for an unforgettable trip, here are some of the best roads to travel.
1. Cades Cove Loop Road
This 11-mile, one-way loop road circles the cove and is one of the most popular scenic drives in the national park with sweeping mountain views and plenty of chances to see wildlife. It’s possible to spot anything from turkeys to black bears and so many other amazing animals. Just keep in mind that the Cades Cove Loop Road is closed to motor vehicles until 10:00 a.m. every Saturday and Wednesday morning from early May until late September. This is so that bicyclists and pedestrians can enjoy it without traffic.
2. Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Another one of the best Smoky Mountain scenic drives is the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. This 5.5 mile, one-way, loop road is a great, short trip that features a number of well-preserved structures like old cabins, grist mills and more. You’ll also be driving alongside the Roaring Fork stream which is especially beautiful after a heavy rain.
3. Rich Mountain Road
This 8-mile, one-way, gravel road heads north from Cades Cove over Rich Mountain to Tuckaleechee Cove and Townsend, TN. Rich Mountain Road is a less traveled option for those who want to see the beautiful views of Cades Cove without as much traffic. There are also many opportunities to admire the foliage as an oak-dominated forest lines the roadside.
4. Wears Valley Road
This 15-mile road winds from Pigeon Forge, TN to Townsend, TN and offers some great mountain views. The national park borders Wears Valley Road and from it you’ll be able to spot not only scenic mountain views, but also picturesque meadows and farmlands. You might even spot some wildlife along the way like deer, the occasional black bear, and other native animals.
5. Newfound Gap Road
Also known as US 441, Newfound Gap Road will take you straight across the mountains from Gatlinburg, TN to Cherokee, NC. This 33-mile drive is one of the longest and most beautiful in the Smokies. It takes about an hour to drive one-way, and there are multiple pull outs along the way where you and your family can stop and take pictures.
Where to Stay
You can stay close to all of these fantastic scenic roads when you select our hotel in Pigeon Forge for your getaway! With free breakfast, a seasonal outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, an arcade room and other great amenities, you and your family are in for a fun-filled visit.
Now that you know all about the best Smoky Mountain scenic drives, it’s time to start planning your trip! Be sure to check out all of our Pigeon Forge hotel rooms to find the perfect one to fit your needs.