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The Most Epic Views in the Smoky Mountains
The Great Smoky Mountains are one of the most amazing bucket list places to visit in the U.S. With its majestic peaks, lush forests, and vast wildlife, it’s no wonder that visitors flock to this incredible destination year after year.
There is no shortage of things to do in this beautiful area, from hiking the Appalachian Trail to ziplining through the forests.
One of the best things to do in the area is to take in the stunning sights from the best views in the Smoky Mountains.
Whether you’re looking for hiking trails with scenic views or a scenic drive to take in the landscapes, I’ve got you covered with the 12 best views in the Smoky Mountains.
So, grab your camera and get ready to be amazed by the sweeping mountain views.
12 Best Views in the Smoky Mountains
Here are the 12 best views in the Smoky Mountains!
Newfound Gap Road (Lowest Drivable Pass in the Smoky Mountains)
One of the best ways to take in the mountain views is by driving along Newfound Gap Road.
Newfound Gap Road is the most scenic drive in the Smokies and offers up some of the most breathtaking views of the mountains.
The road winds its way through the mountains for 33 miles and takes you past several overlooks where you can stop and take in the incredible views.
Make sure to stop at Newfound Gap Overlook and take in the stunning views of the mountains before continuing your drive.
This scenic road winds its way through the national park and offers stunning views of the mountains, forests, and valleys.
There are several scenic pullouts where you can stop and take in the views or go for a short hike.
Clingmans Dome is one of the best places for panoramic mountain views.
This popular destination is the highest point in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and offers 360-degree views of the mountains.
To get to the top of Clingmans Dome, you’ll have to hike the 0.5-mile paved trail to the observation tower.
The hike is short, but it is steep, so make sure you’re prepared for a bit of a workout.
Once you reach the observation tower, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the mountains and valleys below.
Laurel Falls is the perfect destination if you’re looking for an easy hike with stunning views, and it’s one of the best waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains.
This 2.6-mile round trip hike takes you to an 80-foot stunning waterfall that cascades over a rocky cliff.
The trail takes around an hour and a half to hike to the falls and back, but it’s well worth it for one of the best views in the Smoky Mountains.
The trail is relatively flat and easy to follow but can be slippery in places, so make sure you wear proper shoes.
Important Tips for Laurel Falls:
- Don’t climb on the rocks around the waterfall as they can be slippery and dangerous from the algae growing on them.
- The trail can be slippery in the rain, so be cautious.
- Wheelchairs and strollers aren’t the best ideas because the trail has steep drop-offs.
- Keep your eye out for black bears. They are often seen in the area. If you’re nervous about this, read this article written by the National Park Service about staying safe around bears.
Cades Cove Loop
Cades Cove is one of the most popular Great Smoky Mountains National Park destinations.
This picturesque valley is surrounded by mountains and is home to various wildlife, including black bears, deer, wild turkeys, and more.
There are several things to do in Cades Cove, including hiking, having a picnic lunch, wildlife watching, and more.
But, one of the best things to do is to take a drive through the 11-mile one-way loop road.
The slow pace of this drive makes it easier for you to spot wildlife along the way.
If you’re visiting in the spring or fall, you’re in for a real treat. You’ll see the wildflowers in bloom or the leaves changing color, which makes for beautiful views.
Foothills Parkway is another one of the best views in the Smoky Mountains, and for a good reason.
This 33-mile-long road winds its way through the mountains and features several lookout points.
Look Rock is the highest point on Foothills Parkway, and other notable points include Happy Valley Overlook, Scott Mountain Overlook, and Bridge View Pull-Off.
One of the best things about this drive is that it’s relatively uncrowded, so you can take your time and enjoy the views.
Foothills Parkway is actually one of the best USA fall trips thanks to the incredible views of the changing leaves.
Chimney Tops Trail
The Chimney Tops Trail is a must-do if you’re up for a challenge. It’s one of the most popular trails in the Smoky Mountains
This four-mile round trip hike takes you to the top of one of the most popular summits in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The trail is considered moderate to strenuous, so make sure you’re up for it before you set out.
The first mile of the trail begins gentle, but the final half picks up in elevation gain, and most hikers turn around.
The mountain views from the top are incredible, and you’ll be able to see for miles in all directions.
Take plenty of water and snacks with you since the hike will take it out of you.
Ramsey Cascades is the tallest waterfall in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and is one of the prettiest views in the Smoky Mountains.
This beautiful cascade tumbles down 100 feet over a series of rocks, and lots of salamanders can be found at the bottom of the falls.
The Ramsey Cascades Trail is an 8-mile round trip hike, and it’s strenuous with some steep spots.
The last two miles of the hike weave through an old growth forest with beautiful flora.
Mount Cammerer Trail
Mount Cammerer Trail is not for the faint of heart as it’s a strenuous 11-mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 3045 feet.
It’s a great hike for adrenaline junkies!
Around three miles into the hike, you’ll reach the Appalachian Trail (a very popular hiking trail).
Once you reach the mountain’s summit, you’ll be surrounded by pretty views of the Pigeon River Gorge.
Mount LeConte is the third highest peak in the Smoky Mountains and is one of the best places to see the sunrise in the Smokies.
There are five trails that lead to the top of Mount LeConte, and they range from easy to strenuous.
All of the trails that lead to the summit are over 10 miles roundtrip, with Alum Cave Trailhead being the shortest and steepest.
You can stay overnight at LeConte Lodge and catch a beautiful sunrise the following day!
More Best Views in the Smoky Mountains
It’s nearly impossible to see all the best views in the Smoky Mountains in just one visit.
There are so many incredible places (like Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge) to explore, and each has its own unique beauty.
Here are a few more places where you can take in the stunning views of the Smokies.
I recommend stopping at the parking lots and any parking area to soak in the views.
- Charlies Bunion Hiking Trail
- Rocky Top Trail
- Look Rock Tower Trail
- Rainbow Falls
- Andrews Bald
- Grotto Falls
- Gatlinburg Skybridge
- Campbell Overlook
- Morton’s Overlook
- Oconoluftee Valley Overlook
- Myrtle Point
- Forney Ridge Trail
- Little Duck Hawk Ridge
- Boulevard Trail
- Little Pigeon River
- Fontana Lake
- Arch Rock
- Inspiration Point
- Trillium Gap Trail
- Alum Cave
Final Thoughts About the Best Views in the Smoky Mountains
The Smoky Mountains are one of the best national parks on the East Coast and one of the most beautiful areas in the country.
Grab your hiking boots and camera and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!
What do you think some of the best views in the Smoky Mountains are? Let me know in the comments below!
Best Views in the Smoky Mountains Related Posts:
- USA Fall Trips: 12 Of The Best Autumn Trips for Fall Foliage
- America’s 13 Prettiest National Parks on the East Coast
- 15 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the Smoky Mountains
12 Gorgeous Views in the Smoky Mountains
Disha Smith is the founder of Disha Discovers. She quit her job in 2017 to travel the world to explore new cultures and experience new adventures. She has since been to 95+ countries and counting and has lived in South Africa, Thailand, Croatia, and Australia. She has done all kinds of travel ranging from luxury to budget backpacking, and her mission is to inspire others to discover their own sense of adventure and to help them plan a life full of meaningful experiences through travel.