On June 14, 2023
The Great Smoky Mountains are renowned for their breathtaking scenic beauty. Here are some of the best scenic overlooks in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that offer stunning views.
This scenic spot, Campbell Overlook, honors an early promoter of the park, Carlos Campbell. Here you’ll find great views of Mt. LeConte and two smaller peaks, Balsam Point and Bullhead.
Location: 2 miles from the Sugarland Visitors Center on U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road
You will find some of the most majestic mountain views at the Chimney Tops Overlook. The peaks of Chimney Tops are some of the highest in the park, sitting nearly 2,000 feet above the West Prong Little Pigeon River. Although the Chimney Tops Trail itself is challenging, once you reach the overlook, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and valleys and tons of azalea in bloom.
Location: between mile markers 4 and 5 on U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road
Situated along Newfound Gap Road, Morton Overlook is a well-known spot that offers fantastic views of the mountains as they gradually drop off into the Tennessee Valley. The drive is filled with twists and turns and elevation changes. It’s one of the best spots to watch the sunrise or sunset. After the sun sets, look for the twinkle of lights to see Pigeon Forge on a clear night.
Location: after the tunnel, at mile 13 on U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road
Newfound Gap is just right down the road from Morton Overlook. This scenic overlook is one of the park’s finest, with incredible views of both Tennessee and North Carolina. This spot is home to the Rockefeller Memorial where President Franklin D. Roosevelt commissioned the park in 1940. It’s a popular stop and provides a great photo opportunity.
Location: along U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road, just a mile past Morton Overlook
Just down the road from Newfound Gap is the Oconoluftee Valley Overlook, with great views of the North Carolina side of the Smoky Mountains and some of the best views of the sunrise you’ll find in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Location: along U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road, just a mile past Newfound Gap
Clingmans Dome is the highest point along the Appalachian Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The parking area of Clingmans Dome is a great spot to take in breathtaking views of the North Carolina side of the mountains. A steep half-mile hike leads to an observation tower at the mountain’s summit, which provides stunning 360-degree views of the Smoky Mountains you won’t find elsewhere in the park.
Location: access Clingmans Dome Road just past Newfound Gap on U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road and travel 7 miles to reach the parking area at Clingmans Dome
One of the most popular high elevation hikes in the Smokies is the trail to Andrews Bald. This 3.6-mile round trip hike takes you to a grassy bald mountaintop with magnificent, panoramic mountain views. It’s particularly stunning when the spring wildflowers such as azaleas and rhododendrons are in bloom.
Location: access Clingmans Dome Road just past Newfound Gap on U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road and travel another 7 miles to reach the end of the road; the trail is accessed via the Forney Ridge Trail which is at the far end of the parking lot
Although not an overlook in the traditional sense, Cades Cove is a scenic valley surrounded by mountains. The 11-mile Cades Cove Loop Road provides numerous opportunities to pull over and enjoy stunning views of the meadows, historic buildings and wildlife.
Location: follow the Parkway until you pass Sugarlands Visitor Center; turn left onto Little River Road and continue 25 miles until you reach the entrance
These are just a few of the many incredible scenic overlooks you’ll discover in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Exploring the park’s various hiking trails and scenic drives will uncover even more hidden gems and stunning vistas. Make sure to add these scenic overlooks to your summer bucket list of things to see and do in Pigeon Forge.
Flip through the guide below to view some of the most stunning vistas at scenic overlooks in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.