sunset at Clingmans dome
June 29, 2022

One of the most beautiful sights to see in the Smoky Mountains is a sunset. You can watch a gorgeous sunset from all over the Smoky Mountain area. To help you decide on the best place to go while you’re in town, we’ve narrowed it down to some of our favorite places in the park! Here are 5 of the best places to see a sunset in the Smoky Mountains:

1. Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome is by far one of the best places to see a sunset. That’s because it’s the highest point in Tennessee. Clingmans Dome is 6,643 feet in elevation, and the colors from the sunset linger for a long time. We recommend parking your car and hiking the short distance to the top of the observation tower. From there, you’ll have 360-degree views of the mountains and the beautiful sunset. Be sure to bring a flashlight with you for your hike down to the parking lot once the sun sets!

2. Morton Overlook

sunset at Morton Overlook

Morton Overlook is one of the most popular overlooks in the Smoky Mountains, and for good reason. It’s easy to get to and offers breathtaking views, including sunset views! The overlook is about 5,048 feet above ground. The mountain ridges with the oranges and reds of the sunset create a beautiful sight. When you’re coming from Gatlinburg on U.S. 441, this popular spot is a small pullout on the right-hand side. If you’re going north on U.S. 441, it’s the third pullout on the left after Newfound Gap.

3. Newfound Gap

Speaking of Newfound Gap, this spot is one of the best places to see both a sunrise and a sunset in the Smoky Mountains. It lies along the Smokies about halfway between Gatlinburg and Cherokee, NC. It’s amazing to see the colors of the sun as it lowers reflecting off the clouds. Newfound Gap is just past Morton Overlook, so you have a chance to catch sunset views from both locations in the same evening! Plus, there is a large parking lot at Newfound Gap, making it easy to find a spot to park.

4. Cataloochee

sunset cataloochee

If you’re on the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, head to Cataloochee to watch a sunset. When you visit Cataloochee, stop off at the first lookout for some incredible views of the mountains and valley with the beautiful colors of the sunset. We recommend getting there at least 30 minutes before the sun is going to set for the best views. What makes it even more special is the opportunity to see elk! Elk are most commonly spotted in Cataloochee in the early mornings and late evenings, so your chances of seeing them are good.

5. Mount LeConte

Mount LeConte is the third highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! It’s a great spot to watch the sun lower behind the mountains. We think it’s best enjoyed from Cliff Top, near the LeConte Lodge. The most important thing to remember if you’re planning to hike back down after the sunset is to bring a headlamp and be safe. The trails back down are well-marked for safety, but it’s always a good idea to exercise caution.

You’ll want to be sure to bring your camera with you to capture the gorgeous views of a sunset in the Smoky Mountains! Whichever place you choose, you’re guaranteed a stunning sight. For more ways to take in the Smoky Mountain scenery, check out our blog, “4 Best Ways to Experience Gorgeous Smoky Mountain Views.”