Clingmans Dome
July 1, 2021

One of the best ways to capture memories of your vacation is with photography. When you visit the Smoky Mountains, you will encounter some of the best views that are available. But, if you want to mix in some good exercise while you are vacationing, you might want to check out some of the hiking trails that have perfect photography spots along the way. Here are 4 of the best hikes in the Smoky Mountains for photographers:

1. Mount LeConte

Mount LeConte

As the 3rd highest point in the Smoky Mountains, Mount LeConte is a popular hike for people because of the extended view of the mountains when you reach the top. There are multiple different paths you can take to get to Mount LeConte, but the shortest hike is just under 5 miles from the Alum Cave Creek trail on Newfound Gap Road. Once you reach the peak, there is a lookoff area to get some breathtaking pictures of the Smoky Mountains. If you continue a little further, you will come to Alum Cave Bluff, which is another great spot for photographs of the orange clay fixtures.

2. Clingmans Dome

At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While the hike up to Clingmans Dome is right around 7 miles, the view and photographs you will be able to capture will make it well worth the travel. When you reach the parking lot, you’ll walk about half of a mile to an observation tower that offers a 360 degree view of the Smokies and beyond. On perfectly clear days, the view from the tower expands over 100 miles. If you want to continue your hike from Clingmans Dome, you can continue on the Appalachian Trail which has many more places to capture some amazing photos.

3. Chimney Top Trail

Chimney Tops

The climb to the Chimney Tops is one of the most popular hikes in the Smoky Mountains. Although the trail is steep, it provides one of the best views of the mountains. In all, the hike to the peak of the trail is right at 7 miles. Luckily, not only will you get great photos of the Chimney Tops, but there are also great cutoff points along the way that include some perfect photography opportunities. Make sure to check out the waterfalls along the Appalachian Trail at Indian Gap. There is also a way to get to Sugarland Mountain, which has some great views of the mountains as well.

4. Newfound Gap Road

If you are looking for a drivable road with different views along the way to take photographs, Newfound Gap Road is going to be your best option. The road is just under 30 miles and takes you all the way from Gatlinburg to Cherokee, North Carolina. Throughout the drive, there are multiple places to pull off and capture some amazing photographs from all different angles of the Smoky Mountains.

If you love to take pictures and want to get some exercise, these are just a few of the great hikes in the Smoky Mountains. Be sure to check out some of the other most popular places in the park as you plan your next visit to the Smoky Mountains!