newfound gap road in the smoky mountains
June 23, 2023

As the most visited national park in the United States, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has no shortage of opportunities for amazing adventures. But with so much to do, where should you start? Let us suggest Newfound Gap Road, a scenic drive through the mountains with lots to do along the way! Read on and find out about this exciting spot in the Smoky Mountains National Park.

What is Newfound Gap Road?

Newfound Gap Road is a scenic drive through the Smoky Mountains National Park. At an elevation of 5,056 feet, it is the lowest drivable pass in the park. Millions of people embark on this gorgeous drive each year, and it’s no wonder! The road features overlooks with gorgeous mountain views, allowing you incredible opportunities to soak in the sights of the Smokies.

How long is the road?

newfound gap road

Newfound Gap Road spans 33 miles total, from Gatlinburg, Tennessee to Cherokee, North Carolina. The road typically takes somewhere around an hour to drive, depending on traffic. However, you can take the road at your own pace by pulling off and making use of the overlooks!

How do you get to Newfound Gap Road?

From downtown Gatlinburg, just follow the Parkway towards the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Then, follow the signs pointing toward Cherokee, North Carolina and you’ll be on your way!

What can you do along Newfound Gap Road?

view from clingmans dome

There are lots of opportunities to enjoy the sights of the Smoky Mountains National Park when you travel along Newfound Gap Road. From April to December of each year, you can take Clingmans Dome Road up to Clingmans Dome Observation Tower, which is the highest point in the park at 6,643 feet! Another great option for views is the Carlos Campbell Overlook, located near the 4-mile mark of Newfound Gap Road and featuring amazing sights of Mount LeConte! And one of the main highlights of the road is the Newfound Gap itself, where Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visit the dedication site and see the iconic gap – don’t forget to grab a photo! These are just a few of the adventures you can have when you visit Newfound Gap Road, making it a great destination during your Smoky Mountains getaway.

When is the road open?

Newfound Gap Road is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year! You can go enjoy this scenic drive at any time, just make sure to check park hours for any activities you want to stop at along the way.

Is there wildlife along the road?

deer in the woods

Yes! People regularly report wildlife sightings along the road, such as black bears, white-tailed deer, and wild turkeys. Driving along this road presents a great opportunity to spot wildlife, just make sure you follow the speed limit and keep your eyes peeled for animals near or in the road!

As you can see, Newfound Gap Road presents opportunities for exciting adventures and gorgeous mountain views. So next time you’re in the area, make use of the road and enjoy all the Smoky Mountains National Park has to offer! And if you’re looking for more spots like Newfound Gap Road, check out some other scenic drives here in the Smokies.