Newfound Gap is known as one of the most popular scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains. It has an elevation of 5,056 feet, making it the lowest drivable pass through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Along Newfound Gap Road, you can experience a variety of forests, like cove hardwood, pine-oak and northern hardwood forests to get to the evergreen spruce-fir forest at Newfound Gap.
Newfound Gap Road
Newfound Gap Road travels for 33 miles from Gatlinburg to Cherokee, North Carolina. The reason why visitors love this scenic drive so much is because it allows them to experience a little bit of everything the park has to offer. It typically takes about an hour to drive, depending on traffic, of course. The drive includes opportunities for you to stop and enjoy the scenery! Start your driving tour at the Sugarlands Visitor Center, where you can buy a Newfound Gap Road driving tour booklet to learn more about what to expect along your drive.
Highlights of Newfound Gap Road
We mentioned before all of the different forests you’d get to drive through on your journey, but that’s not the only highlight of this scenic drive. Here are more things you’ll love to see along Newfound Gap Road.
Campbell Overlook – This overlook is at about the 4-mile mark of Newfound Gap Road. You’ll have gorgeous views of Mount LeConte!
Newfound Gap & Rockefeller Memorial – Of course, one of the highlights of Newfound Gap Road is Newfound Gap itself. This is the place where President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You’ll be able to see the Rockefeller Memorial where it all happened! This can be found about 14.7 miles along Newfound Gap Road.
Clingmans Dome Road – If you’ve always wanted to visit Clingmans Dome, Newfound Gap is the best route to take! Turn off of Newfound Gap Road onto Clingmans Dome Road, where you can drive to the parking area for the observation tower.
Mingus Mill – Newfound Gap Road takes drivers all the way from Tennessee to North Carolina! Everyone who visits the North Carolina side talks about Mingus Mill. This operating grist mill was built in 1886 and was restored in 1937.
Directions to Newfound Gap
To get to Newfound Gap Road, take the main Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg toward the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Sugarlands Visitor Center. From there, all you have to do is follow the signs to Cherokee, NC!