Scenic Drives in the Smoky Mountains
There are 384 miles of road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which means you’ll have your choice of gorgeous Smoky Mountain scenic drives. Average speeds on a majority of the park’s paved roads are around 35 miles per hour. When you go for a scenic drive in the Smoky Mountains, you’ll be able to see panoramic views, mountain streams, historic buildings and more.
Popular Smoky Mountain Scenic Drives
Visitors love getting to explore the Smoky Mountains from the comfort of their vehicles. With so many roads to choose from, we’ve made a list of the most popular scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains you don’t want to miss out on:
- Cades Cove Loop Road
- Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
- Newfound Gap Road
- Cataloochee Valley
Seasonal Road Closures
When planning your Smoky Mountain scenic drive, keep in mind that there are seasonal road closures throughout the park.
- Balsam Mountain Road: Open May 15 through November 1
- Clingmans Dome Road: Open April 11 through November 30
- Little Greenbrier Road: Open April 8 through November 28
- Parson Branch Road: May 26 to November 13
- Rich Mountain Road: Open April 8 through November 13
- Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail: Open April 10 through November 28
For updates on temporary road closures, check out Smokies Road Info on Twitter.
Tips on Avoiding Crowds
Since the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is so popular, traffic when going for a scenic drive is expected. If you’re looking for ways to avoid some of the crowds, there are a couple things you can do! Visitation is highest in the summer months and the month of October, so if you want to beat the crowds, we suggest not planning your trip during these months. If you still want to visit during these months, try one of the lesser-known scenic drives in the Smoky Mountains, like Foothills Parkway, Blue Ridge Parkway and Rich Mountain Road. You can also try going for a drive in the early mornings (before 10 a.m.) and in the evenings (after 5 p.m.).