Explore the National Park By Car

Scenic Drives In The Smoky Mountains

Newfound Gap Road in Smoky Mountain National Park

Popular Smoky Mountain Scenic Drives

Scenic drive through Cades Cove

Visitors love getting to explore the Smoky Mountains from the comfort of their vehicles. Because there are 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

Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

When planning your Smoky Mountain scenic drive, keep in mind that there are seasonal road closures throughout the park.

  • Balsam Mountain Road: Open May 10 through October 31
  • Clingmans Dome Road: Open April 1 through November 30
  • Little Greenbrier Road: Open March 29 through December 1
  • Parson Branch Road: April 12 to November 10
  • Rich Mountain Road: Open April 12 through November 10
  • Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail: Open March 29 through December 1

For updates on temporary road closures, check out Smokies Road Info on X (Twitter).

Tips On Avoiding Crowds

Cades Cove loop

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.).