Auto Tours in the Smoky Mountains
While the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is most commonly thought of for its near 500,000 square acres of picturesque wilderness, the park contains numerous roads (both improved and unimproved) that showcase its natural beauty. And while natural features such as mountain vistas, nature trails and waterfalls might call to the outdoor lover in all of us, don't ignore the following auto tours when it comes to getting an easy feel for what the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has to offer. The links will take you to a detailed description of the tour, including maps, directions, mileage and approximate time required to comfortably complete the tour. Enjoy!
• Blue Ridge Parkway Auto Tour
• Cades Cove Loop Road
• Cosby - Big Creek - Cataloochee Tour
• Greenbrier Road Tour
• Lakeview Drive
• Little River Road Tour
• Newfound Gap - Clingman's Dome Tour
• Parson Branch Road
• Rich Mountain Road
• Roaring Fork Motor Tour
Blue Ridge Parkway Auto Tour - From Shenendoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this route follows the Appalachian Mountain chain - a 469 mile route.
Cades Cove Loop Road - For good reason, and you'll see why, this is the most visited part of the park.
Cosby-Big Creek-Cataloochee Tour - You'll pass historic churches, homes, and schools on the North Carolina side of the park during this 11-mile trip.
Greenbrier Road Tour - Get to Trillium Gap via this route which follows the Little Pigeon River. This tour also leads to the trailhead to Ramsay Cascades, to some the best waterfall in the park.
Lakeview Drive - Known as "the Road to Nowhere," this six-mile drive affords the driver and his passengers great views of Fontana Lake.
Little River Road Tour - This 18-mile route, which was at one time an old railroad roadbed in Little River Gorge, runs from the Sugarlands Visitor Center outside Gatlinburg to the entrance of the Cades Cove Loop Road.
Newfound Gap/Clingman's Dome Tour - The only road to completely traverse the park, Newfound Gap Road courses the 32 miles between Cherokee, NC and Gatlinburg, TN.
Parson Branch Road - From the Cades Cove Loop Road to US 129, this 8-mile gravel road leads toward the North Carolina side of the park and Calderwood Dam.
Rich Mountain Road - This one-way, 7-mile route travels northward from Cades Cove to Rich Mountain Gap and the park's boundary, and on down the mountain to Townsend, TN.
Roaring Fork Motor Tour - This is a one-way, 5-mile tour in the Gatlinburg vicinity that is commonly referred to as a "motorized nature trail".