Kimble Rentals Logo
Loading Page Content
RESERVATIONS
(800) 583-6098
Kimble Rentals Availability Search Icon Availability Search Small Icon


Top Overlooks in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Blog Home : Category Posts : Best Overlooks in the Smoky Mountains

There's just something special about an incredible view of the mountains. Maybe it’s the endless expanse of beautiful forests, the gentle features of mountains, or the vivid colors produced by sunrises and sunsets, but these scenic vistas are just good for the soul.

Whatever the case, it's clear that many Smoky Mountain vacationers come to the national park to witness jaw-dropping views. To help you experience best scenic overlooks in the Smokies, we've made this helpful guide with a map of where to find them.

Grab your camera and hop in the car for a beautiful drive to the highest peaks in the Tennessee mountains!

The Best Overlooks in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

For the most part, the best overlooks inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park can be found along the Newfound Gap Road. This curvy mountain route climbs nearly 3,000 feet to Newfound Gap, a relatively low point in the main ridge of the Smokies.

Starting from Gatlinburg and Sugarlands Visitors Center, you can easily reach all of these scenic pull-offs by driving towards Newfound Gap towards Cherokee.

1. Campbell Overlook

Cambell Overlook Great Smoky Mountains

The first major view point on this scenic drive can be found just 2 miles after Sugarlands Visitor Center. This overlook is named in honor of Carlos Campbell, an early promoter of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

At this scenic spot, you can see the towering face of Mt. LeConte sloping down to Gatlinburg. Two smaller nearby peaks, Balsam Point and Bullhead, are also visible. This overlook is ideal for observing the different forest types at different elevations. Here, you can see cove hardwood forests at lower elevations gradually turn into northern hardwood forests and spruce fir forests near the summit of Mt. Leconte.

2. Chimney Tops Overlook

Chimney Tops in Gatlinburg

At the 4.5 mile mark on US Hwy 411 (aka Newfound Gap Road), you'll reach this overlook. The Chimney Tops are one of the most iconic peaks in the Smokies. They sit nearly 2,000 feet above the river and are easily identified thanks to small rock outcroppings that extend from the mountain. The Cherokee named this place "forked antler" for its resemblance to the antlers of a deer, but European settlers thought they had more in common with the chimneys on their cabins.

The steep mountain side across the river has many dead hemlocks that are victims of the invasive wooly adelgid fungus.

A short distance further, you'll find the trailhead for the Chimney Tops Hiking Trail. After that, you'll drive through "The Loop," an ingenious feature that allows US 411 to ascend the mountain through a narrow section between a ridge and the Little Pigeon River.

3. Morton's Overlook

View From Morton Overlook

After the tunnel but before New Found Gap Parking Area, at mile 13 drivers will reach Morton Overlook.

At this point, you can fully appreciate how high you've climbed in the mountains. This pull-off offers a clear view of several layers mountain ridges that gradually drop off into the Tennessee Valley. On a clear night, the lights of Pigeon Forge and Sevierville are visible from this spot.

4. Newfound Gap

Newfound Gap Overlook

Less than a mile after Morton Overlook, you'll find Newfound Gap as one of the best overlooks in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This parking area straddles the high ridge of the mountains and as a result, it offers beautiful views of both Tennessee and North Carolina.

The Appalachian Trail passes by Newfound Gap, so if you're interested in exploring a short section of America's famous long-distance hike, this is a great chance. Additionally, the Rockerfeller Memorial commemorates the spot where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt Commissioned the park in 1940.

5. Oconoluftee Valley Overlook

Oconoluftee Valley

If you continue on US 411 towards Cherokee, you'll find another great overlook only a mile further. This overlook of the Oconoluftee Valley provides a grand view of the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains. Additionally, this east-facing overlook is a great place to watch sunrises during certain times of the year.

6. Clingmans Dome Parking Area

Clingmans Dome Tower View

From the Newfound Gap parking area, you can also drive to the highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains – Clingmans Dome. The Clingmans Dome Road is closed in winter, but in the summer, you can easily reach some of the highest elevation places in the park.

Simply drive 7 miles further to the parking area near the Clingmans Dome parking area. Here, you can see excellent views of the North Carolina side of the park. Since 800 square miles of wilderness surround this area, Clingmans Dome is a popular destination for star gazers who come here to see the night sky unhindered the dulling effects of light pollution.

If you're ready for a short, but very steep hike, you can walk to an observation tower at the mountain's summit that offers a panoramic vista.

Final Thoughts on Overlooks in the Great Smoky Mountains National park

For the most part, the best overlooks in the national park can be reached by driving along the Newfound Gap road. Taking a driving tour on this scenic route is a great way to quickly survey the beauty of the Tennessee mountains, but be sure to take the time to explore some hiking trails to see even more incredible views of the mountains!

Some great hikes to explore for fantastic views are Andrews Bald, the Jump Off, and Charlie's Bunion.

To have plenty of time to explore the natural wonders of the national park, why not plan a vacation to the Smokies and book a cabin rental in Pigeon Forge, TN? Our cabins offer a terrific value for your stay and keep you close to all the best sights in the mountains!

Written by

Recent Articles

Cabins Near The Apple Barn In Pigeon Forge

Cabins Near The Apple Barn

Searching for cabins close to the Apple Barn in Pigeon Forge? Check out this guide with details to find cabins near this popular restaurant located on an exciting part of the Pigeon Forge Parkway!
Pigeon Forge Or Gatlinburg – Where Should I Stay?

Pigeon Forge Vs. Gatlinburg | Which is Better?

Want to know the best places to stay in the Great Smoky Mountains? It can be tricky to decide whether you should stay in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg, but this post is here to help.
How Much Does A Trip To Pigeon Forge Cost?

Pigeon Forge Vacation Budget

Planning a Pigeon Forge vacation on a budget? Find out how much your Pigeon Forge vacation can cost and learn some tips on how to get the most out of your vacation budget!

Categories

Pigeon Forge Happening Now

Pigeon Forge Happening Now

We've got news, events, and tips to make your vacation in Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains better than ever! Check - read more...

Tags

Please Note: Kimble Cabin Rentals's, hereinafter referred to as Kimble, area information, area events, and blog pages are provided as a public service. Kimble does not endorse any of the products, vendors, consultants, or businesses referenced in these web pages. Any mention of vendors, products, businesses, or services on the Kimble web site is for informational purposes only. Users of this web site are responsible for checking the accuracy, completeness, currency and/or suitability of all information. The inclusion of this information does not imply endorsement by Kimble. Furthermore, specific questions regarding any content should be directed to the appropriate organization and not necessarily to Kimble.

Pigeon Forge TN Kimble Rentals Logo
Pigeon Forge, TN  37863
(865) 429-0090
Pigeon Forge Cabin Rentals
Guest Reservations
(800) 583-6098
2 Night Minimum

















































Pigeon Forge Kimble Rentals Help Icon
Join Our Newsletter
Guest Sign In
Copyright 2013-2017, Kimble Cabin Rentals, Pigeon Forge, TN
Powered By

Interested in receiving our newsletter? Simply provide your full name and email address in these fields to begin receiving information. By doing so, you can learn about special promotions and events in the Smoky Mountains!

We respect our customer's privacy and feel it is disrespectful to bombard anyone with emails. We treat all information that customers share with us as private and confidential. Kimble never shares this information with third party sites.

Arrival Date: Mandatory, select or enter date you will arrive (MM/DD/YYYY)

Nights: Mandatory, select or enter the number of Nights you will be staying with us

Promotional Code: Must enter a valid code

Optional Search Items: (Amenties, Cities, etc)
Below are several boxes in which you can either select from a drop down list or click on a check box to the left of an item to select.

Changing the contents of any drop down list or selecting/deselecting a check box will broaden or narrow the number of properties displayed by your search. You don't have to wait until the search completes to select/deselect items for your perfect search.

You must hit the SEARCH button to start your first search. It is unnecessary to hit the SEARCH button after doing your first search, unless you changed to another web page, changed the Arrival Date or number of Nights.

Add to Favorites: As you visit individual property pages or pages with listings of several properties on them, you have the option to click on the "+ Favorites" for each particular property, which automatically adds the property to your list of Favorites for consideration. The number next to the Favorites tab, left sidebar, will increase up to 99 possible Favorites. When ready, click on the Favorites tab to view a list of your selected Favorites.

Remove from Favorites: You may de-select (remove) properties from your Favorites you no longer wish to consider by either clicking on the minus icon to the right or by clicking on the "- Favorites" displayed on property list pages and each property details page for properties listed in your Favorites.

Compare Favorites: Click in the check boxes to the left of the property name, in your Favorites, you wish to compare. No more than 3 boxes may be selected at one time. When ready, hit the Compare button for a comparison of the 3 selected properties.

Follow the above "Remove from Favorites" instructions to remove a property from the comparison and your Favorites.

To add another property from your Favorites list for comparison, click the check box to the left of the property name in your Favorites and hit the Compare button.

Repeat the above steps to find your ultimate vacation accommodations. Need assistance or have questions, please give us a call so we may better serve you!

View List: Displays a full list of all your Favorites with some details.

Remove All: Clears all properties from your Favorites so you may start over.