Auto Touring

Great Smoky Mountains National Park encompasses over 800 square miles and is one of the most pristine natural areas in the East. An auto tour of the park offers a variety of experiences, including panoramic views, tumbling mountain streams, weathered historic buildings, and mature hardwood forests stretching to the horizon.

There are 384 miles of road to choose from in the Smokies. Most are paved, and even the gravel roads are maintained in suitable condition for standard passenger cars. Travel speeds on most of the park's paved roads average 35 miles per hour. Please check for seasonal and weather-related road closures before planning an auto tour. Review more traffic and travel tips for a safe visit.

 

Favorite Auto Touring Spots

  • A clear foreground of yellow flowers in a meadow with an unfocused backdrop of a mountain

    Cades Cove Loop Road

    Allow three to four hours to leisurely wind through Cades Cove in your vehicle, enjoying wildlife and historic structures.

  • A wooden barn in a grassy field below a cloudy sky alongside a gravel road

    Cataloochee Valley

    Cataloochee Valley is the best place in the park to see historic frame buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

  • A bending roadway rail in the foreground of a blue-green colored mountain view

    Foothills Parkway

    Split into multiple sections, the Foothills Parkway provides unique views of the Great Smoky Mountains.

  • Bright green bushes and dark green trees in the foreground of rolling mountains under patchy clouds

    Newfound Gap Road

    A trip over Newfound Gap Road has been compared to a drive from Georgia to Maine with the variety of forest ecosystems one experiences.

  • Mountains stretch to the far horizon in the view from the observation tower at Clingmans Dome.

    Clingmans Dome

    Clingmans Dome is the highest peak in the park and offers spectacular 360° views of the Smokies and beyond.

  • A small, rustic, faded log cabin near a creek surrounded by rocks and greenery

    Roaring Fork

    The narrow, winding Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail invites you to slow down and enjoy the forest and historic buildings of the area.

 

Inexpensive booklets are available to serve as your personal tour guides along many park roads. These booklets are keyed to numbered posts or landmarks and include information on park history, wildlife, and plants. Booklets are available for the following roads from park visitor centers and the Great Smoky Mountain Association's online store.

  • Cades Cove Loop Road
  • Cataloochee Valley
  • Newfound Gap Road
  • Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
  • Upper Tremont Road

Self-guiding tour booklets are also available from dispensers at the start of the roads they cover.

Last updated: July 1, 2022

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Gatlinburg , TN 37738

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(865)436-1200

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