A scenic winding road in Cades Cove in the Smoky Mountains.

3 Beautiful Fall Drives in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

One of the things that draws both first time and repeat visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the natural beauty of the mountains. Every fall, as the leaves change colors, the mountains take on gorgeous yellow, red and orange colors.

There are many incredible ways to take in the scenic views of the mountains in the Great Smoky Mountains. Not everyone likes to get out and experience the mountains by hiking, though. Since we want everyone to be able to enjoy the Smokies, here are a few of the most beautiful fall drives in the Smoky Mountains:

  1. Cades Cove Loop Road

Hands down, one of the most popular areas in the entire Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Cades Cove is home to scenic valleys, wildlife and historic sites. The Cades Cove Auto Tour is an 11 mile loop that takes guests on a slow drive through Cades Cove. This drive can take between 2-3 hours depending on the season, so be sure to allow the time needed if this is in your plans. Pull off spots make for excellent opportunities for photos as well as exploring. One drive around the loop as you take in the fall colors and you will soon realize why Cades Cove ranks as the most popular site in the Smokies.

Be sure to pick up the $1 booklet for this auto tour at any of the national park visitor centers. The booklet tells you about all of the structures and cabins in Cades Cove, so you don’t miss out on any of the history while you’re there.

  1. Newfound Gap Road near our Gatlinburg vacation cabins.Newfound Gap Road

The road that connects North Carolina to Gatlinburg, across the mountains, is Newfound Gap Road.The road has many scenic pull-offs where you can park your car, get out and enjoy the scenery. There are some great places to take pictures and capture memories of the Smoky Mountains. From some of the pull-offs, you can see miles into the national park, and the fall colors are absolutely unbelievable. Even if you don’t drive the entire length of the road, a short distance will show you how beautiful it is!

Be sure to pick up the $1 booklet for this auto tour at any of the national park visitor centers; the booklet will give you information about all of the things to see along the drive.

  1. The Gatlinburg BypassGatlinburg Bypass view

Generally used by locals as a means to avoid traffic on the main Parkway in Gatlinburg, the Gatlinburg Bypass provides excellent views of the fall colors from the comfort of your car. This 4 mile drive goes around the outside of Gatlinburg and can be used to avoid standstill traffic. It also provides scenic views of the area with pull off areas available for anyone who wants to take pictures. Direct views of both Gatlinburg and Mt. LeConte can be see from the overlook area.

Taking in the fall colors is always a highlight of any Smoky Mountain vacation this time of year, and these drives through the mountains are sure to add fun to any trip. You can learn more about the fall drives in the Smoky Mountains by visiting the official website of the National Park Service: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/autotouring.htm

After you drive through the Smoky Mountains, you will love spending time relaxing in one of our Gatlinburg cabin rentals. You’ll love our cabins, equipped with everything you need and the best amenities to make your vacation special.