fall Smoky Mountain drive with yellow leaves

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 start to change, the mountains take on gorgeous yellow, red, and orange colors. Not everyone likes to get out and experience the mountains by hiking, though, so why not take a scenic drive in the Smokies? Here are a few of the most beautiful fall drives in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

1. Cades Cove Loop Road

Cades Cove in the Great Smoky MountainsOne of the most popular areas in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is Cades Cove, which is home to scenic valleys, wildlife, and historic sites. The Cades Cove Loop is an 11-mile loop where visitors can drive through Cades Cove. This drive can take between 2 to 3 hours depending on the time of day and what month you’re visiting. All along the loop, there are places where you can pull off the road and explore hiking trails, historic buildings, and much more. When you drive through the loop in the fall, you’ll be able to tell why it’s one of the most popular destinations in the national park. You’ll want to get out at many different areas to get pictures of all the colorful trees throughout Cades Cove!

2. Newfound Gap Road

The road that connects North Carolina to Gatlinburg is Newfound Gap Road, which is another great scenic drive in the national park where you’ll have incredible views of the fall colors. 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 Great Smoky Mountains National Park along Newfound Gap. 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 trip will show you how beautiful it is! The next time you need to find a place to see spectacular fall colors, take a trip to Newfound Gap Road. 

3. The Gatlinburg Bypass

Fall colors in the Smoky Mountains.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. One of the most popular pull offs is the Gatlinburg Scenic Overlook, where you’ll see incredible fall colors. You’ll definitely want a picture of the mountains from here! Plus, you’ll love driving through the mountains and seeing the bright colors.

Taking in the fall colors in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is always a highlight of any  vacation this time of year, and these drives through the mountains are sure to add fun to any trip. To start planning your fall getaway, browse through our Gatlinburg cabin rentals to find the right one for you!