Newfound Gap Road
A Stunning Scenic Drive in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Newfound Gap Road, also known as US Highway 441, connects Cherokee, NC to Gatlinburg, TN. This 33 mile scenic drive takes you up and over the Great Smoky Mountains. There are ample turn outs and photography opportunities as you drive the Newfound Gap Road. Upon entering the Park in Cherokee, make sure to stop at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Mountain Farm Museum. Just one mile north of the visitor center on Newfound Gap Road, is Mingus Mill.
Traveling north along US 441/Newfound Gap Road reveals a plethora of winding roads and higher-elevation views of mountain layers. As you continue to climb to the higher elevations of the Park, where long range views of mountain ridges are plentiful. Most of these overlooks and parking areas will be on the left side, the first one being Charles Webb Overlook, followed by Swinging Bridges Overlooks..
Oconaluftee Valley Overlook provides stunning mountain landscape scenery. Photographers love this spot for sunrise photos. Next up on the left, is the turn for Clingmans Dome Road. This 7-mile stretch of scenic roadway takes you to the Clingmans Dome Observation Tower, the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Return to Newfound Gap Road from Clingmans Dome. Continuing north on Newfound Gap Road is another gorgeous overlook with some history, and appropriately named Newfound Gap Overlook. The North Carolina/Tennessee border is located here, along with stunning views from the parking lot. A public restroom is adjacent to the parking lot.
Just past Newfound Gap, is Morton Overlook, a great spot for sunset views.
On the way down the mountain toward Gatlinburg, the winding road takes you through forested mountain sides and tunnels. Near Gatlinburg, be on the lookout for Little River Road, which provides access to Elkmont, Tremont, Greenbrier, and Cades Cove.
To return to Cherokee and Bryson City, just take the same road back - US 441 S/Newfound Gap Road. When it’s time to head back to Bryson City make sure to go slowly by the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to see the Elk that might be roaming in the Fields.
In the listing grid below, be sure to click on "show map" for a Google map to follow along.