There's just something about a special view of the mountains. The endless expanse, dense green forests and blue peaks of the Great Smoky Mountains are certainly a sight to behold. Some of the best views in Gatlinburg are easy to drive to, so they're perfect viewing spaces for folks who don't like to hike, have mobility issues, or just happen to appreciate a great view.
Note: Many roads in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are closed during the winter or experience temporary closures due to hazardous weather. Before you attempt to drive to one of these scenic locations, be sure to get the latest closure information by calling (865) 436-1200 or checking Smokies Road Info on Twitter.
One of the best views in Gatlinburg is actually overlooking the city itself. If you're heading from Pigeon Forge toward Newfound Gap Road in the national park, take the Gatlinburg bypass on your right just before driving into the city. You'll find a pull-off area on your left just a few miles in; you can't miss it. The overlook is an awesome vantage point for all of the city with the LeConte massif ominous in the background.
If you've ever visited the Gatlinburg Overlook before, you might be aware that it is a bad spot for vandalism. Please be respectful the Great Smoky Mountains National Park's rules and regulations and do not draw, scratch or write on the structures at this overlook or anywhere else in the park.
If you want to experience the true elevation of the Great Smoky Mountains, consider taking a peak at Morton's Overlook. Located along U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road, this is one of the best places to see the true grandeur of the Smokies. Here you are at 5,048 feet above sea level and can enjoy views of both North Carolina and Tennessee. On clear nights, you can see the twinkling lights of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg below.
Just a quick mile away from Morton's Overlook is Newfound Gap. Providing views of both Tennessee and North Carolina, Newfound Gap offers some of the most breathtaking views in the park. The famed Appalachian Trail passes through Newfound Gap. If you'd like to experience true American adventure, its possible to take a few steps on the trail from here.Newfound Gap
Newfound Gap is located almost directly in the center of the national park and can be reached by driving south on 441 from Gatlinburg. Another unique feature of the Newfound Gap overview is the Rockefeller Memorial dedicated to Franklin D. Roosevelt, who established the park from here in 1940.
The highest point in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is Clingman's Dome. The road to Clingman's Dome is closed in the winter, but in the Spring, Summer and Fall, the spot offers amazing views of the Smokies and beyond. From the Clingman's Dome parking area, you can take in breathtaking vistas, showing off the North Carolina side of the park.Clingman's Dome
Chimney Tops Overlook
The Chimney Tops offer some of the best views in Gatlinburg if you can climb to the top, but they make great scenery from the roadside as well. Located between mile markers 4 and 5 on Newfound Gap Road, this pulloff offers a great view of these unusual landmarks. The Chimneys are actually rock outcrops, which rise more than 2,000 feet above the river below.Chimney Tops
They Chimneys overlook is located near its trailhead on Newfound Gap Road (US 441). According to legend, the Native Americans who originally inhabited the area called the Chimney Tops forked antler. European settlers thought the peaks resembles the chimneys on their cabins and the name stuck.
Located just 2 miles from the Sugarlands Visitor Center, Campbell Overlook is one of the first overlooks many visitors see in the Great Smoky Mountains. From here, you can see the peaks of Mt. LeConte sloping down toward Gatlinburg. You'll also notice native hardwood forests at lower elevations, with fir forests toward the tops of the rising peaks. This overlook reveals some of the damage done to Bullhead Trail after the 2016 fire in Gatlinburg and the national park.
Regardless of whether you're looking for the perfect angle for Instagram, a beautiful backdrop for a family photo, or just a breath-taking view of God's country, you'll find plenty of opportunities to enjoy scenic overlooks in the Great Smoky Mountains. If you're interested in getting out there on foot, be sure to check out our top picks for Smoky Mountain hikes with views. Are you ready to explore the Great Smoky Mountains? Learn more about the majestic mountains, plan your next Pigeon Forge vacation, and get ready to experience Smoky Mountain magic.