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. These 5 scenic overlooks 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. The following scenic overlooks are located along U.S. 441, also known as Newfound Gap Road, and offer some of the most premier views of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Chimney Tops Overlook
The Chimney Tops are some of the most beautiful peaks in the Smokies. Located between mile markers 4 and 5 on U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road, the Chimney Tops Overlook offer a endless view of the majestic Smoky Mountains. The Chimney Tops are actually rock outcrops, which rise more than 2,000 feet above the river below. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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.