Explore the most popular scenic driving trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

scenic driving
1 day ago

Absolutely gorgeous!   This is probably my favorite part of the National Park.  Just a beautiful drive with plenty of stop offs.  Great valleys and mountain ranges in the background.  It does not open till 10am on Wednesdays and Saturdays so plan accordingly.  Also it is kind of way off in a separate area of the park so if you are thinking of stopping at the various historic buildings along the way and maybe adding in the hike to Abrams Falls plan this to be the only thing you do that day.  Plus the drive out there is just nice with some places to pull over and look at the view of the river.  Finally, we went in early May and there was a lot of traffic, as it gets closer to the summer expect significant traffic and delays.

nature trips
11 days ago

The trail road ride was amazing. Had beautiful views and many areas along the road to pull over and take in the scenes and take pictures. Then you can hike up Grotto Falls, which you won’t regret. The trail is easy and accessible to the falls. We hiked it during the month of May, 2018 and the weather was perfect, not hot and definitely not cold. The water at the falls was that typical cold mountain water that’s just waiting for you to dip your feet in, so yes, go ahead.

scenic driving
20 days ago

Great drive with spots to pull off and take pictures!

scenic driving
26 days ago

Lots of cars but it was still nice. Saw a mamma bear and two cubs napping in a tree.

wow what a wonderful hike

scenic driving
1 month ago

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer

First I did this as a scenic drive. The Roaring Fork Nature Trail is one of the highlights of the GSMNP. I been at least 4 times. There are abundant wildflowers thru the month of April. There are scenic cabins. There are 4-5 pullouts with scenic creeks/rivers. And there is one scenic view of the mountains.

The only downside is the the road is VERY busy after Memorial Day and it’s also narrow. You can only park at the pull offs and sometimes that means you’ll need to walk back to the photo you want.

This loop takes you back in time. It never ceases to amaze me what our forefathers were able to accomplish

Hiked up this road before it was opened for the season. Only saw a few folks. If going from Ely's Mill, the first 2-3 miles can be steep, but it's all paved and you can take a breather at one of the many beautiful falls. At the Thousand Drips waterfall, my young son climbed up into an deep alcove. We really enjoyed this hike.

Note that we did get a report of bears crossing the path ahead of us, but they were gone when we passed by.

I will avoid every trail along this path from now on. It takes an hour + to do with cars constantly stopping and going and all tourists who likely aren’t hiking.

VERY crowded and because it's a one-lane one-way road, you feel rushed because there's a line of cars behind you. So stopping to enjoy the view would mean backing up traffic in the middle of the forest. We caught a very tiny & quick glimpse of a bear that was very far away and in order to do that we had to pull over into the grass, get out of the car & walk to make our way through a heard of cars & crowd of people who were standing on the tip of their toes trying to see passed the person in front of them. There was a blockade set up so people cdnt get further in to see & some people were on the blockade to see if they catch a glimpse of the bear. We managed to make our way to a boulder that was big enough for us to stand on. just as we finally got up there and was able to see something in the distance, a ranger came and told everybody to disperse. so then you have a crowd of people trying to get back to their vehicles all at once. We sat in our car for what seemed like forever because we couldn't get out. it was a disaster. And we drove 2 hours to get there for that. I think the idea what Cades Cove was supposed to be is a great one, but when you take that idea and put it into practice it's a disaster.

scenic driving
4 months ago

This is my favorite stretch of road in the world. Breathtaking views everywhere and trails all along the road. Watch out for turkey and elk.

4 months ago

Beautiful trail

scenic driving
4 months ago

Very fun drive and lots to do! Enjoy scenery....saw several baby deer too!

scenic driving
5 months ago

One of my favorite places. Can be a little crowded at times. They have a salt lick in the middle of the field for tourists to see bears but you usually them along with deer and other wildlife along the roadside.
The trailhead to Abraham’s falls is located at the old gristmill. That’s a hike worth taking.

scenic driving
6 months ago

This really is a great drive for all ages, but especially for those with kids. It's a fun way to see a good portion of the park, with a really nice paved one-way path.

We stopped and did a 3 hour hike on one of the many trailheads that are accessible on the road, and there are also many scenic spots as well as historic houses and farms to stop and get out at. Be sure to keep your eyes open the entire way - we saw a young black bear on a hill right next to the road!

really great. enjoyed every minute of it

scenic driving
6 months ago

We took this scenic drive from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Clingmans Dome and back. Lots of trails to either side. Places to stop and take everything. An open area that elk can be seen on some days.

This is a great motor trail. Lots of wildlife and places to pull over to take pics.

scenic driving
7 months ago

My fiancé and I arrived at Cades Cove around 8:15 AM on Saturday morning. When we got there, there was already a rather large line. The path is a great theory, but it was so unbearably overcrowded that it made it harder to enjoy. Many vehicles kept pulling off in hazardous positions to take photos. We ended up actually seeing three black bear, which was pretty incredible. Very congested; it took us over three hours to complete (with the usual amount of stops).

scenic driving
7 months ago

Very historical drive-cool cabins.

Wonderful motor trail. There are several points that you can stop along the way and explore, and that made it even more worthwhile!

Saw a couple of black bear. The views are breathtaking at some spots.

scenic driving
8 months ago

Beautiful drive!!

scenic driving
8 months ago

Very pretty drive through the Smoky Mountains

scenic driving
8 months ago

Beautiful drive. The scenery is beautiful. Lots of wildlife - saw a bear up in a tree. The only bad part was the traffic. Ugh. Made the drive not nearly as pleasant as it could be.

Great trail! You drive this one though, so don't be confused and think it's a hike. You can pull off and do conventional hikes around it if you'd like as well. This is a one way road through a more secluded area of the park. If you go around 6 o'clock, it's a great opportunity to see bears. We saw 5 on our trip. Just drive slow and be on the lookout and you're bound to see something neat! Great for an end of the day activity once you're tired from hiking all day.

scenic driving
9 months ago

Newfound Gap Road offers a variety of hiking adventures. We took in Clingman's Dome and enjoyed the view, especially the elk herd at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. Our next excursion will be to do the Alum Cave hike to LeConte and to do the AT to Charlie's Bunion. The main vistas and short hikes with great views can get crowded, but there are many side trails to quiet streams too. Enjoy!

scenic driving
9 months ago

Great little loop close to downtown. Saw some deer and 4 bears! Plenty of places to stop and get out and see things.

hiking
9 months ago

We actually hiked a bit of the auto trail. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. Wish we had seen a place to get closer to the creek.

scenic driving
10 months ago

Roaring Fork Auto Tour is a nice one-way drive starting just after the Rainbow Falls trailhead with pullouts to enjoy waterfalls, historic sites, views, rhododendron and other flowers and plants, and places to just chill and get back to nature. We saw evidence of the Gatlinburg fires and saw rejuvenation as well. We visited a roadside tub mill where they used to grind corn into meal, as well as a medium waterfall called the Place of the Thousand Drips. Saw a deer as well as some wild turkeys, and later on some pileated woodpeckers - three of them! Enjoy the ride and don't forget to stop and experience GSMNP.

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