Newfound Gap Road Drive

MODERATE 9 reviews

Newfound Gap Road Drive is a 29.4 mile point-to-point trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for road biking and scenic driving and is accessible year-round.

29.4 miles
3,910 feet
Point to Point

kid friendly

road biking

scenic driving


Drive across the mountains in the parks most-traveled road. In southern Appalachian vernacular, a gap is a low point in a mountain ridge. New Englanders call such places "notches" while westerners refer to them as mountain "passes." At an elevation of 5,046 feet, Newfound Gap is the lowest drivable pass through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The old road over the Smoky Mountains crossed at Indian Gap, located about 1.5 miles west of the current site. Newfound Gap's recognition as the lowest pass through the Great Smoky Mountains did not come until 1872. Arnold Henry Guyot, a Swiss geographer, measured many Southern Appalachian elevations. Mount Guyot, the second highest peak in the Smokies, takes his name. He used a simple barometer to measure changes in air pressure to calculate mountain heights. In most cases he was within 2-3 percent of current values. His work revealed Newfound Gap as the lowest pass through the mountains, displacing nearby Indian Gap. When the lower, easier crossing was discovered, it became known as the "newfound" gap. A new road followed, and it became the forerunner of Newfound Gap Road. A trip over the Newfound Gap Road has often been compared to a drive from Georgia to Maine in terms of the variety of forest ecosystems one experiences. Starting from either Cherokee, North Carolina or Gatlinburg, Tennessee, travelers ascend through cove hardwood, pine-oak, and northern hardwood forest to attain the evergreen spruce-fir forest at Newfound Gap (5,046'). This fragrant evergreen woodland is similar to the boreal forests of New England and eastern Canada.

scenic driving
6 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.

scenic driving
8 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.

scenic driving
10 months ago

Beautiful drive!!

scenic driving
11 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
Monday, April 10, 2017

Beautiful drive year round!

Monday, February 20, 2017

A car campers paradise, spent several 2 nighters in the park region. So much to see and hike, never enough time to complete it, I'll keep coming back.

scenic driving
Sunday, December 25, 2016

It is so much fun exploring GSMNP between Cherokee and Gatlinburg. The views are tremendous and the trails are amazing! Sending thoughts and prayers to those affected by the recent fires.

scenic driving
8 months ago

scenic driving
Saturday, October 01, 2016