Newfound Gap Road Drive

MODERATE 22 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.

Distance: 29.4 miles Elevation Gain: 3,910 feet Route Type: Point to Point

kid friendly

road biking

scenic driving

views

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
8 days ago

Have driven this road through the park numerous times. It is always beautiful with great views of the Smokies, Especially beautiful in the fall.

scenic driving
2 months ago

Very scenic the whole way! It’s beautiful when sunny and rainy! Got to see the beautiful sun rays before a rain storm came thru which created a beautiful foggy and cloudy look! Definitely would recommend

scenic driving
6 months ago

Got up before sunrise to make it to the Newfound Gap parking lot. We arrived 20 mins before Apple weather told us sunrise was and it was stunning! The best sunrise view we’ve seen in the Smokey’s!

scenic driving
8 months ago

I give this a one star rating only because we were not able to access the trail. It has been a fairly warm and easy winter in this area. Little to no snow. The road was closed after weeks of no snow "Due to ice and snow". If I find myself back in the area and get the opportunity to drive along the trail I will update my rating.

scenic driving
11 months ago

As always, beautiful views and tons of stopping points along the way.

scenic driving
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Beautiful drive! We were there when the fog was hanging around. It made the view even more beautiful! Definitely would go back!

scenic driving
Friday, January 19, 2018

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
Thursday, November 09, 2017

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
Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Beautiful drive!!

scenic driving
Monday, August 07, 2017

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!

camping
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.

hiking
10 days ago

scenic driving
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

10 months ago

scenic driving
Sunday, November 05, 2017

scenic driving
Saturday, October 01, 2016

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