Newfound Gap Road

Morton Overlook

Newfound Gap Road Description

Newfound Gap Road is the most popular drive in the Smokies. The views along this road are magnificent. The road starts in Gatlinburg, TN, at an elevation of about 1,400 feet above sea level. It ascends to Newfound Gap, which is over 5,000 feet above sea level. It then descends to Cherokee, NC. The road is marked with mile markers every mile starting at Gatlinburg and ending in Cherokee. Mileage listed on this site refers to miles from Gatlinburg, which matches the mile markers. The starting point is the border between Gatlinburg and the park, just past Applewood restaurant.

Page Index

There are many pulloffs and scenic overlooks along Newfound Gap road. The pulloffs marked "quiet walkway" are nice places to stop for a short walk in the woods. There is generally only room to park about 2 cars, so the path will never be crowded. There are plenty of umarked pulloffs, some with nice views or beside the Little River, to pulloff and enjoy the mountains. There are also several marked pulloffs. Some of the more popular are:

  • Sugarlands visitor center (mile 1.7)
  • Campbell Overlook (mile 3.9)
  • Chimneys picnic area (mile 6.2)
  • Chimney tops trail (mile 8.6)
  • Alum Cave trail (mile 10.4)
  • Morton Overlook (mile 14)
  • Newfound Gap (mile 14.7)
  • Clingmans Dome road
  • Oconaluftee Valley Overlook (mile 15.4)
  • Webb Overlook (mile 17.7)
  • Collins Creek picnic area (mile 25.4)
  • Smokemont campground (mile 27.2)
  • Mingus Mill (mile 29.9)
  • Oconaluftee visitor center (mile 30.3)


The temperature varies depending on the season and elevation. Newfound Gap road starts and ends at a relatively low elevation, but ascends to over 5000 feet above sea level at Newfound Gap. The temperature at the high elavations generally runs 10-20 degrees cooler than the lower elevations. The road is sometimes closed in winter due to snowfall at the higher elevations. The current weeather at each end of the road, Gatlinburg and Cherokee, is show below. Click for full forcast. There is no weater station at the higher elevations.
Current Conditions
Click for Gatlinburg, Tennessee Forecast Click for Cherokee, North Carolina Forecast

The following table shows the average high and low temperatures (in degrees Fahrenheit) and average snowfall (in inches) in low elevations (Gatlinburg) compared to high elevations (Clingmans Dome).
Gatlinburg Clingmans Dome
Month High Low Snowfall High Low Snowfall
January 5128 2.1 3519 18
February 5429 2.3 351 20
March 6134 2.9 3924 26
April 7142 trace 4934 5
May 7950 0 5743 trace
June 8658 0 6349 0
July 8859 0 6553 0
August 8760 0 645 0
September 8355 0 6047 trace
October 7343 trace 5338 2
November 6133 0.7 4228 5
December 5228 1 3721 8

Best Hiking along Newfound Gap Road

There are many good hiking trails along Newfound Gap Road:

  • The Gatlinburg trail is an easy 1.7 mile trail from the Sugarlands visitor center to Gatlinburg.
  • The Sugarlands Valley nature trail starts just past the visitors center. It is a nice paved walkway that is handicapped accessible.
  • The Cove Hardwood nature trail, which starts in the Chimneys picnic area, is an easy 3/4 mile loop.
  • Chimney Tops trail is a very popular trail to the top of the Chimneys. It is strenuous 4 mile round trip to the top. The trailhead parking area is 8.6 miles from Gatlinburg.
  • Alum Cave trail is another very popular trail. The trailhead parking area is 10.4 miles from Gatlinburg.
  • The Smokemont nature trail starts in the Smokemont campground.

Picnicing along Newfound Gap Road

There are two large developed picnic areas on Newfound Gap Road. The Chimneys picnic area is on the Tennessee side, about 6 miles from Gatlinburg. The Collins Creek picnic area is on the North Carolina side, about 6 miles from Cherokee. The picnic areas have picnic tables, grills, restrooms, and a nature trail. You can also spread out a blanket and have a picnic at one of the many pulloffs along the mountain road.


Restrooms with running water and flush toilets are available at Sugarlands visitor center, Chimneys picnic area, Newfound Gap, Clingmans Dome, Collins Creek picnic area, Smokemont campground, and Oconaluftee visitor center.

Map of Newfound Gap Road

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Recommended Reading

Trails Illustrated Topo Map is an excellent map of the Smokies, showing roads, hiking trails, camping areas, picnic areas, ranger stations, and more. It is waterproof and tearproof, so it is very durable to take with you camping or hiking, even if it rains.
Insiders' Guide to the Great Smoky Mountains provides good information about outdoor activities in the park. It also provides complete information about the surrounding areas including dining, lodging, and area attractions.
Great Smoky Mountains: A Vistor's Companion describes and illustrates in full color dozens of plant and animal species in the Smokies, including a wide variety of birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, mammals, and plants. It also explores the park's geology, climate, and history.

For More Information

  • Smokies Bookstore
  • Clingmans Dome

  • Back to www.smokies.ws