Motor Tours & Trails
Mt. LeConte is considered the ‘Tallest Mountain East of the Mississippi River’, rising up from the valley (Gatlinburg) and towering over us at a height of 6,593 feet! Exploring the Smokies by car is also an excellent idea as you can see more in a short amount of time... but don’t be timid, when you get to your destination, get out and take a good look around, and remember that you are looking at our history, culture and remembrances of things and a time long past.
- Newfound Gap Road
26 miles of curling twists up through the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, reaching heights of 5,048 ft. Offering vistas, bluffs and roadside exhibits. An excellent way to start your vacation in the Smokies.
- Cades Cove
11 miles of nature and the rich history of Tennessee. Deer, wild turkey, and sometimes bear find their way into your line of sight making this one of the most popular tours here. Historical log homes, hand hewn in the Smokies by early pioneers, offer fun and informative diversions along the way. It is also possible to walk, bike or stroll along this paved road.
Tennessee is covered by more than 60,000 stream miles and over 540,000 lake acres, offering some spectacular shows of natures beauty. You are formally invited to experience the depth, beauty, mist and magic of Smoky Mountain waterfalls.
- Laurel Falls
A 2.6-mile round-trip hike on the Laurel Falls Trail. The trail is paved to the falls. The trailhead is 3.9 miles west of Sugarlands Visitor Center on Little River Road.
- Mingo Falls (outside Park)
A .5 mile round-trip hike. From Oconaluftee Visitor Center, drive south on US 441 and take second left onto Big Cove Road. At first stop sign, turn left and drive 4.5 miles to Mingo Falls Campground.
- Hen Wallow Falls
A 4.5-mile round-trip hike. Take the Gabes Mountain Trail that begins from the parking area at the entrance to Cosby Campground. Beyond the falls, Gabes Mountain Trail leads to old-growth forest.
- Indian Creek Falls
A 2-mile round-trip hike. Take the Deep Creek Trail that starts just past Deep Creek Campground.
- Juney Whank Falls
A .6 mile round-trip hike. The trail starts from the parking are just past Deep Creek Campground.
- Rainbow Falls
A 5.5-mile round-trip hike. The trail starts from the Rainbow Falls parking area on Cherokee Orchard Road near Gatlinburg.
- Ramsay Cascades
An 8-mile round-trip hike. Take US Hwy 321 (East Parkway) 6 miles east of Gatlinburg, to the Greenbrier entrance to the park. Follow the signs to the Ramsay Cascades trailhead.
*Be A Great Smoky Mountain National Park VIP!
The Volunteers in Parks (VIP) program allows/permits people from all walks of life to step in and lend a hand to help the park staff assist the visitors by doing jobs that otherwise could not be done.
Some of the way the VIPs help out here are by:
- Staffing Information Desks.
- Serving as Campground Hosts.
- Maintaining and Patrolling Trails in the Park.
- Presenting Living History Programs.
- Assisting in Resource Management Projects.
To apply for the program, you simply call or write the park requesting the Volunteers in Parks' information packet. It will contain more details of these and other positions available here, along with an application form you fill out and return to the park. Please keep in mind that housing in the park is not available.
To receive a packet contact:
VIP Coordinator Great Smoky Mountains National Park
107 Park Headquarters Drive
Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738
*provided by www.nps.gov