Great Smoky Mtns. National Park Sights

Newfound Gap Road

  • U.S. Hwy. 441 Map It
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Scenic Drive/Tour

Published 07/23/2015

Fodor's Review

In a little more than 14 mi, Newfound Gap Road (U.S. 441) on the Tennessee side of the park climbs more than 3,500 feet from Gatlinburg to the gap through the crest of the Smokies at 5,046 feet. It takes you through Southern cove hardwood, pine-oak, and Northern hardwood forests to the spruce-fir forest at Newfound Gap. Unlike other roads in the park, Newfound Gap Road has mile markers, starting at the park entrance near Gatlinburg. Sugarlands Visitor Center is at mile marker 1.7. It's worth stopping at Chimneys picnic area (MM 6.2), even if you're not picnicking. A lovely stream, with huge boulders, cuts through the picnic area, and an easy 0.75-mi hiking trail takes you through a cove hardwood forest. You'll probably see a lot of cars parked at Alum Cave trailhead (MM 10.4), which follows Alum Cave Creek to Arch Rock, a natural tunnel caused by weathering, and then to Alum Cave Bluffs, a site of a potash alum and epsomite mine briefly operated by Epsom Salts Company before the Civil

War. The trail eventually leads to LeConte Lodge on Mt. LeConte. At Newfound Gap (MM 14.7), you can straddle the Tennessee–North Carolina state line and also hike some of the Appalachian Trail. The two-lane, paved Newfound Gap Road has a 45 mph speed limit, with lower limits in some areas. It is frequently closed in winter due to ice and snow or rockslides.

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Sight Information


U.S. Hwy. 441, aka Newfound Gap Rd., Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina, 37738, United States

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Published 07/23/2015


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