Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Share Article

Day 1: Arrival in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

  • Morning: Fly into McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, Tennessee, or Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina.
  • Midday: Rent a car and drive to your accommodation in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which is a popular gateway to the national park.
  • Afternoon: Check into your accommodation and explore downtown Gatlinburg. Visit attractions such as the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park or Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
  • Evening: Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in Gatlinburg.

Day 2: Cades Cove Loop Road and Abrams Falls Trail

  • Morning: Have breakfast in Gatlinburg or grab some snacks for the day.
  • Mid-Morning to Afternoon: Drive to Cades Cove, one of the most popular areas in the park. Take the scenic Cades Cove Loop Road, where you can spot wildlife and visit historic structures.
    • Optional: Stop for a picnic lunch at one of the designated picnic areas in Cades Cove.
  • Afternoon: Hike the Abrams Falls Trail, a moderate 5.2-mile round trip hike that leads to a stunning 20-foot waterfall.
  • Evening: Return to Gatlinburg for dinner and relaxation.

Day 3: Clingmans Dome and Newfound Gap Road

  • Morning: Have breakfast and pack a lunch for the day.
  • Mid-Morning to Afternoon: Drive along Newfound Gap Road to Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Take the short but steep hike to the observation tower for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
  • Afternoon: Explore some of the overlooks along Newfound Gap Road, such as Morton Overlook or Rockefeller Memorial, for more breathtaking views.
  • Evening: Return to Gatlinburg for dinner. Consider trying some Southern cuisine at a local restaurant.

Day 4: Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and Rainbow Falls Trail

  • Morning: Enjoy breakfast in Gatlinburg.
  • Mid-Morning to Afternoon: Drive the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, a scenic drive that winds through forests and past historic sites. Stop to explore historic homesteads and scenic viewpoints.
  • Afternoon: Hike the Rainbow Falls Trail, a challenging 5.4-mile round trip hike that leads to a stunning waterfall. Be sure to bring plenty of water and wear sturdy hiking shoes.
  • Evening: Return to Gatlinburg for dinner and relaxation.

Day 5: Optional Activities and Departure

  • Morning: Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and perhaps some shopping in Gatlinburg.
  • Midday: Depending on your interests, you could visit additional attractions in the area, such as Dollywood in nearby Pigeon Forge, or explore more of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Afternoon: Return your rental car and head to the airport for your departure flight.

You might also like

North Carolina

North Carolina Itinerary

North Carolina Itinerary Day 1: Arrival in Wilmington Arrive in Wilmington and check into your accommodation in the downtown area. Spend the afternoon exploring the

North Carolina

Redwood National Park

Portland/Redwood National Park Day 1: Arrival in Portland, Oregon Morning: Fly from Denver to Portland International Airport (PDX). Afternoon: Rent a car and drive to