Newfound Gap Scenic Overlook at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Written by

Jason Barnette


October 20, 2016

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COVID-19 has changed the world. The tourism industry has been one of the hardest hit areas of the global pandemic. Local restaurants, museums, state and national parks have all changed hours of operation, procedures, and some have gone out of business altogether.

Please verify current operations of any places you want to visit mentioned in these articles, and contact me if a business has permanently closed so I can update the article. Thank you and stay safe out there!

Although not the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park I certainly felt like I was standing on the roof of the world at the Newfound Gap Scenic Overlook. It’s kinda the “center” of the park along Highway 441 between Cherokee, North Carolina and Gatlinburg, Tennessee, making it easily accessible from must about anywhere. With a large parking area, plenty of seating, and some restrooms this is one place where I could spend all day.

The Newfound Gap Scenic Overlook straddles the North Carolina and Tennessee border near the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The main portion of the overlook faces south where visitors can see the winding highway trail off into the distance toward Cherokee. The Appalachian Trail passes through here with a mileage sign that either delights or disappoints weary travelers. A higher vantage point with a small view to the north is near the AT.

This scenic overlook is a great place to watch summer storms pass through the mountains or to count stars at night. It’s sufficiently dark enough here (there are no parking lots lights) to make a great spot for setting up a telescope or capturing star trails photos. At the very least it makes a great pit stop while traveling through the park.

The curvy line on the mountainside is Highway 441 leading toward Cherokee, North Carolina.

The highest viewpoint at Newfound Gap faces north across the highway.

Fog clings to the valleys during the cooler fall months.

Vibrant fall colors provide an amazing view.

Storm clouds drift across the mountain ranges and valleys.

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