The Cherohala Skyway is a beautiful and hidden drive through the mountains with lots of scenic overlooks, but which are the best for the mountain views and sunsets?

Written by

Jason Barnette


February 16, 2018

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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!

Thunderstorms across the landscape miles away. Fog on the mountain. Incredible sunsets. These are just a few of the things to be seen from the five best scenic overlooks on the Cherohala Skyway stretching between Robbinsville, North Carolina and Tellico Plains, Tennessee. It’s a beautiful stretch of road, an easy drive, and right in the middle of some of the most beautiful landscapes in the southern Appalachian Mountains.

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Never heard of this national scenic byway? Check out Road Trip on the Cherohala Skyway From Tennessee to North Carolina to learn more about the hiking trails, waterfalls, and recreation areas surrounding this exciting mountain getaway.

Turkey Creek Overlook

At 2,630′ this scenic overlook has a commanding view of the low-lying area northwest of the Appalachian Mountains. It’s a great place to watch summer thunderstorms roll across the horizon and stunning sunsets in the late evenings. Along with plenty of parking, a nice privy restroom, and a few picnic tables this is also a comfortable overlook.

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Lake View Overlook

Just around the bend from Turkey Creek is the Lake View Overlook. You might’ve been able to actually see the Indian Boundary Lake at one time but the mountain has grown a little since then so now all you can see are the rolling curves of the forest blanket across the mountain landscapes. It’s also a great place to gaze at the stars with a mostly northern view.

Brushy Ridge Overlook

This small, undeveloped overlook features the remains of the foundation of some old house. Standing on the foundation you realize this house had the most stunning view of the mountains. The wide view is mostly to the southeast so it’s great for catching the sunrise.

Big Junction Overlook

At 5,240′ the Big Junction Overlook is the highest overlook on the Cherohala Skyway with an actual view of the mountains (the Santeetlah Overlook is the highest overall at 5,390′). The small pull-off only has room enough for maybe three cars so it’s a fight sometimes to get in there, but a deserving fight. The panorama view is breathtaking and with a southwesterly view it’s great for fall, winter, and spring sunsets.

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Shute Cove Overlook

The view from the Shute Cove Overlook is perhaps average at best, but it’s the amenities that make this such a great overlook. It’s the only overlook on the Skyway with a small paved area specifically for wheelchairs that still offers a great view. There is also an observation deck up a short flight of stairs to a wider view of the mountains. At 3,550′ it’s the last overlook (or first depending on your direction of travel) with a view of the mountains before the end of the Skyway in North Carolina.

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