If you only have a day at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Newfound Gap Overlook is a must see location! Access is easy and the views are beautiful! Located at the peak & midpoint of Newfound Gap Road, this overlook has lots to offer! Keep reading to discover more about the Newfound Gap Overlook!
Newfound Gap Overlook Location
Travel Time: About a 40 min. drive from Gatlinburg, TN | Elevation: 5,046 ft.
The Newfound Gap Overlook is located at the midpoint of the scenic Newfound Gap Road (also known as US 441). This road travels about 30 miles from the Sugarlands Visitor’s Center in Tennessee to the Oconaluftee Visitor’s Center in North Carolina. Newfound Gap Road twists and turns while climbing to the top of the smoky mountains. It is fun, gorgeous, and well worth the drive.
The turnoff for the Newfound Gap Overlook is well marked, and there is a decent sized parking lot. This overlook rests at 5,046 ft., has restrooms and walkways, and provides some beautiful vistas!
One attraction at the Newfound Gap Overlook is the Rockefeller Memorial
According to National Geographic’s book “Secrets of the National Parks,” President Franklin Roosevelt dedicated Great Smoky Mountains National Park on September 2, 1940 at the Newfound Gap Overlook. The Rockefeller Memorial (shown in the photo below) is a memorial celebrating this dedication.
From the top of the Rockefeller Memorial, you can see across the street to a beautiful mountain vista. I imagine that the sunset looking out across the overlook would be spectacular!
The Newfound Gap Overlook also allows you to stand in two states at once!
Another perk of stopping at the Newfound Gap Overlook is the draw to stand in two states at one time! Both Tennessee and North Carollina share Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
My sister, author Bonnie Clark, and I shared this trip together in October 2018! We had so much fun. How could we skip taking a photo at the state line? Obviously we couldn’t. Totally epic!
Another Perk of the Newfound Gap Overlook is the Appalachian Trail
In addition to vistas, state lines, and memorials, we also got to walk a small distance along the Appalachian Trail. This famous trail is about 2,200 miles long, according to Wikipedia. I love that the sign reads, “Katahdin Maine 1972.0” miles! Too bad we weren’t prepared for such a long hike 🙂
When I was a little girl living in Virginia, I remember walking along the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park. I know that some people actually make it their life dream to hike the Appalachian Trail in its entirety! We didn’t see any hikers on this trip, but I did when I lived in WV. One hiker came to our church in Harper’s Ferry, WV with his long beard, hiking back pack, and gear. It was pretty cool meeting him and hearing some of his story.
Lastly, the Newfound Gap Overlook is one of the best sunrise locations at Great Smoky Mountains National Park
While we didn’t make it for sunrise (I was busy hiking to Grotto Falls instead), a park ranger told me that the view from Newfound Gap was one of the best sunrise locations in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He also mentioned that the Oconaluftee Valley Overlook and the top of Clingmans Dome were also spectacular sunrise locations.
This view could be seen right close to the parking lot. The sun was setting behind us when I took this shot. I imagine it would be amazing at sunrise! Overall, our trip to see the Newfound Gap Overlook was worth it! I hope you get the opportunity to see the Newfound Gap Overlook and Great Smoky Mountains National Park for yourself. If not, at least you can see it through my photos! Thanks for reading and sharing my adventures with me!
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