Chasing the Sun | Top 5 Sunrise/Sunset Spots Around Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg Sky Lift

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Soaring 1,800 feet high at the top of Crockett Mountain, the Sky Lift is a breezy diversion that overlooks downtown and is a quiet, whimsical spot to watch the sunset, with a terrific view of downtown and the surrounding mountains. The Sky Lift was recently completely overhauled with a new lift and a new Sky Deck for viewing at the top.

Morton Overlook

This west-facing overlook is an iconic sunset spot for photographers and about a 30 minute drive up the mountain from Gatlinburg. The valley spreads out below you, with peaks and ridgelines on either side.

Clingmans Dome

The highest point of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Clingmans Dome is a moderately tough paved walk up that rewards you with 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains. The weather can be quite different at 6,643 feet, so be prepared for changing conditions.

Cades Cove

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This isolated valley was home for numerous settlers before the national park was formed. You can now explore its beautiful trails, meadows, forests and peaks. The wide open expanses allow for limitless sunrise and sunset viewings with any backdrop you can imagine. The 11 mile loop road only allows bicycle and foot traffic until 10 a.m. every Saturday and Wednesday morning from early May until late September. It’s a great way to slow down and enjoy the scenery!

Foothills Parkway

This scenic drive is one of the most famous in the area, traversing the western and northern perimeters of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We recommend the six mile stretch from Cosby to Interstate 40, with four scenic overlooks and excellent views of Mount Cammerer.

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About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as Creative Resources Manager for RTX, based in Asheville, NC. You can find him hiking the mountains of Asheville, gardening, traveling, and hanging with his growing family. His favorite RTX exchange destinations are Rangeley, Maine, Lake Tahoe, Banff, Canada, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, Cape Cod, and Orange Beach, Alabama. .

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