GyPSy Guide provides a professional tour guide commentary along scenic drives. Our tours highlight the very best of the region with entertaining stories about history, geology, legends and local advice, so all you have to do is drive, listen and soak in the scenery.
Just Like Having A Tour Guide In Your Car™
Stories, local tips and directions as you drive, so you don’t miss a thing.
All the benefits of a guided tour, the freedom to drive yourself.
Download over wifi, tour offline. No data, cellular or wifi required.
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK
About this Tour
GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS TOUR ROUTE MAP
What to Expect
A diverse set of experiences await you in the most visited National Park in the US;
For auto touring, don’t miss the immensely popular Cades Cove with its collection of historic homesteads, preserved buildings like Cable Grist Mill and churches. It’s also one of the best and most reliable areas to see wildlife.
Crossing the park you’ll enjoy that typical mystical and mysterious scene from Newfound Gap with the blue fog rising from the valleys. Continue on climbing the spur road to Clingmans Dome, the highest peak in Tennessee and GSMNP. You might start to feel the elevation of 6600 feet on the short but steep hike up the walking to the flying saucer style viewing platform.
Another great driving side trip is the the 5.5 mile one way loop Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Lush hardwood forest, numerous waterfalls including Rainbow Falls and the Place of a Thousand Drips, as well as more historic cabins like Noah “Bud”Ogle’s, grist mills, and other preserved buildings.
Abundant flora and fauna, ranging from tiny fireflies, colorful and giant salamanders, over 240 species of birds, including woodpeckers, owls and warblers, elk, deer, foxes, bobcats and of course black bears, make up but a few of the 17,000 species found here.
No matter what your hiking ability or level of enthusiasm is, The Smokies have a trail for you. Maybe one of the short and easy Quiet Walkways is your style, especially if you have younger children or older adults onboard.
There are many hikes featuring waterfalls, perhaps none as unique as the Grotto Falls Trail along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail where you maybe lucky enough to see the llamas hauling supplies to LeConte Lodge trekking behind the waterfall.
Or perhaps it’s a steep challenging trail like the Chimney Tops hike that’s on your list. Either way, you won’t be short of choices.
Hear stories about the hardy pioneers and founders of the Park, wonderous wildlife and stories about Cherokee Nation culture & museums, all while you explore Great Smoky Mountain National Park at your own pace.
What You’ll See
Highlights along the route include
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
John Oliver Place
Oconaluftee Farm Museum
Prepare for the Tour
Know Before You Go
- There are no National Park entrance fees for Great Smoky National Park.
- Cades Cove Loop is closed to vehicles Wed & Sun 7am-10am to allow for pedestrian and bike only traffic. The loop is also gated closed between sunset & sunrise. You can still enjoy the commentary – just take a pair of earbuds.
- A lottery determines who gets to view the synchronous fireflies that are usually on display for a few weeks around late May – late June. Applications usually open on the NPS site in April.
- Pack a cooler with lunch, snacks and drinks, there are limited facilities in the Park.
- Gas up the night before, there are no gas stations inside the Park.
- Using location services drains battery faster, so take a DC (cigarette) style car charger. Pair your phone and vehicle via Bluetooth if you want to hear commentary through the vehicle speakers.
- You’ll want to get an early start if you want to beat the crowds, ideally be on the road before 9am.