Are you a first-time visitor wondering, is it hard to drive through the Smoky Mountains? If so, let us help you find out the answer in this Smoky Mountains Vacation guide.
Driving through the Smokies can be an intimidating prospect for first-time visitors. After all, this is a mountain range whose peaks reach well over 6,000 feet! But despite its altitude and rugged terrain, driving through it doesn’t have to be a difficult or intimidating experience.
If you’re planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains, it’s important that you know what to expect and how best to prepare for your journey.
This guide will provide all the information you need in order to successfully drive through the Smokies with minimal risk and stress.
Read on the answer to the question, is it hard to drive through the Smoky Mountains?
Is It Hard To Drive Through The Smoky Mountains?
The Smoky Mountains are home to some of the most beautiful, rugged vistas in all of America. They’re also a popular destination for travelers looking to explore and enjoy nature. But is it hard to drive through the Smoky Mountains?
The answer is both yes and no: while there are certain aspects of driving through this majestic mountain range that can be challenging, with proper preparation and knowledge, you can make your journey much easier.
The Smoky Mountains have a total of 384 miles of road. Most are paved, and even the gravel roads are well maintained, making them suitable for standard passenger cars.
However, due to their winding nature and low shoulders, driving through these mountains can present some unique challenges.
It’s a good idea to plan your route ahead of time and leave plenty of extra time for unexpected delays.
How Much Does It Cost To Drive Through The Smoky Mountains?
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a beautiful and awe-inspiring place to visit, offering stunning vistas and miles of trails.
While the national park does not charge an entrance fee, starting March 1, 2023, drivers will be required to purchase parking tags for any vehicle that stays in the park longer than 15 minutes.
Three tag durations are available for purchase depending on the length of your stay:
- Daily tag for $5
- Weekly tag for $15
- Annual tag for $40
Parking tags will not be location-specific. It will be required in order to park in any designated parking spot anywhere within the boundaries of the Smokies. You can get parking tags both online and onsite.
How long does it take to drive through the Smoky Mountains?
Driving through the Smoky Mountains is an adventure that many people enjoy taking. Depending on your speed and route, it can take anywhere from two to six hours to make the journey.
However, we recommend taking your time to appreciate the beauty of the Smoky Mountains truly. If you plan to stop and enjoy all that the area has to offer, it would be best to plan for an entire day or two dedicated to exploring the region.
Extend up to a week to really soak in the atmosphere and experience what this popular destination is all about.
Is There a scenic drive through the Smoky Mountains?
Yes, there is a stunningly beautiful scenic drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The road traverses through the park’s expansive mountain range, winding around breathtaking views of canyons and waterfalls, lush valleys and rolling hillsides, and incredible wildlife habitats that contain an abundance of deer, elk, and black bears.
Scenic drives are the best way to see the beauty of the Smokies and you can count on our 7-Day Smokies Scenic Tours Itinerary to help you make the most of your visit.
Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary
It outlines all of the best places to go in the area and comes with insider tips that will save you a lot of stress–trust me, they saved me when I was planning my own trip!
- Our 7-day itinerary takes you to the best places in the Smoky Mountains.
- You’ll get to see all the best sights and attractions with driving directions
- The itinerary is designed to show you the most scenic routes.
- Packing Checklist for every season.
- You’ll have everything you need to make the most of your trip.
- Insider Tips!
Here’s a quick overview of our Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary.
- Day 1: Cades Cove Loop
- Day 2: Rich Mountain Road
- Day 3: Cataloochee Valley
- Day 4: Newfound Gap Road
- Day 5: Roaring Fork Motor Trail
- Day 6: Little River Road
- Day6: Foothills Parkway
Get Our FREE Smoky Mountains Checklist!
Related Smoky Mountain Resources
- Pigeon Forge Vacation Guide
- Gatlinburg Vacation Guide
- 125+ Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains
- Great Smoky Mountains Family Vacations Facebook Group
More Related Resources
Aside from scenic drives, you can also enjoy hiking! Check out our guide to Seasonal Hiking in the Smoky Mountains or you can also join an overnight backpacking trip in the Smokies together with a guide.
Before you hit the road, make these healthy homemade road trip snack recipes from PhotoJeepers to keep your energy up and your stomach full during your trip.