Is It Hard  To Drive Through  The Smoky Mountains?

Is It Hard  To Drive Through  The Smoky Mountains?


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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!

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Dashed Trail
Terrain Map

But despite its altitude and rugged terrain, driving through it doesn’t have to be a difficult or intimidating experience.

Is It Hard To Drive Through The Smoky Mountains?

The answer is both yes and no: while there are certainly aspects of driving through this majestic mountain range that can be challenging, but 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.

How Much Does It Cost To Drive Through The Smoky Mountains?

It's FREE!  But, starting March 1, 2023, drivers will be required to get parking tags for any vehicle that stays in the park longer than 15 min.

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Dashed Trail

Three tag durations are available for purchase depending on the length of your stay:


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Dashed Trail

Weekly tag

Annual tag




How long does it take to drive through the Smoky Mountains?

Depending on your speed and route, it can take anywhere from two to six hours to make the journey.

Is There a scenic drive through the Smoky Mountains?

Yes, there is a stunningly beautiful scenic drive through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Best Scenic Drives


Cades Cove Loop


Cataloochee Valley


Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail

Terrain Map

Plan a stress free scenic drive through the Smokies...

Get This Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary!

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Seasonal Hiking in the Smoky Mountains