3 - 5 Hours
One Per Car
At Your Own Pace
Welcome to the Great Smoky Mountains Tour
Explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park and discover why it’s the most visited National Park in the country! Tour these famous mountains while learning about Cherokee history and legends, Appalachian life, and much more. We’ll point you to all the best spots to take in the timeless wonders of the mountains. There’s no better way to see Clingman’s Dome, Cades Cove, or Rainbow Falls than on the Smoky Mountains tour!
About the Tour
Explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park and discover why it’s the most visited National Park in the country! Buckle up and prepare for a deep dive into the most famous stretch of the Appalachians.
As you drive through these scenic mountains, you’ll hear all about parts of Cherokee history you’ve never heard before, like the ancient Cherokee monarchy and the revolutionaries who fought against it! You’ll also get to hear detailed accounts of Cherokee ancestral legends about these mountains, from the great buzzard who shaped the Smoky Mountains from clay to the witch whose droplets of blood bloom into stalks of corn!
The Great Smoky Mountains are so vast that it can be tricky to find all the best spots—that’s where we come in. We’ll point you to all the most breathtaking, awe-inspiring sights in the park. Witness the majesty of Rainbow Falls, the 360-degree views atop Clingmans Dome, and the deep-rooted history of the Elys Mill. Our flexible route allows you to take all the time you need to admire the timeless wonders of the mountains.
Along the way, the Smoky Mountains Tour will fill you in not just on the rich history of the area and the people who have lived here but also on the complex flora and fauna which call these mountains home. Get to know the creatures of Cades Cove and learn how wildfires form an integral part of this vast, interconnected ecosystem.
All this without fussing with a map or adhering to someone else’s schedule! As you drive, audio stories will automatically pop up and start playing, allowing you to keep your attention on the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is situated in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina, covering 800 square miles or 520,000 acres.
Start Point Addresses:
Great Smoky (From Gatlingburg): 1151 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, USA
Great Smoky Reverse tour (From Cherokee): 1194 Newfound Gap Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719
What You'll See
Welcome - Oconaluftee Visitor Centre
Mingus Mill and Trail
Beech Flats Quiet Walkway
Clingmans Dome Tower
Clingmans Dome VC
Newfound Gap Story
Chimney Tops Overlook
Turn for Cade Coves Tour Ahead
Balsom Point Quiet Walkway
Carlos Campbell Overlook
Sugarlands Valley Trail
Sugarlands Visitor Centre
Ripley's Believe It or Not!
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail
Place of a Thousand Drips
Baskin Creek Falls
Ephraim Bales Cabin
Reagan Tub Mill and Cabin
Gatlinburg - Conclusion
Preview the Tour
Stop 1 : Welcome - Oconaluftee Visitor Centre
Stop 4 : Tsali and the Trail of Tears
It was actually a publicity stunt from Charles Webb, a newspaper editor in the 1920s. To encourage tourism to the Smokies, he hired a journalist and a photographer to capture the mountains’ natural beauty. Webb thought “The Smoky Mountains” was too boring; he needed to capture the grandeur, the scope, the sweeping majesty. So all his advertisements and brochures were emblazoned instead with “Visit the Great Smoky Mountains!” And that’s the name that stuck when the mountains were turned into an official national park.
You can bring your dog to campgrounds, picnic spots, and along paved roads, as long as you keep them on a leash. But please, DON’T bring your pet along the walking and hiking trails.
Yes! The Smokies have a vehicle route that allows you to observe the mountains on your Great Smoky Mountains driving tour.
Visit in September or October for stunning fall foliage. 80% of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is covered in hardwood forests: trees like birch, beech, and maple. Each of these trees flares up in vibrant colors in early fall. Whether you’re looking down at them from a scenic overlook or walking among them on one of the park’s many trails, there’s no understating how incredible it is to see the Smokies in fall.
How can you pick just one? Both the Tennessee side and North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park have so much to offer.
A driving tour through Great Smoky Mountains National Park only takes about two hours.
Most visitors come to the Great Smoky Mountains for summer vacation. July is by far the busiest month for the park. The park will reach its busiest point between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Try visiting before or after those times for a more relaxed experience.
The location in the Great Smoky Mountains that attracts the most tourists every year is the fabulous Cades Cove Loop Road.
Some vehicle types such as trailers, RVs, and buses are not allowed on some secondary roads in the park, including Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.
The National Park Service introduced a new pilot system for parking reservations for Laurel Falls. Check the National Park Service website for updates on parking reservations for 2022.
What do we do?
Simply put, Action Tour Guide is an audio guide, map, and tour book – all in one app! We are a GPS-enabled app-based tour that narrates information based on your location right on your phone. You can experience our driving and walking tours at your own pace and literally at any time of the day!
Changing travel date? No worries! All individual tours come with lifetime validity.
No Network Needed
The tour works offline, so you do not need your phone network to enjoy the tour. However, we suggest you download the tour at your home, hotel, visitor center, etc., before heading out for a completely immersive experience.
Not an Entry Ticket
This is not an entry ticket.
How many tours should I buy?
Since this is a driving tour, we recommend you purchase one per car. Everyone can listen together!