CHEROKEE TO GATLINBURG: Newfound Gap Road

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The 33-mile long Newfound Gap Road is the main automobile route through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Snow on Newfound Gap Road!

It crosses the crest of the Smoky Mountains at Newfound Gap to connect Gatlinburg and Cherokee.  Drive time is typically one hour.  Now that the rock slide on I-40 has blocked the interstate passage to Gatlinburg from east, the route from Cherokee has become even more important to visitors.

Newfound Gap Road was engineered in the 1930s specifically so motorists could optimally experience the spectacular mountain vistas and tremendous diversity of forest types for which the Great Smokies are famous.  The route was carefully constructed to blend in with the natural landscape and to take full advantage of the scenery.  Numerous pull-outs are located along the road, offering travelers views of the Great Smokies and adjacent mountain ranges.

Sign for "the pigtail" on Newfound Gap Road!At Newfound Gap, where the road reaches its highest point, temperatures are frequently 10 to 15 degrees cooler than in Cherokee or Gatlinburg. The higher elevations of the park also receive considerably more precipitation than the surrounding valleys.  Annually, Newfound Gap records over five feet of snow.  This combination of low temperatures and high precipitation results in periodic episodes of hazardous driving conditions from November to April.

For safety, the Park imposes certain restrictions driving when Newfound Gap and other roads are snow or ice covered.  Signs are posted at both ends of the road informing drivers of current restrictions.  For example:  Chains or 4WD Required, Chains Required, and Road Closed.

For current road and weather conditions, call (865)436-1200.  Extension 630 for Weather Conditions.  Extension 631 for Road Conditions.

For alternate routes, see the map below:

Click the map to see a larger version

Click on the map to see a larger version

ERA In The Smokies Realty & Rentals!Special thanks to the Smokies Guide, official newspaper of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, for providing the winter update.

This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

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