Beautiful endings and Fresh Starts

Sunrise and Sunset in Gatilnburg

According to an online article from Health Magazine, getting outside is more than something you should do when you have time. It’s something your body needs! Among others, the article provides these three reasons you should spend more time outside:

  1. It can ease depression.
  2. It can improve your focus.
  3. It can strengthen your immune system.

You know what else getting outside can do? Give your body the break it deserves! Between work and home, you have a lot of responsibilities that only add to the stress in your life. Given all this, we think spending some quality time with the ones you love in the fresh air of the Smoky Mountains is exactly what the doctor ordered!

But with so many options for outdoor adventures in Gatlinburg, it can be hard to know where to begin. So we recommend trying something unique this vacation and planning a sunrise or sunset tour in the Great Smoky Mountains. What can be more relaxing than watching the sun crest over the mountaintop? Or more memorable than a picnic for two with a backdrop of striking hues as daylight fades?

To help you plan your sunrise and sunset tour of Gatlinburg, see our answers to your questions below. And for more information about our Gatlinburg cabins, where you can enjoy the sunrise and sunset right from your rocking chair porch, click here.

Where Can I See the Sunrise?
The best spot in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to see the sunrise is Clingmans Dome. As the highest peak in the Smokies and the third-highest peak east of the Mississippi, this picturesque locale offers panoramic views of the park you’ll never forget.

You can access Clingmans Dome from the Newfound Gap Road, a seven-mile scenic drive with many pullouts along the way. Once you get to the top, enjoy snapping pictures from the Clingmans Dome Observation Tower, which is open to the public and accessible by a ½-mile paved hiking trail.

However, the road to Clingmans Dome will be closed from December 1 to March 31. So if you’re wanting to visit this idyllic location for a Smoky Mountain sunrise, you should plan your Gatlinburg vacation sometime outside of that window.

Where Can I See the Sunset?
You can always watch the sunset from Clingmans Dome, but if you’re really wanting to immerse yourself in nature, then get your hiking boots on. There are two spots where you can get amazing views of the Smoky Mountain sunset, but both are at the top of the third-highest peak in the Smokies, Mt. LeConte.

The first viewing spot is Myrtle Point, which is about ¾ of a mile from the lodge at the top of Mt. LeConte. This stunning locale provides 360-degree views of the Smokies and even has some flatter areas where you could sit and enjoy a picnic dinner.

The second location is nearby and is called Cliff Top. Located at the end of a 0.2-mile trail that begins near the LeConte Lodge, this spot offers some of the best views of the sunset you’ll find anywhere in the Smokies.

Keep in mind, though, that both of these spots are at the top of Mt. LeConte. That’s about a 12-mile hike alone, and if you add these must-see viewpoints, you’ll be somewhere closer to 13 miles. So be smart, take plenty of water, and plan for a long day of fun in the sun.

What Do I Need to Know About Hiking in the Smokies?
Generally, the Smokies is a great place for hikers of all experience levels. There are shorter, easier hikes for those who have never spent much time on the trails. There are also more strenuous hikes for those looking for more of a challenge. In all, there are 800 miles of trails to choose from in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so you should be able to find whatever it is you’re looking for. The main thing is to stay safe, drink lots of water, and have a great time while you’re in Gatlinburg!

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